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Research Proposal

Massacre is a small community which lies in the central West of Dominica, in the Parish of St. Paul. There are currently about 1200 people residing in the community. It got its peculiar and unpleasant name due to the massacre which occurred there in the year 1674. The Carib people, now known as Kalinago people, were slaughtered by British troops that set foot in the country. A wall painting was done in the community, depicting this brutal event.

I actually learned about this topic earlier this week; so I chose to write on it because it had caught my interest. I want others to be aware of the history of Massacre and why it was given this unpleasant name. I am creating a website based on this event, so that this type of historical information can remain secure on the web; and as a result, be quickly accessible to anyone. This website will mainly be targeting students, teachers, tourists and anyone who may be in need of the information for historical or cultural projects. I also want it to appeal to the youth of Dominica, as they grow less interested in their country’s culture and history: they become more ignorant of their past, as our country moves on to a more modernized future. I have made it my part-time job to ensure that this historical knowledge will not be lost and so that it will also be distributed, or easily accessible to every coming generation.

What I don’t know about this topic includes, the events that took place before the massacre, and also if they may be responsible for triggering this mass slaughtering. I also don’t know any possible reasons the British would have to justify killing the Carib people in the community. Therefore, during my research, I hope to find out why this massacre happened, all the events that led up to it, and what weapons and methods were used in slaughtering the Carib people. I’d also like to know the name of the artist who is responsible for the mural depicting the massacre. Any other incorrect information given earlier in this research proposal will be updated at a later date.

Research Questions

Why did this massacre happen? This question will point my focus at finding out the reasons why the British decided to slaughter the Carib people of the community. Were they racist towards them? Did the British have anything to gain from doing this? What did they have to gain from this?

How did it happen? This will help me to understand how brutal the slaughtering was: The question aims at finding out the types of weapons or methods that were used for the slaughter. This information will help me to understand the extent of brutality which occurred at that time.

What are the events that led up to it? This Question will assist me in finding out what events occurred before the massacre. It will help me further understand how these events may have triggered the slaughtering to happen.

How did the Carib people react to the situation? This question will later help me to understand if they did anything to defend themselves at the time; and if so, what did they do? Did they try to fight the British troops? Did they try to hide or run away from Massacre? If they did try to hide, were there any survivors from this event?

How does it affect us today? This question will help me find out what effects the event had on the country of Dominica. How did it impact our population? Did this event have any positive outcomes, such as contributing to our literature, music or Carnival? Does it add anything to our culture, art, tourist visits or education?

The name of the Site will be massacre.omeka.net. It will be a knowledgeable site containing mapping, timelines and pictures. I am still unaware of the exact mapping software I will be using to demonstrate the island and pinpoint exactly where the community is; however I may use imapbuilder or google maps. Imapbuilder can be used to create clickable interactive maps. This will be a good quality as it will make it easier for readers to find out more about the location just by clicking it. I’m not sure if I will be adding any html or css coding in this website, as it doesn’t necessarily require extra designs to be a successful site, but I may change a lot of font colours. The site may contain different categories, so that people won’t get lost in a pile of information; but this mainly depends on how much information I acquire from my research. Based from the information I already know, this seems like quite a small and specific topic.

I am hoping to interview Historian Dr. Lennox Honeychurch about the event, and also read a few of his books, so that I will be provided with more information on the topic. Other primary sources may include The Public Library. The Cultural Division at Old Mill, Land and Surveys Offices and The Central Statistical Office. The Public Library will be the first place I check because it is filled with a ton of historical books and also I may find people there who will be able to assist me in this digital project. Land and Surveys may be the next best place to go, because the workers there have access to all Dominica’s land information, which I will need. The Cultural Division at Old Mill could also be a great place for research; though I am unsure of what I may find there, or if I will be allowed into the library. The people there might be able to tell me who was responsible for the wall painting representing the massacre; because The Old Mill has a great connection with visual arts and artists. Most of my information will probably be from books and interviews with historians; I will try contacting any knowledgeable person who can give any contribution to the development of this historical website.