Link to original post with photo gallery is here.
My being a Metis from Quebec.
I would like to give you my perspective of what I feel every time I see that statue of a man that is being edificed in public for putting a bounty on the death and scalping of native human beings.
There can and will never be anything anyone says that will take away the horror I feel when I see this statue.
The idea that this statue should stay for historical reasons is totally repulsive.
How would you like it if a statue existed of a man that put a bounty on your race scalps for money?
And you had to be reminded of this horror every time you saw the statue and worse,
You had to walk in a city that the local people approve of the very existence of that statue.
The statue is horrific but the fact that it is actually there and the people of Halifax put it there is even more horrific.
If this statue stays then why not put up more statues of people who committed horrific acts of violence against any named groups and then lets see how long that would stay.
The time has come for Haligonians to show respect for the feelings of the native peoples of Nova Scotia and Canada.
Signed Daniel J Towsey
Stay tuned videos from today’s events are coming soon…
Cornwallis Statue Protest in Halifax 1of7 speeches
Cornwallis Statue Protest in Halifax 2of7 speeches
Cornwallis Statue Protest in Halifax 3of7 speeches
Cornwallis Statue Protest in Halifax 4of7
Cornwallis Statue Protest in Halifax 5of7
Cornwallis Statue Protest in Halifax 6of7 Conference
Cornwallis Statue Protest in Halifax 7of7
Do not miss this event: Aboriginal Day June 20 and 21
APTN will once again be hosting two events for Aboriginal Day Live. This year’s celebration has the largest twin stage location to date, in Halifax. The celebration takes place at the Waterfront on Friday, June 20 and Saturday June 21. This gathering welcomes all to celebrate the distinctiveness and diversity of the First Nations of the region and particularly Mi’kmaq culture.
Friday, June 20
LIGHTING OF THE SACRED FIRE
Listen for and follow the beating of Mi’kmaq drums that will lead you to one of the eight multi-coloured wigwams where the fire will be lit. Stay awhile to learn the cultural significance of this sacred ceremony.
Saturday, June 21
For the early risers and media to celebrate the start of the summer solstice. Be one of the timely and fortunate ones to experience this once a year event.
12:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Wigwams will transform the Halifax Waterfront into a cultural experience featuring the First Nations of the area. Be sure to partake in the basket weaving, quillwork, storytelling, traditional games and enjoy the performances – between Sackville Landing and the Sands on Salter.
FREE LIVE CONCERT Corner Of Salter And Lower Water Street
8:00 p.m. – 11:30 p.m.
APTN deluxe hosts Don Kelly of Fish out of Water and Candy Palmater of The Candy Show ( Candy Palmater)
team up as co-hosts for the live concert. The Aboriginal Day Live Concert Stage at the Sands on Salter bursts with the sounds of A Tribe Called Red, Ashley MacIsaac, Sierra Noble, Black & Grey, J. Hubert Francis, Inez Jasper, Joey Stylez, Melissa Girvan Music, and Radio Radio.]
Belinda Lydia Saulnier They like their trophies.
Rob Somers Who’s “they”? The people of Halifax? What a brutally stupid comment smh
Belinda Lydia Saulnier Yes…it says right there…”halligonians”. Plain English.
Daniel J Towsey Yes if they did not like their trophies it the statue would not be there.Rob Somers If that’s what you meant, you should have said “They liked their trophies”Brenda Imlay It’s amazing that many people are not aware of the horrific events that many “honoured” men have been acknowledged for. That is why I love history, real history, it explains so many things about how we came to be what we are today, there were many atrocities placed upon native peoples, women and children. When these things are known, I agree places need to be given new names, statues removed and the truth should be spoken out so we can claim a new more respectable identity.Belinda Lydia Saulnier That’s exactly what I said….Siobhan Russell No one would want a statue of Hitler anywhere and no one would sit or walk by it so to me this statue is no different. Get rid of it I say!
There will be a protest on May 28 at six pm. I will post it here with videos of the speeches weather permitting.
On Wednesday May 28, there is going to be an open house discussing Cornwallis Park. It will ask the community what they want to see happen in the space at the cross-streets of Barrington and South.
NSPIRG is hosting an educational event before the open house for us share with one another and better articulate for ourselves what’s important in this public space!
Do you want to learn more about Edward Cornwallis and why so many people oppose honouring him? Why is it important that the park be renamed and his statue be taken down?
Let’s show the city that we have big dreams for this public space! The naming of our public spaces says a lot about our values and it’s important we show politicians what matters to us.
We will have a couple of folks speak about Cornwallis’s history, the importance of renaming the park and taking down the statue. We will then give people a chance to share their ideas for what should replace Cornwallis. We especially want to hear your ideas on how the city should engage communities most directly affected by this process.We will write all these ideas down and present them to Councillor Waye Mason at the Open House!
After this pre-event, we will be heading over to the Open House to present our ideas and make sure that the city is listening.
Open House event: https://www.facebook.com/events/308347429322303/
Imagine the rejuvenation of Cornwallis Park into an active space, a space that enables community programming, supports active use, and is a family friendly space. A park with a purpose!
Please join us on Wednesday, May 28th from 7:00 – 9:00 pm at the Atlantic Room of the Westin Hotel, for a presentation by staff of the conceptual master plan for Cornwallis Park, followed by a community discussion about what our priorities are in the rejuvenation of this park.
Public Open House: Cornwallis Park Rejuvenation is a recommended events on Evensi! Have fun discovering event suggestions based on your preferences, your experience will be unique!
For more info and supporting documents visit: http://wayemason.ca/2014/05/21/public-meetings-cornwallis-park-rejuvenated/
14 year old concept sketch – park will reference this but this is very much a “rough draft”
We need to get a bunch of people out to this event to demonstrate the importance of this issue so invite your friends!
Rename Cornwallis Park! Take Down the Statue!
The statue should be replaced with a memorial to all the people who suffered, and who’s descendants continue to suffer, because of Halifax’s VERY long past involving racism. I say continue, because anthropologists know that racism has economic, and actual biological effects, that last for generations, even after the white man thinks they’ve disappeared, and everything is okay.
We were the deep south of Canada. Halifax was completely okay with slavery.
We scalped Native peoples, for money, because of Cornwallis.
Are people forgetting we were a segregated community until the 60’s?
The only thing he did in Halifax was put in a bounty on Native people’s heads. How did people collect said bounty? By scalping them, and trading them for money, of course.
Fuck this guy.
Want to know why the park should be renamed.. here’s a few reasons why….
WHEN CORNWALLIS Junior High was renamed Halifax Central Junior High earlier this year, I felt opinion swelling in my throat. From my front-row seat as a journalist, I have covered the controversy over Halifax’s founder, Edward Cornwallis, from naming a school after him to erecting his statue.
Opinion bubbled up to my lips and was about to spew into the world when a little voice in my head asked me: What do you actually know about this man?
I could think of a few things: he founded Halifax in 1749 and he issued a scalping proclamation against Mi’kmaq people. And that he . . . Um. He was born in . . . Er. How long did he live in Nova Scotia? What else did he do? Uh . . .
I felt the pinprick of fact deflating the bubble of opinion. I figured before I judged the man, I should at least get to know him. I headed to the Nova Scotia archives and the Halifax Public Libraries and spent the next few months reading the letters Cornwallis wrote and received in Halifax, the minutes of his council meetings, and the handful of articles and books containing references to him.
Surprisingly, no one has written his biography.
Cornwallis was born in England in 1713. He was the sixth son of Lord Charles, the fourth Baron Cornwallis, and Lady Charlotte Butler, daughter of the Earl of Arran. His family was rich and influential. In addition to expansive estates in Suffolk, they kept a house at 14 Leicester Sq. in London.
His first job came at 12 when he and his twin brother Frederick were appointed royal pages to King George II. “This little appointment . . . explains why the Hon. Edward was so well looked after in later times of great emergency and difficulty,” writes historian James MacDonald in an 1899 paper.
Cornwallis studied at Eton College and entered the military in 1730. Lingering in London garrisons, he became a lieutenant, then captain, then major. He took the family’s seat in Parliament when his older brother died. “Up to this date, Cornwallis appears to have lived in an atmosphere of court favour and officialism,” MacDonald says.
The first “difficulty,” as MacDonald put it, arose from his service in 1745 at the Battle of Fontenoy. Cornwallis’s commander died at the start of the Belgian fight and Cornwallis was put in charge. The battle was a disaster for Britain. Some 2,000 troops died, including 400 under Cornwallis’s command. The best historians could make of it was that Cornwallis helped with the retreat. The streets of London greeted the army with scorn.
Despite the setback, Cornwallis won a prestigious post as groom of the king’s bedchamber.
In 1745, he was placed in charge of a regiment dispatched to the Scottish Highlands. The Jacobites under Bonnie Prince Charlie had raised a massive army and advanced to the outskirts of London before retreating to Scotland. Cornwallis was part of the British forces sent to crush the rebellion.
The final battle came April 16, 1746, at Culloden. The professional British soldiers quickly routed the rebel Scots and killed 2,000 Highland warriors before pursuing them off the battlefield. The slaughter that followed was called the Pacification.
It became illegal to wear a kilt or tartan and an offender could be summarily executed. The ancient clan system was to be dismantled by force.
Cornwallis was in the thick of it. Michael Hughes fought with him and wrote a tract called A Plain Narrative and Authentic Journal of the Late Rebellion. It tells how Cornwallis led 320 men to destroy the house and lands belonging to a rebel leader.
Hughes notes Cornwallis’s “great humanity and honour” during
the systematic hunting down of any man, woman or child displaying any Jacobite sympathies. Such “traitors” were shot dead or burned alive in their homes. Properties were looted and claimed for King George. Patrols
were sent “rebel hunting.”
“From hence the party marched along the seacoast through Moidart, burning of houses, driving away the cattle and shooting those vagrants found about the mountains,” Hughes writes. The army returned in glory to London.
The historian MacDonald says 1748 found Cornwallis in poor health and his regiment in a “mutinous state.” He resigned his command. His benefactor George Montague Dunk, Lord of Halifax, secured him a job as governor of Nova Scotia.
The Fortress of Louisbourg was being returned to the French and Britain needed a fortress to offset it. To that end, Cornwallis was dispatched to found Halifax in the spring of 1749.
The site he selected was in Mi’kmaq moose hunting territory and the sawmill that followed at Dartmouth sat on their vital water highway, the Shubenacadie. Both sides made overtures of peace but both sides clashed. Mi’kmaq warriors, outgunned by the soldiers, launched a guerrilla campaign to contain the English.
Cornwallis saw only one solution. “Without force and without money, nothing can be done,” he wrote. London urged him to engage the natives in trade and keep the peace with France, but Cornwallis did not trust the restive province.
He fretted constantly that the Mi’kmaq and their French allies would destroy the nascent settlement. He sent soldiers and the infamous Rangers into the woods to drive them away. Newborn Halifax was heavily fortified.
In October, he issued the scalping proclamation. “To declare war formally against the Micmac Indians would be a manner to own them a free and independent people, whereas they ought to be treated as so many banditti ruffians, or rebels, to his majesty’s government,” he wrote.
Cornwallis implemented the tactics of the Scottish Pacification: terror, brutality and mass killings. The scalping campaign, which paid settlers and soldiers to kill any Mi’kmaq adult or child, was designed to drive the rebels from the land claimed by his king.
“The Board of Trade rebuked him for aggression and still more for overspending,” says his entry in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.
John Grenier, author of The Far Reaches of Empire, describes how Nova Scotia descended into a brutal, Vietnam-like war. Despite the official peace, superpowers France and England clashed in the remote province, while the Mi’kmaq and Acadians were chewed up in the middle.
“The war had bankrupted the colony,” Grenier writes. “Parliament had authorized £39,000 for Nova Scotia in 1750, but Cornwallis had spent nearly £174,000.”
The settlers were still largely confined to Halifax. Little farmland had been developed and the province relied heavily on supplies from England. The province was an expensive boondoggle — an “ill-thriven, hard-visaged and ill-favoured brat,” as one critic later described it.
By 1752, Cornwallis was fed up with defending himself and sick of life in the colonies. He pleaded with London to let him come home. “At my setting out for this province, two or three years at most was the time I was to continue,” he reminded his bosses.
He asked that “his majesty would be graciously pleased to allow of my resignation of the government and grant me the liberty of returning home.”
He got his wish and left the war-torn province in the fall of 1752.
Cornwallis married in 1753, but his wife died a few years later without having any children. He spent his time with the “Corinthians,” a dandyish troop of high-born bachelors. “In London, (Cornwallis) was well known as a leading man of fashion,” MacDonald writes.
Duty beckoned and in 1756 he was ordered to join Admiral John Byng on a British fleet to relieve the garrison at Minorca, which was besieged by France.
The ships arrived, but didn’t like their chances.
“To the horror of the brave garrison . . . the fleet sailed away, leaving them to their fate,” MacDonald says.
Britain lost Minorca. “Cornwallis shared the odium,” MacDonald writes. Byng was arrested and executed. Cornwallis was “almost torn to pieces by the populace” and burned in effigy. His high-placed friends saved him, but the ridicule continued. Newspapers ran cartoons lampooning Cornwallis as more concerned about fashion than fighting.
In 1757, he was ordered to join an expedition to attack the French port Rochefort. The mission faltered. Some saw the French as too strong and wanted to go home. Others said a bold attack could win the day. “Cornwallis unfortunately voted with his superior . . . and the expedition failed,” MacDonald says.
This retreat brought more shame, but Cornwallis’s royal connections again saved him. In 1762, he was dispatched to Gibraltar, the “most unhealthy station in Europe,” MacDonald says. Over the coming years, he wrote letters to his friends in London, asking for promotion back to England. “No notice appears to have been taken of his request,” MacDonald writes.
Cornwallis was only relieved of his post in 1776 when the war office marked him “DD” — discharged dead.
His family titles are extinct — the barony erased in 1823 and the earldom in 1852. “His name is fast coming under the category of ‘Britain’s forgotten worthies’,” MacDonald concluded in 1899.
A century later, Cornwallis continues to fade.
Jon Tattrie is a freelance journalist and author.
Christine Ann Appalling. What a horrible reminder for the Mi’kmaq people…
Embarrassed to have that statue standing there.
Brian Hughes I agree it should be moved…to a museum. Still part of our past. If we forget history we are doomed to repeat it. “Rather than destroying the Edward Cornwallis Statue, Daniel Paul has recently joined historian John G. Reid to advocate that the complexity of Cornwallis’ legacy needs to be told by putting the statue in a museum or adding interpretive panels beside the existing statue.” – CBC Radio
Christine Ann ok
Michael Cada I agree with the museum instead of destroying it and trying to forget him. Not that I am trying to draw analogies, but Germany did not destroy concentration camps and the gas chambers, they turned them into museum-like reminders of the horrors of the Nazis, so people will always remember.
Yeah, can we please tear down the statue of the genocidal monster, and rename the park?
Maybe we leave a plaque to the effect of, “This park was previously named after Edward Cornwallis – responsible for extensive acts of ethnic cleansing against the indigenous Mi’kmaq. This included a bounty placed on men, women, and children.” If we were feeling really gung ho, maybe we could include something about his role in the massive slaughter, rape, and plunder of Scottish Catholics.
This would probably be a very bare minimum for making the park feel like an inclusive space.
Marilyn Labelle Yes, definitely rename the park! What a monster!
I have lived in this neighbourhood and loved this park for 14 years. I have never felt unsafe there anytime, day or night, alone or with kids. The homeless people who occasionally nap have never oogled me, threatened me or intimidated me whatsoever.
Surely the park could use a freshening up – replace the cracked pavement with stones, upgrade the playground but overall I see it as a great bonus of this neighbourhood already; I have always considered it an inclusive place and taken pleasure in my own and others’ enjoyment of it.
Sylvain Pankhurst. . . except for the name/statue. For real though, I have some amazing childhood memories of this park. My Grandmother lived in a (no longer existing) house on Harvey St., and my best memories of her are there.
Daniel J Towsey Unfortunately you do not see the evil this statue and the name of the park represents..
I live in this neighbourhood and would visit the park regularly. The main problem is many homeless people drink in the park during the day, stare at the women reading, and sleep on the benches. I’ve left the park on numerous occasions this spring because it feels unsafe, which is surprising because of the area.
Florentin Wilfart I would argue it’s an issue of discomfort, not safety?
Tracy Boyer I’d say that’s something to address if we want women and families to use the park more. I’m wondering if this issue might be less of a problem if we do increase the number of people using the park? I know I’ve had kids out climbing cornwallis and running from bench to bench. I’ve definitely felt uneasy about a few of the men experiencing homelessness hanging out near the kids park but it’s not an easy thing to solve and we are an urban centre so my kids know the deal. I feel like I’m more comfortable with accepting this kind of thing than most so if one person is expressing discomfort, more are feeling it for sure.
Sylvain Pankhurst Sorry, are people perceived to be homeless not entitled to be in public space? And what, precisely, is so offensive about sleeping on a bench?
If there’s an issue with men being sexist jerks and oogling women, that’s an issue . . . but would it changed if you perceived the men in question to be well-off and housed?
Daniel J Towsey I think some people are so selfish and self centered that they would probably appreciate a bounty on the scalps of the homeless… Leave the homeless alone they do you no harm at all..
I’d love it if we became a city with a veggie garden in each and all of our public parks. I’d also love to see indigenous plants with some information there as to what & why we’re growing food along with what & why we’re supporting our local habitat by using native plants.
We could also use this as an opportunity to tip our hats to our indigenous community.
We are surrounded by our colonial and immigration history but there is another voice that could be heard and celebrated.
Levi Eric MegenbirI like that idea! Like a community garden? If not, who do you propose should maintain it?
Heather Rao I’d definitely like to see the garden as a community one. That addresses the maintenance and the effoert instills a sense of ownership and pride of the garden and the area. Perhaps a community garden maintained by local schools to get the kids involved or a local immigrant centre so new Canadians become a part of their city.
Heather Rao Perhaps even getting a local school & immigrant centre & senior centre involved in the community garden…spread the responsibility and benefits among groups who will prosper from the connections.
Tracy Boyer There is the YWCA daycare and a few others in the neighbourhood. I think there is a way to do something low maintenance, high bush blueberries or other things like that might also work. We have lots of great gardening people in town who could advise.
Daniel J Towsey How about erecting a monument to show respect for native people..Have you seen one monument anywhere in Halifax for such?
“Forgetting is the first step towards Re-occurence”
In my opinion, taking down the statue is a step towards forgetting.
Christine Ann I like the idea of putting it into a museum.
Patti Doyle-Bedwell I think the statue illustrates the genocidal history of this area. We should never forget what happened. But erasing it from the memory of the majority will not assist in educating people about the colonialism that shaped Nova Scotia and Canada.
Daniel J Towsey you did not read my post about the Native people not being able to forget the horrific past with this mass murderer statue in their face..
Although Cornwallis wasn’t the greatest guy, I don’t think the statue should be taken down. (He is part of our history.) I think another statue or some sort of monument should be erected to show the change of opinion/representation about Cornwallis and such of what he represents to us now. [I hope this makes sense.]
Alice Wonders Change the plaque.
Alice Wonders Omitting the past doesn’t eliminate the problem, but we can learn from the problems of the past.
Michael Scott So, everyone from afar sees the exact same thing, which is a giant statue that’s meant to inspire awe towards the man, but you HAVE to come up VERY close, and have proficiency in English, to realize he wasn’t the greatest guy?
Alice Wonders You alter it perhaps?
Michael Scott There’s a park dedicated to him, in which the statue sits at the centre, for God’s sake..
Rip down the statue, he was a horrible man. Create a new one which doesn’t glorify the man, but glorifies the people who’s lives he ruined, and took..
Alice Wonders This may be a very asshole thing to say, but you can’t make all monuments to accommodate the different levels of literacy. Though I think it would be awesome if braille was added to all monuments. Something I’ve seen seen in Europe.
Killa Atencio I respectfully disagree. Having a statue or monument erected is meant to honour the person. It’s similar to when a statue of Hitler was displayed in the Warsaw ghetto. Like Michael said above, he’s the center of the park, the statue is only there to glorify him. As a Mi’kmaq person living in the city, I have to question my identity and how Halifax respects and honours it when the city does nothing to dishonour this man and the statue. I think the statue should be removed, and a different monument should be out in it’s place. Alongside photos of the the various times the statue was vandalized to show the disdain for it. That way, people will still know what was there before and the reason it was removed.
Kathleen Higgins I think that the idea below, to remove the statue to a museum, is a good one. As it stands now, it is a monument, which is largely understood as a celebration or endorsement.
Michael Scott Well, that has nothing to do with anything. Obviously you can’t accommodate all languages, Alice. I think you’re missing the point that statues, every single detail in them, are meant to bring out certain emotions. That statues purpose to bring out positive emotions towards him, and nothing BUT positive emotions.
A plaque changes nothing.
Would we be okay with giant statues of Hitler, or Stalin still pockmarking Europe, or the former USSR? Hell no.
Matt Keegan The man was just as bad as hilter,
Chris Benjamin This is how Martiqueans altered a statue of Empress Josephine, who reinstated slavery in that nation:
I have no problem with altering the statue, if beheading him is the way to do it, great. If erecting another one next it to show the opposing story, great. If taking it down (and not destroying it but, placing it in a museum) and erecting a two-sided story of how there used to be a statue of Cornwallis and what he means to us has changed, even better.I don’t believe all monuments need to be positive. When I said levels of literacy, I didn’t mean all the languages in the world. I meant, the top three languages of Canada and have braille & pictorial.
For a monument to Cornwallis to grapple with this history, it would have to be fundamentally different than the existing statue, and will need to be created by a process that actually challenges the ongoing process of settler-colonialism.
as a mi’kmaq person, i want to keep the statue.
Mizél Cluett remind the colonizers who they are
Randy Merle Robertson i share 1st nation heritage as well mizel,,b want john gorehams st sign gione fronm bedford,,he was cornys right hand butcherer,,
Nova Scotia Public Interest Research Group (NSPIRG) Hey Mizél – I think you raise an important point – but I think *how* we remember is as important as remembering. A statue and a community space which *honour* militarism and genocide seem ill-suited to challenging dominant narratives of settler-colonialism.
This discussion looks to ask the question of, “How might we better understand Nova Scotia’s history (and present) of settler-colonialism?” and “What might be a suitable replacement for the statue that challenges the popular (false) history of Halifax’s founding?”
Daniel J Towsey Where do you want to keep it…in a dark cave somewhere..
I’m working on a story about the park for CBC NS tonight, if anyone wants to talk to me about renaming the park or taking down the statue, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Randy Merle Robertson its also john goreham st in bedford by scott manor house,,he was butcherer,,,,his name was used for glendale dr over hwy 102 til confed of ns micmac petitioned to get rid of it
Is renaming it and getting rid of the statue an option?
Julien Caesar Everything is an option as long as you believe.
Daniel J Towsey Maybe if truth can be told they should alter the statue showing him holding a handful of bloody scalps.