Grades: 5-12

  • British Columbia History
  • Canadian History
  • British North American Colonial History
  • Aboriginal History in British Columbia
Key Topics
  • James Douglas “Father of British Columbia”
  • Important events in the historical development of British Columbia
  • Analysis of primary and secondary sources

Author: Lindsay Gibson
Editors: Roland Case, John Lutz and Jenny Clayton
Historical Researcher: Jenny Clayton, PhD, Department of History, University of Victoria
Developed by: The Critical Thinking Consortium (TC2)

Did Governor James Douglas Deserve to be Knighted?

Step 3: Discuss the criteria for knighthood

Inform students that determining whether or not Douglas was worthy of a knighthood is not the same as judging how nice a person he was. Rather students must think of the factors the British Government might have used to determine who would receive a knighthood. During the discussion, guide students to consider the following criteria for awarding a knighthood:

  • Loyalty to the British Crown: acted according to the instructions and the best interests, goals and laws of the British Crown.
  • Effective leadership: exhibited the characteristics of strong leadership including hard-working, organized, intelligent, flexible, brave and has clear sense of purpose.
  • Fair and even-handed dealings: made decisions based on impartial and thoughtful consideration of the interests and well-being of various individuals and groups.

Invite students to refer back to the information they have acquired about Douglas thus far and to identify evidence to suggest that he might have met or not met these criteria.

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