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Edward Cornwallis task force moves to final phase of public engagement sessions

Public sessions on how to commemorate Halifax’s founder and honor indigenous history moving forward
A task force looking at ways to commemorate Halifax’s founder while honouring indigenous history is moving forward with its final phase of public engagement sessions. Jesse Thomas reports.

A task force created to assess Halifax’s colonial history and its Indigenous heritage is set to host its second and final phase of public engagement session next week.

Residents are being invited by the Task Force on the Commemoration of Edward Cornwallis and the Recognition and Commemoration of Indigenous History to attend sessions scheduled for:

  • Monday, Oct. 28, from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., at the Zatzman Sportsplex.
  • Tuesday, Oct. 29, from 6 to 8:30 p.m. at the Mi’kmaw Native Friendship Centre.

READ MORE: Halifax hosts first consultation on commemorating Cornwallis

Edward Cornwallis, the controversial founder of Halifax, is known for putting a bounty on Mi’kmaq scalps in 1749 while serving as governor of Nova Scotia.

The Halifax Regional Municipality (HRM) drew national attention in 2018 when city council decided to remove a statue of Cornwallis from a downtown park that also bears his name.

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The move followed a series of protests that raised safety concerns among city officials.

The sessions will be facilitated conversation circles that will discuss how the municipality should recognize and commemorate Indigenous history in the Halifax Regional Municipality (HRM) and how history, in general, should be commemorated and what should be taken into consideration when doing so.

Anyone interested in taking part in the conversations should RSVP online at the municipality’s website.

Halifax city unveils Cornwallis committee
Halifax city unveils Cornwallis committee

A notetaker will attend each session to take notes.

The feedback will be combined with notes from the first stage of public engagement sessions to inform the task force’s recommendations to city council.

The task force has been asked to report its findings within two years, but says that if it needs more time to do so, it will take that time.

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If you’re unable to attend the public engagement sessions but still want to share your thoughts, the municipality is encouraging residents to email comments to clerks@halifax.ca.