After 11 years of bringing you local reporting, the team behind the Vancouver Observer has moved on to Canada's National Observer. You can follow Vancouver culture reporting over there from now on. Thank you for all your support over the years!

Enough Stanley, already

Lord Stanley and daughter in a Wikipedia creative commons photograph

I hereby propose that the name of the Stanley Cup be changed to the Xwayxway Cup.  After the honorable members not from Vancouver (that would be James Moore and Stockwell Day) decided that we need as many reminders of Britain’s triumph over France as possible, we should seek other avenues for not honouring rich white guys that weren’t born in Canada.  One can only assume that the residents of the village of Xwayxway, in what is now known as Stanley Park, were born in Canada. 


Today the Governor General post is little more than a figurehead position but this wasn’t the case in the 19th century when the British government could impose its will on its former colony.  So the U.K. sends the 16th Earl of Derby to Canada 21 years into Canada’s start as a nation.  He was the GG when the park was designated so they name it after him.  So one of the most visited parks in Canada is named in recognition of a guy who was sent from another country to make sure we didn’t do anything that went against the interests of Britain.  By naming it after the Aboriginal village that was pushed away we have the chance to honour people actually born on this land and who actually cared about the future of this land. 


But it doesn’t look like this will change so I’ll focus my attention on renaming the Stanley Cup to the Xwayxway Cup.  As a casual observer of hockey may notice, it is not the most harmonious of sports.  In fact it is incredibly xenophobic and continues a serious tradition of rampant homophobia, although Brian Burke’s recent support for his son’s homosexuality before his death and former-Canuck Brent Sopel’s attendance at the Chicago Pride parade points to some shifting values.  But despite hockey being Canada’s unofficial official sport there is a dearth of Aboriginal players.  Carey Price of the Ulkatcho’ten Nation and Jordan Tootoo, an Inuk are the only two that come to mind. 


Changing the name to Xwayxway Cup would go a long way to promoting new values for the NHL.  This would encourage a more balanced masculinity centered on strength, character and more harmonious living since the people of Xwayxway were stewards of the land and had a vested interest in its future.  Compare this to the values that British colonialism promotes, including hatred of the Other and exploitation of foreign resources, and examine how this manifests itself in the NHL – homophobia and selfish players who are more concerned about making money than being leaders and role models of their communities (google Patrick Kane and cab driver for what I’m talking about).


We owe absolutely nothing to the colonial legacy of Canada and by doing so only reinforces our leaders' desire to continue this tradition by ignoring the basic human rights that many Aboriginal people are denied.  Consider that Stephen Harper is only now able to witness the tornado and flooding damage that happened in Saskatchewan, including on the Kawacatoose Nation, because the queen had to leave for the UN.


So when the time comes, show your support for the Xwayxway Cup. 

More in The Gender Files

Ghosts of Violence Ballet Comes to Vancouver

The Atlantic Ballet Theatre of Canada is bringing its Ghosts of Violence ballet to Vancouver in early December.

Designer Lisa Bohn shares tips on success and on giving to community

Bring your sketchbook everywhere. Catalogue anything and everything that inspires you. Write down your ideas and never think that just because you are done school means you stop learning.

Book review: Feminism For Real

This year's must-read is Feminism for Real: Deconstructing the Academic Industrial Copy of Feminism, edited by Jessica Yee, founder of the Native Youth Sexual Health Network.
Speak up about this article on Facebook or Twitter. Do this by liking Vancouver Observer on Facebook or following us @Vanobserver on Twitter. We'd love to hear from you.