Nova Scotia

Cornwallis task force seeks more input on Indigenous history

The task force on the commemoration of Edward Cornwallis and Indigenous history kicked off a second round of public consultations Monday night in Dartmouth.

'It's not about a statue, it's about where we're going as a society,' participant says

The statue of Edward Cornwallis was removed on Jan. 31, 2018. (Craig Paisley/CBC)

The task force on the commemoration of Edward Cornwallis and Indigenous history kicked off a second round of public consultations Monday night in Dartmouth.

Facilitators helped about two dozen people take part in "conversation circles." 

The first session was held in June.

The co-chair of the task force is hoping for some new perspectives.

"In June, we heard a lot about the Cornwallis part," said Monica MacDonald, a specialist in public history. "We're looking to get a little more public input on the Indigenous history part of our mandate."

Monica MacDonald and Chief Roderick Googoo are on the Cornwallis task force. (Pam Berman/CBC)

The statue of Edward Cornwallis was taken down in January 2018 and put into storage. But John Zinck of Halifax agrees the conversation has to be broadened.

"It's not about a statue," said Zinck. "It's about where we're going as a society, do we want to come together or do we want to separate?"

David Ladouceur, of Porters Lake, thinks our conversations about history have to change.

"We have this strong belief that our history is right," said Ladouceur. "We have to get away from that rigidity."

Facilitators helped about two dozen people take part in 'conversation circles' at the task force meeting on Monday. (Pam Berman/CBC)

About 50 people have pre-registered for the conversation circles to be held Tuesday night at the Mi'kmaq Friendship Centre.

The task force still plans to complete its research and make recommendations to Halifax regional council before the end of 2020.

"We hope once our job is finished, that the conversation will not end there," said Chief Roderick Googoo, co-chair of the task force. "It should continue on."

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About the Author

Pam Berman

Reporter

Pam Berman is CBC Nova Scotia's municipal affairs reporter. She's been a journalist for almost 35 years and has covered Halifax regional council since 1997. That includes four municipal elections, 19 budgets and countless meetings. Story ideas can be sent to pam.berman@cbc.ca