A group that wants to see Cornwallis Park in Halifax renamed held a demonstration next to the statue of Edward Cornwallis Wednesday night.

Cornwallis was a British military officer who founded Halifax in 1749. He issued the so-called scalping proclamation the same year, in which he offered a cash bounty to anyone who killed a Mi’kmaq person.

Edward Cornwallis's statue was erected in the 1930s.

Edward Cornwallis's statue was erected in the 1930s. (CBC)

The park that bears his name is located in Halifax's south end and is a popular place for people to enjoy green space in a more densely populated area.

The city wants to give the park a new fresh look.

But the planned makeover has sparked another debate. One that centres around the dark history of its namesake.

Holly Lobsinger would like to see Cornwallis Park renamed and the statue of Edward Cornwallis removed.

"He had a very violent, genocidal past. So we're here to highlight that history," she said.

Billy Lewis, a Mi'kmaq elder, also attended the demonstration.

"Colonialism is alive and well folks and we have to stand against these kinds of things of honouring people who represent that," he told the crowd.

Waye Mason, the city councilllor for the area, said he's committed to talking with Mi'kmaq and Acadian leaders to discuss possible solutions.

Changes to the parks playground area will begin this summer. But, it's clear, the debate over Cornwallis will continue for some time to come.