The Assembly of Nova Scotia Mi’kmaq Chiefs is demanding the Halifax Regional Municipality take down its Cornwallis statue right now, saying a panel process is taking “far too long.”
In a statement Friday, the chiefs said the HRM wasn’t moving fast enough and therefore they would no longer participate on the advisory panel.
“We have been more than patient to see movement on this,” Chief Bob Gloade said in the statement posted on Facebook. “The Mi’kmaq need to see action now and that is why we voted for the statue to be immediately removed.”
The controversial founder of Halifax, Edward Cornwallis is responsible for issuing a bounty on the scalps of Mi’kmaq people. There have been numerous calls for the statue to be taken down.
In October, Halifax regional council announced it would form a panel to discuss the statue’s future and how to commemorate Mi’kmaq history. The eight-member panel would include four people appointed by council and four by the chiefs.
The Assembly said it has written to council to deal with the removal of the statue and all the other commemorations that relate to Cornwallis.
In response, Mayor Mike Savage said he hoped they could continue to work together. He didn’t respond directly to the call to remove the statue.
“This is a different process than any we’ve undertaken before,” he said in a statement released Saturday. “The committee was meant to create the space to have challenging conversations about our shared history and future.”
He called reconciliation “a complex process, requiring the engagement of our community in its broadest form.”
Some people have reacted to the news on social media.
here we go again … ironically if the statue was never there nobody, except a few, would have never learned of this…
This is excellent. Serves our council right for stalling and implying that getting along with a couple of racist councillors is more important than dealing with a statue of a guy who put a bounty on Mi'kmaq #Halifax #racism https://t.co/o7uyGTOe7s
— robert devet (@DevetRobert) January 26, 2018
The Assembly Of Nova Scotia Mi’kmaq Chiefs with their bold proclamation for the immediate removal of the #Cornwallis statue is a move for them to align with the grassroots people that ave been calling on its removal for years. Looking forward to seeing it come down #Unceded
— Muin (@BSilipay) January 27, 2018