Halifax founder's name to disappear from school
First Nations representative pushed for change
The Halifax Regional School Board has voted to rename Cornwallis Junior High, a public school named after the city founder who ordered the mass killing of Mi'kmaq people.
In a unanimous vote Tuesday, the board agreed that the name was "inappropriate and unacceptable."
Kirk Arsenault, the Mi'kmaq representative on the board, considers it a step forward for the whole community.
"What I want this to be is an exercise in healing and education. I don't want any bad feelings in this, but I do celebrate the victory for the Mi'kmaq community, absolutely," he said.
Edward Cornwallis was a British military officer who founded Halifax. In 1749, during a war with the Mi'kmaq, he offered a bounty for the scalps of Mi'kmaq men, women and children.
Dan Paul, a Mi'kmaq elder, has been trying to remove Cornwallis' name for 25 years. He applauds the board's decision.
"You don't know how I feel. I feel like dancing in the street, but I'm too old for that. I'd probably drop dead!" said Paul.
Paul said the next step is to remove the statue of Cornwallis in Cornwallis Park.
"I would like to see that park renamed Freedom Park and a statue to all the immigrants that came to this country and helped to build it into the powerhouse that it is," he said.
It will be up to the community to choose a new name for the school. No details have been released yet.