A Mi'kmaq representative on the Halifax Regional School Board is asking for Cornwallis Junior High School to be renamed. ((CBC))

A Mi'kmaq representative on the Halifax Regional School Board is asking for a school to be renamed because of its namesake and his relationship with the Mi'kmaq people.

Cornwallis Junior High School, located on Preston Street, is named after Edward Cornwallis — the British military officer who founded Halifax.

In 1749, during a war with the Mi'kmaq, it's said Cornwallis declared, "that a reward of 10 Guineas be granted for every Indian Micmac taken or killed."

Kirk Arsenault, a member of the Halifax Regional School Board, said that's the side of Cornwallis the board members should think of when it considers his motion to rename the junior high school.

"I think anything that's named after Cornwallis, I don't think anybody feels good about it," Arsenault told CBC News.

"He tried to wipe the Mi'kmaq out. And to have his name? It's not a good representation of society."

Arsenault said he knows he will run into opposition from people who live in the south end of Halifax, where the school is located.

But he has at least one supporter in David Cameron, another member of the school board.


Kirk Arsenault says it's inappropriate to have a school named after Edward Cornwallis. ((CBC))

"The facts are clear," said Cameron.

"He was responsible for putting a bounty on — including women and children — the Mi'kmaq community and that's not a sign of what's acceptable in a school."

The decision about whether to rename the school rests with the Halifax Regional School Board, which will debate the issue on Wednesday night.

If the board supports the motion, the principal of the school will be asked to start the process of a name change. It will be up to the community to choose a new name.

Judi Rice, who attended Cornwallis Junior High School and still lives nearby, said she doesn't believe the name should change.

"History is history and we can't control everything and we can't change everything to try and correct things that have gone in history," she said.

"If we started to do that, what would our history be?"