‘Civilizing the warlike Indians:’ A Confrontation of the Rutherford Library's Glyde Mural

Noor Iqbal


The Glyde mural in the University of Alberta’s Rutherford Library is a testament to the history of Alberta as it was understood by white society in the 1950s. A contemporary viewer described the painting as depicting “the civilizing influences in the early life of the Province.” The prominent historical heroes in the mural represent the main institutions that were involved in this process of ‘civilizing the savages'. An artefact of modern colonial racism, it has overshadowed the threshold of the library’s South reading room since 1951. This article brings the ideas of several historical theorists to bear on the impact and implications of the historical memory invoked by the mural.

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