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Removal of Statue of Gov. Edward Cornwallis
Cornwallis Park
Barrington Street, Halifax, Nova Scotia

More pictures of removal at the bottom.

Facts:

Scalping. This line “upon producing such Savage taken or his scalp (as in the custom of America) if killed to the Officer Commanding at Halifax, Annapolis Royal, or Minas” from Nova Scotia’s English Colonial Governor Edward Cornwallis’s October 2, 1749 proclamation for Mi’kmaq scalps has often been mistaken by many readers as a reference to the alleged scalp taking practices of North American Indigenous Cultures.

To refute such claims, I want to make this very clear, it is not an reference to an American Indian custom, but to a custom founded by the British in British North America. It was initiated by them for the purpose of terrorizing into submission, or exterminating, American Indian Tribes that were fighting to save their way of life and homelands from destruction by the merciless invaders.

Scalps were not the original required means for bounty hunters to prove to British colonial military government officials that they had killed Indigenous peoples (men, women and children). At first, in the early 1600s, colonial governments started offering bounties for Indigenous heads, then, around 1667, probably because transporting heads was too cumbersome for the bounty hunters, officials started offering bounties for scalps.

Three Scalp Proclamations were issued for the Mi'kmaq:

Governor William Shirley - BritishScalpProclamation-1744.html

Governor Edward Cornwallis - BritishScalpProclamation-1749

Governor Charles Lawrence - BritishScalpProclamation-1756.html

After the American Revolution, 1786, within the United States of America, although the new Country was through with the British Monarchy, many of its jurisdictions liked and adopted the British practice of scalping barbarism against Indigenous Peoples, and carried on with issuing scalp proclamations, California had them still active in 1863.

California Scalp Proclamations

Micmac History, by Lee Sultzman

"The Micmac did not sign any peace agreement with the British that year (1749). They had suffered a severe smallpox epidemic during 1747, and the French had accused the British of deliberate infection. Whether true or not, the Micmac believed the French and were so angry about this, they refused to make peace. In this decision, they had the full support of a French priest, Father Le Loutre (the new Rasles). Settlements at Chebucto and Canso were attacked during the summer of 1749. Especially galling to the British was the capture of an army detachment at Canso which later had to be ransomed from the French commandant at Louisbourg. The British refused to declare war reasoning that, since the Micmac were supposed to have submitted to British authority in Nova Scotia at the Treaty of Boston (1726), they could be treated as rebels, not enemies. In other words, no rules of civilized warfare. Offering £10 for every Micmac scalp or prisoner, Cornwallis dispatched the Cobb expedition with 100 men to hunt down and kill Micmac. In addition to the usual £10 for scalps or prisoner, Cornwallis offered an additional incentive of £100 for the capture of Le Loutre.

Cobb's expedition destroyed just about everything they found, but Micmac resistance only stiffened. By 1750 the price of scalps was raised from £10 to £50 which provided incentive for the formation of two additional ranger companies under Captains William Clapham and Francis Bartelo. During 1751 the fighting continued across the Chignecto Isthmus of Nova Scotia, but by summer Cornwallis ordered all ranger companies (except Gorham's) to disband. Too many strange scalps had been turned in for payment, including several which bore unmistakable signs of European origin. The French were still providing arms to the Chignecto Micmac - who were still dangerous and under the hostile influence of Father Le Loutre - but sending hired killers after them was never going to solve the situation. Cornwallis' decision ultimately proved correct, and in November, 1752 at Halifax, the Micmac signed a peace treaty with the British.

Collections of the Nova Scotia Historical Society, John Gorham:

"It is reported that ... a party of Gorham's rangers one day brought in 25 scalps, claiming the bounty of £10 per scalp. It was strongly suspected that not all of the scalps were those of Indians, but included some Acadians too. The paymaster protested the payment, but was ordered to pay £250 anyway.... The records of Chignecto include several instances of extreme cruelty and barbarism by the rangers."

The following statement by the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.  in his 1963 book Why We Can't Wait , which outlined the historic injustices inflicted on Native people Indigenous to what is now the USA, can also be applied to Canada's mistreatment of its Indigenous Peoples.

"Our nation was born in genocide when it embraced the doctrine that the original American, the Indian, was an inferior race. Even before there were large numbers of Negroes on our shores, the scar of racial hatred had already disfigured colonial society. From the sixteenth century forward, blood flowed in battles over racial supremacy. We are perhaps the only nation which tried as a matter of national policy to wipe out its indigenous population. Moreover, we elevated that tragic experience into a noble crusade. Indeed, even today we have not permitted ourselves to reject or to feel remorse for this shameful episode. Our literature, our films, our drama, our folklore all exalt it. "

Mi’kmaq/European History, a small dose of reality!

A white is right mentality prevents white supremacist thinking individuals from appreciating and understanding that the Mi'kmaq, a people of color, were the victims and that the English and other European Caucasians were the well armed invading aggressors, who were stealing the lands and wealth of the Mi'kmaq and other First Nations of the Americas and doing their best to exterminate the owners! This horror was perpetuated upon the American Indigenous Nations, not in pursuit of some glorious "Civilizing Goal" as some would have us believe, but, in pursuit of satisfying something that is all but insatiable, Blind Greed.

I'll put in completely understandable language. If Cornwallis had placed a bounty on the heads of the Acadiens or Gaels, Caucasian Peoples, with the intention of stealing their wealth and lands, and exterminating them, instead of the Mi'kmaq, there would not be a statue or public place named in honor of him in Nova Scotia period!

To rebut a belief by many of British ancestry that England’s leadership was not into the use of barbaric terrorism in the sixteen and seventeen hundreds in the Americas to dispossess the Indigenous Peoples of their freedom and countries one only has to note that the country, during those years, was still into using terrorism in England itself to keep its citizens cowed, docile and submissive. Eighteen years after Governor Cornwallis issued his proclamation, August 11, 1767, the country held it’s last burning at the stake.

Quotes from papers prepared by history professor Geoffrey Plank on the subject.

“If the Micmac chose to resist his expropriation of land, the governor intended to conduct a war unlike any that had been fought in Nova Scotia before. He outlined his thinking in an unambiguous letter to the Board of Trade. If there was to be a war, he did not want the war to end with a peace agreement. "It would be better to root the Micmac out of the peninsula decisively and forever." The war began soon after the governor made this statement.”

“Everyone involved understood the conflict to be a race war.... During the 1750s the politics of Nova Scotia centered on issues of national identity. At various times during the decade, the British engaged in combat with several different peoples who inhabited, or passed through, Nova Scotia: The Micmac, the French ... and the Acadians.... The British governors of Nova Scotia generally believed that they were surrounded by enemies, that the Acadians, the Micmac and the French would soon find a way to cooperate and overthrow British rule. One of the principle aims of British policy, therefore, was to keep these people separated, to isolate the Micmac, the Acadians, and the French.”

“To achieve this goal of segregation, the colonial authorities adopted two draconian policies. In 1749 the governor began offering bounties for the scalps of Micmac men, women and children. The aim of this program was to eliminate the Micmac population on the peninsula of Nova Scotia, by death or forced emigration. In 1755 the British adopted a different but related strategy: it deported the Acadians, and relocated them in safer colonies to the west. Viewed in the abstract, these two programs, to pay for the deaths of the Micmac and to relocate and absorb the Acadians, represented very simple thinking. The colonial authorities who endorsed these programs placed the inhabitants of Nova Scotia into two categories, Europeans and savages, and treated them accordingly.”

However, one must keep in mind that "civilized" Europeans of the era were so adept at dishing out barbarities that they were still burning their own innocent people at the stake for witchcraft, heresy and other crimes. England finally abolished the horrific barbarity in 1787.

Therefore, in view of the onslaught that the citizens of the American Indigenous Nations were facing, who were being butchered, robbed and dispossessed by invaders that were armed to the teeth with lethal weaponry, it should come as no surprise that they fought back heroically to preserve their freedom and countries.

The twisted result of the before mentioned, in view of white supremacist attitudes prevailing, does not surprise either, but it does defy logical rational reasoning. Because the Indigenous Peoples of the Americas fought the brutal European invaders with all means available to them to preserve the territory and freedom that the Great Spirit had given them, the Indigenous resisters were, and still are depicted by many as the villains. Thus, when a logical and reasonable person, with honesty contemplates the result, he/she cannot help but conclude that it is incredible in the extreme to find that in the overall scheme of things the Indigenous victims are the villains, while the European bandits are the heros. Such an outcome makes as much sense as would a murder victim's family being ostracized and victimized because they caused discomfort for the murderer.

Daniel N. Paul, September 9, 2017

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"Upon suffering beyond suffering, the Red Nation shall rise again and it shall be a blessing for a sick world.

A world of broken promises, selfishness and separations, a world longing for light again.

I see a time of Seven Generations when all the colours of mankind will gather under the Sacred Tree of Life and the whole earth will become one circle again....

I salute the light within your eyes where the whole universe dwells. For when you are at that centre within you, and I am at that place within me, we shall be one."

Chief Crazy Horse, Oglala Sioux, 1877

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Letter from Pam Glode Desrochers, Executive Director Mi’kmaw Friendship Center, to
Halifax Mayor Mike Savage and Councillors asking for a name change for Cornwallis Street.


Letter from Pastor Rhonda Britton to Mayor and Councillors
in support of Pam Glode Desrochers's letter.
(May 7, 2018, the Church’s congregation changed the name of the Church to New Horizons Baptist Church.)

May 11, 2016 - Halifax Regional Council's response

The following is a motion put forward by Councilor Wayne Mason at a Halifax Regional council meeting held May 10, 2016. It was defeated by a vote of 8 to 7. It appears the position of the eight is we don’t even want to discuss the issue, says a lot for reconciliation doesn’t it? One good result of the vote is that it shows that Caucasian enlightened individuals are slowly replacing those on the Council with more archaic racist white supremacists outlooks. I would remind David Hendsbee that the only colonial official on the agenda for discussion is Cornwallis, other colonial officials may have done some barbarous things, but, no other put a bounty on the heads of women and children. Perhaps if he was to make some effort to escape his willful ignorance of history he wouldn’t make statements such as the following. And, by the way, no one, including me, has ever suggested that Cornwallis be removed from history books, just from public places of honour.

“He is the founder of this municipality, we can't escape that," said Coun. David Hendsbee. This past December, Hendsbee suggested the Cornwallis statue in downtown Halifax should be moved to the Halifax waterfront so more people could see it.

"It just seems to a lot that we're trying to revisit or rewrite history."

Motion regarding commemoration of Edward Cornwallis by Councilor Wayne Mason at a Halifax Regional council meeting held May 10, 2016

Motion for Council to Consider:

Request a staff report with recommendations regarding a public engagement process to review and advise Council regarding possible changes to the commemoration of Edward Cornwallis on municipal assets, including Cornwallis Park and Cornwallis Street.

Reason:

The discussions around commemoration of Edward Cornwallis have been underway for some time. The question of what do we do as a society with commemorative naming and assets that may have become unrepresentative of our present present values is a difficult conversation to have. It says good things about Halifax that we can have a mature and considerate discussion about an important and potentially divisive issue while continuing to listen and be respectful of other’s opinions.

Most recently:

Council is in receipt of a letter from the Mi’kmaq Native Friendship Centre date April 4, 2016 requesting the renaming of Cornwallis Street.

Council is in receipt of a letter from the Cornwallis Street Baptist Church dated supporting this request.

Honorable Stephen MacNeil, Premier of Nova Scotia, spoke in the House of Assembly on December 11, 2015 stating that HRM and Nova Scotia should work to find “Is there a way that we can ensure that we reflect our history and not having the founding people, the original people, the people in Mi’kmaq territory to be offended by how we reflect that history.”

Alan MacMaster MLA for Inverness re-iterated his request for the removal of the statue in Cornwallis park on that same day.

I had a meeting with some residents including representatives Acadien and Mi’kmaw communities on October 28, 2015 to discuss options regarding the park name and statue.

The possible name change and/or removal of the statue was a top issue during the public meeting regarding Cornwallis Park on May 28, 2014 and ongoing.

Outcome Sought:

A process for review of named assets that involves public engagement.

A letter of support by a member of the Halifax Jewish community, who is the daughter of a Holocaust survivor.

May 12, 2016

Dear Members of the Halifax City Council,

In my capacity as a Holocaust educator, who has been teaching courses on the history of the Holocaust for the last twenty years, I feel compelled to write to you to express my profound disappointment with the Council’s decision not to move on with removing the name of Edward Cornwallis from the city landmarks.

I am also a daughter of a Holocaust survivor, and the history of the Holocaust is my family history; in fact, I will be giving a keynote address at the Yom HaShoah commemoration ceremony in Moncton, NB, this Sunday. I am also an immigrant to Canada from Poland, who has always been grateful to this country and this province for allowing me and family an opportunity to live here and pursue our dreams.

It is difficult for me, however, to maintain pride as a Nova Scotian when I read about the terrible history of the Mi’kmaq. When Mi’kmaw scholars compare their history to the Holocaust, I know this is not just a hyperbole and a rhetorical device. During the war, my father was hunted down for five years, and he was one of very few family members who miraculously survived. From what I have read and heard, it is just as miraculous that there is a Mi’kmaq community in Nova Scotia today, which wants to reclaim its history and heritage, as well as its dignity. I want to commemorate my murdered relatives and continue their legacy through education, and I have been very lucky to be able to do so. I cannot imagine what it must be like to be denied this basic human right.

Regarding the naming of the streets, when the German army entered Kraków, where my grandparents lived, its first act was to rename the streets after German generals. My grandmother wrote in her diary what it was like for her to live on Goering Street instead of Szymanowskiego Street (named after a famous Polish composer). As you also know, the end of WWII ushered in communist terror in my native country. Again, all the streets and city parks were renamed after communist heroes – the founders of the new country, the Socialist Republic of Poland. One of the streets where my family lived was Dzierzynski Street. I know now that it was named after Feliks Dzierzynski, also known as „bloody Feliks,” with many crimes on his hands, committed in the name of the progress of mankind: apparently, they required „sacrifices on the slaughter-bench of history” (Hegel and Marx). In 1989, one of the first decrees of the new Solidarity government was to remove the names of murderers from city streets and parks, even though they were also very important historical figures. In fact, because of the re-naming and the publicity around it, for the first time, Poles were able to learn about their history truthfully and to come to terms with the past. They were also finally able to have an informed public debate about which parts of the nation’s past they can be proud of and should therefore preserve, also symbolically, as city landmarks – and which are disgraceful and should be taught in schools as lessons for the future. I would certainly not be able to live in Poland today in a house on either Goering or Dzierzynski street. By the way, the city of Stalingrad, one of the most important cities in Russia and the site of the historic battle during WWII (which marked the turning point in the struggle against Hitler) is now being renamed Volgograd, following the example of Leningrad, another major city and former capital of Russia, which was renamed Saint Petersburg in 1991. I fully recognize that Stalinist crimes, the Holocaust, and genocidal history of Indigenous peoples in Canada are distinct historical phenomena and should not be conflated. Yet there is a lot to be learnt when we look at one instance of historical injustice through the lens of another. Also, the histories may be have been very different, but, judging by my own response to the plight of the Nova Scotia Mi’kmaq, I can tell that the impact of the trauma across many generations can be very similar. These comparisons also confirm that history is a living, multifaceted process and not a relict, frozen in time.

I hope I have explained why this matter touches me personally, and in my role as an educator and an immigrant to this province. Please feel free to share this letter with whoever you believe might benefit from reading it. I would also be happy to appear at any public discussions or consultations, which I hope will be held in the near future, and I would appreciate an acknowledgement that you have received it. Sincerely,

Dorota Glowacka, Ph.D.
Professor of Humanities, Contemporary Studies Programme
University of King’s College
6350 Coburg Rd.
Halifax, NS B3H 1T1
CANADA

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CORNWALLIS - The Violent Birth of Halifax
Pottersfield Press, 2013 - ISBN 978-1-897426-48-7

Cornwallis - The Violent Birth of Halifax - By Jon Tattrie, Launched May 21, 2013

(Quoted from the back cover)

In June of 1749, Edward Cornwallis set into motion events that would determine the destiny of people across half a Continent. His actions in the following three years would also determine the future of not only Nova Scotia, but of the vast land that would become Canada.

To the Mi’kmaq people, the British governor brazenly stood on their ancestral home. For France, Cornwallis was entering “Acadie,” heartland of their territorial ambitions in the New World. For Cornwallis, and the British crown, it was Nova Scotia, a land he intended to claim in the flesh with his massive influx of soldiers and settlers.

Steeped in a brutal militaristic philosophy he learned in Scotland’s Battle of Culloden, Cornwallis devised a plan to force the Acadians and Mi’kmaq to swear loyalty to his king, be forced of the land or face massacre. His conquest of Nova Scotia laid the groundwork for the expulsion of the Acadians and created the conditions that allowed James Wolfe to claim final a victory over France on the Plains of Abraham. His conquest also pushed the Mi’kmaq to the brink of extinction.

Still and elusive, controversial figure today, Cornwallis’s full story has never been told. This biography uses his own words and draws on a range of resources to provide a detailed account of his life. It includes rare first-hand accounts of his childhood growing up with the future king of Britain, his rise in the military, his part in the suppression of Scotland’s Highland rebellion and his role in the birth of Halifax. It follows the military disasters that saw Cornwallis face the threat of his own execution and eventually his death in exile on Gibralter...

Jon Tattrie is a journalist and historical author whose ancestors arrived in Nova Scotia with Edward Cornwallis.

Click to read Canadian Encyclopedia Cornwallis Short Bio

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ATV Story

Click to read N.S. premier to discuss Cornwallis statue Mi'kmaq community says is racist

Letters to the Editor, December 17, 2015

Genocidal heritage

There is no point in debating with the old white men who hold an insupportable opinion that what the British Empire did in damaging and destroying civilizations around the world and decimating their populations was a form of generosity and kindness that we, the beneficiaries of their benevolence, are not grateful for. I must confess, I am among the most ungrateful.

The Mi’kmaq were fighting to protect their country, their lives, and to keep their culture intact. The colonial British were fighting to keep the land that they had stolen and to destroy Mi’kmaq culture. The British continued with their effort to assimilate our people out of existence, with more than a small measure of starvation thrown in, up until Confederation in 1867, at which time Canada enthusiastically took up the flame, with lots of malnutrition and other abuse thrown in, and vigorously pursued it until the late 1980s. Incidentally, all the aforementioned can be verified by using the Archives of Canada and Nova Scotia. Need one say more?

Daniel N. Paul, Mi’kmaw Saqmawiey (Eldering), Halifax

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The following letter I wrote to the Editor about the slow pace of Reconciliation initiated a series of seven Newspaper columns and a letter about the Cornwallis issue:

Halifax Chronicle Herald

VOICE OF THE PEOPLE (Letters to the Editor)

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Reconciliation when?

On Monday, I attended the robing of Nova Scotia Supreme Court Justice Lester Jesudason at a courtroom in Halifax. It did my heart good to see my friend, a person of colour, attain such a high office in this province. Perhaps, I thought, racial relations are really improving in Canada.

However, my feeling was short-lived. During the proceedings, I happened to glance out the window and saw the Canadian Coast Guard ship Edward Cornwallis sailing out of the harbour. The sighting almost ruined my day.

The history of British Governor Edward Cornwallis is well known, especially the cruelty his troops visited upon the wounded rebel soldiers during the Battle of Culloden and his efforts to exterminate the Mi'kmaq by paying bounties for the scalps of men, women and children.

Yet Canada and Nova Scotia continue to hold him high as a hero. Reconciliation? I don't think so. Continuing to honour this man is a slap in the face of the Mi'kmaq and other races of people upon whom he inflicted inhuman barbarities.

It's time to remove him from public honour, rename the ship, place his statue in a museum, and rename Cornwallis Park in honour of somebody highly esteemed by all - Ruth Goldbloom, for instance.

Cornwallis should not be erased from history books but he should be relegated to them exclusively.

Daniel L. Paul, Mi'kmaw Saqmawiey (Eldering)

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A response by John Canfield:

July 15, 2015

Selective interpretation

Context and balance are important in interpreting and understanding significant historical events. Daniel Paul's July 9 letter ("Reconciliation when?") in which he said that sighting "the Canadian Coast Guard Ship Edward Cornwallis sailing out the harbour ... almost ruined my day" reflects a selective interpretation of events and actions involving the founder of Halifax.

The 1740s and 1750s — prior to, during and following Cornwallis's tenure as governor of Nova Scotia/Acadia (1749-1752) — were a violent period in our history. All the antagonists, including the British and the Mi'kmaq and their French allies, were involved in the killing/scalping of non-combatants (including women and children). Mr. Paul lists Cornwallis's offences, but makes no reference to the numerous Mi'kmaw raids on the new British settlements at Halifax, Dartmouth and Lunenburg that resulted in the deaths of non-combatants. In brief, there was blood on all hands.

With reference to our world-renowned harbour and port, it is worth recalling the perseverance and contributions of those who established and built Halifax, one of Canada's most historical cities and one that has served as the nation's Atlantic sentinel over the centuries. Reconciliation? Constructive dialogue beats rewriting/re-engineering the past.

Len Canfield, Halifax

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The Chronicle Herald

Saturday, July 18, 2015

SCAPEGOATING CORNWALLIS, Who are we to judge history?

John Boileau is the author of several books and articles about Nova Scotia's history.

While conducting research for my 2012 book, Halifax and Titanic, I came across the following quote from Daniel Allen Butler, the American author of another Titanic book:

"There is something horribly hypocritical about passing judgment on another human being's actions from the comfort and safety of an armchair. Even more hypocritical is making moral pronouncements on others' actions having judged them by moral standards that they neither knew nor could conceive."

This phenomenon has become so common that it has even been given a name: "Presentism" is the anachronistic introduction of present-day ideas and perspectives into depictions or interpretations of the past.

I believe that's what Dan Paul has done in his July 9 letter ("Reconciliation When?"). His treatment of Edward Cornwallis (governor of Nova Scotia/Acadia from 1749 to 1752) is one-sided, unbalanced, revisionist and applies today's standards to 18th century colonial warfare.

Conquest and colonization did not suddenly begin around 1500 when Western Europeans commenced the founding of their overseas empires. Conquest was not just something undertaken by "dead white men." Many other races and ethnic groups established empires during the course of history.

Conquest and colonization date back to the time when humans first walked erect. Assyrians, Egyptians, Persians, Macedonians, Romans, Chinese, Arabs, Ashanti, Moguls, Mongols, Angles, Saxons, Normans, Incas, Aztecs, Zulus and Turks - to name but a few - invaded other regions, conquered locals and took over their areas for their own. Western Europeans are simply among the latest groups in this timeless march of conquest. This does not make it right; it is simply an indisputable fact of human history.

Outside the British House of Commons - the "Mother of Parliaments" - stands a magnificent equestrian statue of William the Conqueror. When the Norman duke invaded England in 1066, he expropriated Saxon property, replaced Saxon aristocratic, governmental, judicial and clerical elites and imposed Norman laws, language and way of life on the country. Many Saxons were driven away and many others died. Do we condemn him?

Thomas Jefferson was an American founding father, the principal author of the Declaration of Independence, the third president and one of the most intelligent men of his time and perhaps all time. Yet the man who coined the phrase "all men are created equal" believed that blacks were racially inferior and "as incapable as children." In his lifetime, he owned more than 600 slaves and even fathered six children to one of them, Sally Hemming. They remained slaves until they came of age. Do we condemn him?

Pre-contact native North and South Americans indulged in warfare, took prisoners and kept them as slaves for small-scale labour, where they were treated like animals: caged, beaten, tortured and starved. John Gyles was captured in present-day Maine in 1689 by Maliseet warriors and kept prisoner for nine years in today's New Brunswick. His journal provides a good description of slave life under the natives. Do we condemn the Maliseet?

What Hitler and his Nazi henchmen did was wrong today and wrong then: sending Jews and many other "undesirables" to concentration camps where millions died. What the Japanese did in creating the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere concurrently with Hitler's rise to power was wrong now and wrong then: invading and conquering much of East Asia, killing thousands of non-combatants, imprisoning Korean and Chinese females as "comfort women" to service soldiers sexually and treating prisoners of war (including Canadians) inhumanely through beatings, torture, starvation, denial of medicine and execution.

What Cornwallis did would be wrong today, but it was certainly accepted practice in 18th century colonial and other warfare. Atrocities were not just perpetrated against natives, but against white enemies as well, such as the English fighting the Scots.

By the treaty of 1726, the Mi'kmaq agreed not to attack any British settlements "already made or lawfully to be made." The founding of Halifax had the full backing of the British government through the Board of Trade and Plantations and was therefore legal. After meeting with Cornwallis personally, Mi'kmaq representatives promised to be friendly with the British. But it was the Mi'kmaq who broke both the treaty and their word when they attacked Halifax, Dartmouth and Lunenburg.

Is it possible that the Mi'kmaq were dupes of disgruntled Acadians, egged on by French officials who had been forced to leave mainland Nova Scotia for Cape Breton by the 1713 Treaty of Utrecht? Or were their actions the result of agitation by Abbé Jean-Louis Le Loutre, leader of the Acadian/Mi'kmaq resistance against the British? In a letter to the French Minister of the Marine, responsible for the colonies, Le Loutre wrote: "As we cannot openly oppose the English ventures, I think that we cannot do better than to incite the Mi'kmaq to continue warring on the English; my plan is to persuade the Mi'kmaq to send word to the English that they will not permit new settlements to be made in Acadia .... I shall do my best to make it look to the English as if this plan comes from the Mi'kmaq and that I have no part in it."

Cornwallis's orders in reaction to the raids were lawful at the time and he had full authority to issue them. The 18th century was a much harsher time than our own. Ordinary people were subject to a wide range of punishments for common crimes. Hanging was used not only for murderers, but also against perpetrators of property crimes. Children, youths, women and the mentally ill were not exempt from this punishment. C

laims of genocide of the Mi'kmaq made against Cornwallis simply do not hold up under scrutiny. For him to attempt to exterminate the entire Mi'kmaq race, he would have had to have jurisdiction over them. Yet Cornwallis's authority extended only over mainland Nova Scotia; the rest of traditional Mi'kmaq territory - Cape Breton, Prince Edward Island, eastern New Brunswick and parts of the Gaspé - remained firmly under French control until after Cornwallis departed.

The proposal to remove the statue of Cornwallis or remove his name from features is as silly as proposing the removal of the magnificent equestrian statue of William the Conqueror outside the British House of Commons. The Thomas Jefferson Memorial in Washington, D.C., is one of the finest monuments in that city. Similarly, the statue of Glooscap at Truro is a great tribute to the Mi'kmaq Creator. I am unaware of any movements by Saxons to remove William's statue, Afro-Americans to dismantle the Jefferson Memorial (or change the name of many cities named after him) or whites to take away the statue of Glooscap.

Rather than accuse Cornwallis, the blame - if there is any - should be focused on the laws of the times. But laws are not concrete objects, and it is much easier to demonize an individual than a concept. We cannot simply apply today's norms to the past. They would be incomprehensible to 18th century Europeans, who regarded all resources as theirs to be exploited.

After the founding of Port Royal in 1605, European diseases - especially smallpox, measles and tuberculosis - to which the Mi'kmaq had never before been exposed, devastated large segments of the native population whenever they struck, and they struck repeatedly, inflicting losses of 50 per cent or more. Additionally, changes in the Mi'kmaq diet resulting from more European foods weakened their resistance to common diseases they could have shrugged off earlier.

Both French and Mi'kmaq noticed the association between contact and a decline in native population, even if they did not initially identify the cause. Membertou, the great Mi'kmaq chief, told Acadian chronicler Marc Lescarbot that when he was young, his people had been "as thickly planted there as the hairs upon his head," but since the arrival of the French, their numbers had diminished dramatically. The comparable course of action to removing Cornwallis's statue is to destroy the Port Royal Habitation near Granville Ferry, where the French occupation of Nova Scotia started.

Additional thousands of Mi'kmaq deaths followed as a result of the disastrous French attempt to retake Louisbourg from the New Englanders who had captured it in 1745. The fleet sent the next year, under the Duc d'Anville, anchored at Birch Cove in Bedford Basin, where hundreds of sick and dying Frenchmen were put ashore to recover. Thousands of Mi'kmaq caught their diseases and spread them throughout the province. Between one-third and one-half of the entire aboriginal population of mainland Nova Scotia may have died during the fall and winter of 1746-47; thousands more than were killed under Cornwallis's edicts.

Obviously, the only appropriate action is to dismantle Fortress Louisbourg, as its recapture was the reason why D'Anville's fleet came here. And while we're at it, let's destroy Fort Beauséjour and any other remnants or reminders of the European conquest and colonization of Canada. Next, let's move on to the United States, Central America, the Caribbean, South America and anywhere else Europeans colonized.

I personally deplore what happened to the Mi'kmaq, but no one can change it. If we eradicate Cornwallis's name, where do we ever stop?

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Halifax Chronicle Herald

COUNTERPOINT

Cornwallis knew right from wrong:

JON TATTRIE

Saturday, July 25, 2015

I write to refute the central idea of John Boileau's misinformed July 18 opinion piece, "Scapegoating Cornwallis: Who are we to judge history?"

Leaving aside the tired argument that the Mi'kmaq defending their land could only have been "egged on" by the French and were somehow unable to think for themselves, I'll crush Boileau's argument that "today's norms ... would be incomprehensible to 18th century Europeans."

First, it's curious that Boileau ignores my 2013 biography of Edward Cornwallis (Cornwallis: The Violent Birth of Halifax). I know he knows about it, as he attended a talk I gave to professors and academics at the Dalhousie University Club. Before my talk, Boileau delivered a sizzling four-minute putdown of my work on Cornwallis. I suspect he ignored my biography in his opinion piece as he knows it blows away his dusty argument.

When Cornwallis joined the 1746 British mission to destroy Bonnie Prince Charlie's Highland uprising, the British leadership debated the ethics of the proposed pacification of Scotland.

John Campbell, the Earl of Loudon and a peer of Cornwallis, argued against the tactics of indiscriminate rape and murder. He said the distinction between a Jacobite rebel and a loyal-to-the-Crown Highlander was "too fine for me to observe" and that the pacification would destroy as many loyal subjects as it did rebels.

After Cornwallis founded Halifax, he issued the scalping proclamation in 1749. His bosses at London's Board of Trade wrote to him in February 1750 to remind him that his mission was primarily about making money, not killing enemies. The board supported the morality of his actions, but suggested he try the "gentler methods and offers of peace."

Cornwallis ignored this advice for two years before dropping the attempted genocide in favour of trade.

Finally, Cornwallis was involved in two courts martial in the 1750s after two military misadventures. The second court martial resulted in the execution of Admiral John Byng, the leader of the failed rescue of Minorca. Cornwallis was in London when his regiment on Minorca was surrounded by the French. He was sent with Byng to relieve them.

But Cornwallis voted with Byng to abandon the mission and left his regiment behind French lines.

The French writer Voltaire watched in amazed amusement. In his 1759 satirical novel Candide, he says the British killed Byng "because he did not kill a sufficient number of men himself" and, famously, because the British thought it wise "to kill one admiral to encourage the others."

Voltaire - an 18th century European, let's remember - further mocked the armies fighting across Europe as "a million regimented assassins, from one extremity of Europe to the other, (who) get their bread by disciplined depredation and murder."

So Edward Cornwallis was certainly familiar with contemporary moral (and economic) arguments against tactics like the scalping proclamation. If John Boileau wants to join Cornwallis in defending the scalping proclamation, let him put forward a factual argument. He can't just rewrite history to suit his personal feelings.

Jon Tattrie is the author of Cornwallis: The Violent Birth of Halifax.

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Halifax Chronicle Herald

Let's not honour barbarism European invaders superior to Mi'kmaq only in weaponry

DANIEL N. PAUL

Saturday, July 25, 2015

In recent issues of this newspaper, Len Canfield disparages my knowledge about history and decides to give me a lesson (July 15 letter) and another, John Boileau, has decided that, because I advocate something that is not identical to his views, my position is "silly" (July 18 opinion piece).

I find both a bit offensive. But after living in this country for 76 years, I've grown used to expecting such comments when a person of colour dares to express an opinion that is not Eurocentric. Such is the case when I provide a Mi'kmaw perspective in reference to the horrific deeds of Halifax's founder, Governor Edward Cornwallis.

Before proceeding, I want to provide some background. When I wrote the first edition of We Were Not the Savages in 1993 - a book about Mi'kmaq-European relations - I entitled it so because of the barbarities that Europeans had inflicted upon one another prior to 1492 and well into modern times. People of colour were subjected to these cruelties after 1492, when Europeans went abroad "discovering," robbing and destroying the civilizations of non-Caucasian peoples.

The leadership of the European countries that quickly involved themselves in the invasions of the lands of people of colour, located on five continents, were well prepared for such an undertaking.

The following is what you would have found in such countries as England, France, Spain, Portugal, Germany, etc., at that time:

The Europeans had been engaged in wars with each other that had raged off and on for untold centuries, and the animosity probably dated back to the time when they began to develop their cultures. This war-making mentality caused them to work constantly and to expend much of their resources to invent armaments that they could use to more efficiently kill one another, which by 1492 made them the best-armed people in the world. Thus, when they used their horrendous war-making capabilities on the indigenous citizens of the civilizations of the Americas, Africa, Asia and Australia, it was no contest. The people of these continents were slaughtered with impunity and their properties confiscated without compensation.

They were ruled over by brutal aristocrats, who often plotted and schemed against one another and often unseated a ruling relative and executed him or her.

They used humans as work animals (slavery).

Women and children were not much more than the chattels of men.

They had corrupt judges and magistrates to convict people, many of whom were more often than not innocent, of what were then capital crimes such as murder, theft, witchcraft, heresy, etc. Then they executed their victims by burning at the stake, hanging, decapitation, pressing, and other barbaric methods. These executions were public affairs and public attendance was often mandatory. To add to the effort to keep citizens terrorized and subservient, the heads of the executed were often placed on display on spikes on bridges and other locations, and the bodies of the hanged were often left for crows and vultures to feast upon.

European countries were rife with bedlams, where living conditions were mostly abhorrent. They were created to house the mentally ill and many sane, elderly, unwanted relatives of heartless individuals were often interned in them. The main function of these establishments was to segregate, not to cure. Some aristocrats took pleasure in visiting them on Sundays for entertainment.

Debtors' prisons were well-used. Families of debtors were often left to starve. In We Were Not the Savages, I included an instance of such in Annapolis Royal.

Starvation and malnutrition were common among the poor.

Also common was castrating young boys with sweet voices to preserve their voices longer for the enjoyment of the aristocrats and the empowered.

Greed was rampant. Although professing to follow the teachings of the Christian God, greed for the accumulation of worldly goods and power over others were the overriding motivating factors propelling European culture forward. Many would agree that it still is the main engine.

Europeans were members of a class system that mandated that those at the lowest levels bow and scrape and pay homage to their "betters," level by level, up to the king or queen, who had only God above them.

I don't think very many readers would contribute large amounts of cash to a scientist in the hope that he or she would invent a time machine that would send them back to enjoy the "pleasures" of that European era.

In contrast, let's take a look at Mi'kmaq society of that time - and I'm not making reference to the Incas, Aztecs, or any of the other hundreds of cultures that existed in the Americas in 1492.

Leaders were appointed by the people. The Mi'kmaq had child care, adoptions, and women and children were treated with respect. If a couple didn't click, divorce was available. Honour and sharing were the cornerstones of the society - greed was practically unknown. Food was plentiful; no one went hungry. The Mi'kmaq likely had one of the highest standards of living in the world. There were no slaves, no burnings at the stake, no hangings, no bedlams, no debtors' prisons, no terrorism, etc. Above all, there was no class system - no "betters" among them.

Conclusion: When Europeans invaded the Americas and used the following rationale for their barbaric behaviour - they had a Christian duty to "civilize" the indigenous peoples of the two continents - it was a case of what some would label the uncivilized trying to civilize the civilized (unless one uses the ability to conduct warfare and an inhuman warlike mentality as the standard for civilization).

A short quote from a 1867 speech by the Honourable Joseph Howe: "The Indians who fought your forefathers were open enemies, and had good reason for what they did. They were fighting for their country, which they loved, as we have loved it in these latter years ... "

I agree with Canfield that the British issued proclamations for the scalps of Mi'kmaq men, women and children on two occasions: 1744 and 1749. The French also issued a scalp proclamation for the scalps, or capture, of British soldiers. However, there is no evidence whatsoever that the Mi'kmaq chiefs ever met and issued such a decree.

When reading the history of the period, I have often seen evidence that British civilians were also afraid of the bounty hunters that were organized by British officialdom to collect Mi'kmaw scalps. When the opportunity arose, they sometimes collected the scalps of Caucasians. By 1751, there were three British militias collecting scalps.

Now, for Boileau: the inaccuracies in his piece are many.

He states the Mi'kmaq were a conquered people. The Peace and Friendship treaties the British signed with our people paint his statement as false.

Although the British treacherously entered into them as a means to pacify our people until such time as they could be overcome, the fact is that there is no land concession in them. The Supreme Court of Canada has ruled these treaties to be valid and, consequently, talks are underway between the Mi'kmaq, Canadian and Nova Scotia governments over a settlement.

I believe the William the Conqueror statue that he states sits outside the British House of Parliament is actually that of King Richard I (the Lionheart).

He states that there is no movement in England to remove the statue of him from its perch. If it were William, he would be absolutely correct; why should there be?

William was a foreign invader, but that matters little. He spoke no English because English at the time was a developing language, and he wasn't the only king of England who could speak no English, simply because that throne has often been occupied by non-English-speaking individuals. The royal families of Europe often arranged marriages between their relatives to cement alliances, etc.

The cruelty the British used to subjugate and then degrade the Mi'kmaq vividly demonstrates that their policy of ridding the province of them never deviated from 1713 till Canada's founding in 1867. However, their genocidal effort in Nova Scotia wasn't unusual; they used the same barbarism subjugating other First Nations in all of their North American colonies.

The records show that many lofty English officials were very imaginative in finding ways to achieve their evil goals.

Among them, germ warfare. The following is an excellent example of their racist mentality in action. In July 1763, General Jeffery Amherst, the commander-in-chief of British forces in North America, sent a memo to Colonel Henry Bouquet, a Huguenot in the service of England, asking: "Could it not be contrived to send the Smallpox among the disaffected Tribes of Indians?"

Bouquet replied: "I will try to inoculate the Indians with some blankets that may fall into their hands, and take care not to get the disease myself."

Amherst answered: "You will do well to try to inoculate the Indians by means of blankets." Amherst's contempt for the Indians is amply reflected in his journals and correspondence, though it may perhaps be doubted whether he was more bigoted than the average official of his time.

As for Glooscap, the Mi'kmaq Creator? Where in the name of heavens did that come from? Glooscap was the mythical helper of the Great Spirit, not Him.

By the way, I believe it would be very difficult to find a well-informed African American in the United States who would not love to see the Jefferson statue come down and the Jefferson/Davis Highway renamed, along with many other white supremacist items on display.

In view of what happened in Charleston, S.C., it will be most difficult to realize. In that state, it took the deaths of nine innocent black people to get the Confederate flag off of the State Capitol grounds, and even then it happened with much Caucasian opposition.

There was nothing noble about the Confederate cause. Its aim was to continue with the horrific practice of using humans as unpaid work animals, yet a great many Caucasians still hold it in high esteem!

Boileau's suggestion that the Mi'kmaq were dupes of the Acadiens and priests and were not intelligent enough to recognize that they had to fight the British to attempt to preserve their civilization is not worthy of comment.

I will say this: both Canfield and Boileau should read We Were Not the Savages. Perhaps then they can speak with knowledge of the horrors that were visited upon the Mi'kmaq by the British.

In the final analysis, the British, French and other Europeans had no business being in the Americas in the first place "discovering" properties, artifacts, slaves, destroying civilizations, etc., in an attempt to satisfy the insatiable greed of their elites.

My hat always goes off to my ancestors who fought valiantly, in the face of what proved to be insurmountable odds, to protect their country, freedom and democracy against a people that knew no mercy. Just keep in mind that because of racism, we lived in abject poverty and with very little legal recourse in this province and country until recent times.

In any event, Mr. Canfield and Mr. Boileau: If I came to your houses with an army and "discovered" them and your property and other wealth and claimed it all as my own, and you had no other recourse, would you not be inclined to use all methods at your command to fight to repel me?

Let's not honour barbarism. Cornwallis should not be erased from history books, but, because of what he did, he should be relegated to them exclusively.

Mi'kmaw Elder Daniel N. Paul is the author of several books, chapters and forwards for several others, a book reviewer, and writer of hundreds of newspaper columns, magazine stories, etc. He is a member of the Orders of Canada and of Nova Scotia. He has lectured at many universities in North America, high schools and elsewhere.

NOTE: Malnutrition and abject poverty was rampant among First Nations Peoples well into the late 1900s.

To read about a sample click First Nations Eighty Year Timeline, 1938 - 2018 

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‘Let's build on common ground'

JON TATTRIE

Monday February 1, 2016

For a generation of Nova Scotians, the Edward Cornwallis statue debate has been stuck in a Groundhog's Day loop of argument and counter-argument.

Here's my plan for how we get past that in 2016.

First, let's approach the discussion with an attitude of love and respect. I spent a year researching Cornwallis before publishing Cornwallis: The Violent Birth of Halifax in 2013. I've spent the last three years giving public talks across Nova Scotia and, more importantly, listening to people.

From the small group who attended my rainy-night talk in Bridgewater, to the hundreds who came out at the Rockingham Historical Society, the vast majority wants to find a way forward that respects both Mi'kmaq and European culture in this land.

Let's build on that common ground.

Second, let's just admit that the debate is not about the man who was born in England in 1713, spent a long career in the British military and civil service, and then died on Gibraltar in 1776. He's dead.

The debate is about a statue and about how we talk about Mi'kmaq and European histories in this land.

The statue of Edward Cornwallis was built in 1931. The statue drive was led by a man called Archibald MacMechan, a Dalhousie professor. MacMechan wrote that "men of English blood all the world over are accustomed to feel and give voice to a just pride in the achievements of their race, as a colonizing power." MacMechan called Cornwallis a "true patriot," sharply contrasted to the "wild Indians" whom he described as "children of the forest."

Cornwallis, he argued, fought off the "native race, whose cruelty and cunning were a proverb."

Back then, ideas of race, racial purity and white supremacy were common and rarely challenged. Out west, Tommy Douglas argued for eugenics via the forced sterilization of people with "sub-normal" intelligence.

Halifax city council gave $2,500 out of the public purse to pay for the $20,000 statue. Cornwallis Park was designed to compel all visitors to walk toward the statue and pass under its feet.

In 1993, Dan Paul published We Were Not the Savages and suddenly we heard a loud and clear Mi'kmaq perspective on Cornwallis. The Chronicle-Herald made it front-page news and letter writers 23 years ago argued it was "ludicrous to blame those living today for events of 200 to 300 years ago" and another said "we shouldn't rewrite history."

A small group of people still repeat those arguments every time Cornwallis's name comes up, and still fail to understand we're not talking about the past - we're talking about the present and the future.

I've yet to see anyone defend the statue on the grounds the statue was raised by. I've yet to read anyone make the case on the grounds that Cornwallis represents something that Halifax wants to honour today by literally keeping him on a pedestal.

We've rightly rejected the widespread racism of the 1930s. It's time to take down the statue. For many, many people, the statue is a hurtful tribute to a Canada that sought to eradicate Mi'kmaq people first physically through the scalping proclamation and then, when that failed, culturally through the residential schools, the reserve system, and many other tools.

Today's Mi'kmaq millennials are likely the first generation since Canada was founded that do not have a government actively trying to destroy their culture.

We have the truth. It's time for the reconciliation.

Moving the statue to a museum will make life better in Nova Scotia. First, it'll allow Edward Cornwallis to speak freely. As we'll see next week, we'll learn some surprising things about him, and about the world he emerged from.

Second, it'll greatly enrich life for white Nova Scotians by introducing them to the power of what the Mi'kmaq call two-eyed seeing. We'll look at that in the third and final column.

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What we can learn from Cornwallis if we listen

Jon Tattrie

Monday, February 8, 2016

Once we've relocated the Edward Cornwallis statue to a museum, Halifax's founder can finally speak freely. We'll learn a lot from what he has to say.

Cornwallis spent the first half of his career leading armed groups of men to commit state terrorism in the form of mass murders, rape and expulsion. For that, his king rewarded him with praise, money, and important jobs.

Cornwallis spent the second half of his career preventing disastrous military misadventures and preserving the lives of his soldiers. For that, his king arrested him, embroiled him in court martials, killed his commander and eventually exiled him.

Staunch defenders of the statue regularly say Cornwallis's actions in Nova Scotia happened in a "much harsher time." But they stop there. The statue forces them to - there's hardly any room at all on that plaque.

In our museum, we can go further and figure out why Cornwallis's world was so much harsher.

In researching Cornwallis: The Violent Birth of Halifax, I read every letter Cornwallis wrote from Halifax to his bosses in London, and every letter they wrote to him. I read three years' worth of council-meeting minutes and each proclamation council issued, from dealing with illegal rum to burying dead strangers.

His statue makes no mention of his scalping proclamation, yet it was the cornerstone of his plans for Nova Scotia. From 1749 to 1752, he spoke openly (even proudly) of his plans to kill and harass Mi'kmaq humans until they left Nova Scotia. He wrote to his bosses explaining what he intended to do, informed council and posted the proclamation around Halifax. He spent public funds to buy the scalps when his actions were carried out.

For this, he earned the full support of the king, his bosses in London and Halifax council. His aggressive actions in the 1746 Pacification of Scotland, and his preparation for the 1755 Expulsion of the Acadians, likewise earned him praise and promotions.

But when, in 1756, he was told to attack French troops at Minorca to win the island back to British control, he looked at the situation first hand and concluded an attack "would have looked more like a bravado than any real intention to the service."

So he supported a tactical retreat to avoid pointlessly killing many of his soldiers (not to mention the French soldiers). For that, he was arrested and charged with failing to carry out orders. He was court martialed, but not convicted. His commander, Admiral John Byng, was convicted and shot dead on the deck of his ship in front of his crew (and possibly Cornwallis).

The next year, Cornwallis's undemocratic government again ordered him to attack a French target (Rochefort). Again, he assessed it first hand and said that in his expert opinion, attacking it "would be dangerous, almost impracticable and madness in a manner to attempt it."

He supported a retreat so as to not see his soldiers die in a foolhardy mission.

His commander was again court martialed for failing to attack, and Cornwallis was forced to testify as a witness. He escaped without official punishment, but his king removed him from all royal posts and sent him into exile as governor of Gibraltar.

So our imaginary museum exhibit built around the statue of Edward Cornwallis can tell this story of his two lives. From that, we can learn why Cornwallis's Britain was so harsh: the king rewarded people who acted with ruthless violence and sidelined those who did not.

And we learn that is the problem with anti-democratic governments like Britain's in the 1700s. It was designed to serve the interests of the elite and took no account of the majority of people. Then, we can understand why responsible government and extending the vote were such important advances in our civilization.

Next week, we'll complete our plans for 2016 by seeing how embracing our land's Mi'kmaq identity will make it a cooler, more interesting and happier place to live.

Jon Tattrie is the author of Cornwallis: The Violent Birth of Halifax.

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DeMONT: Here's why Cornwallis statue deserves the wrecking ball

By JOHN DEMONT Local XPress

May 14, 2016

I was as stumped as the next person to learn that city council rejected Halifax South Downtown councillor Wayne Mason’s proposal to discuss if the name of Edward Cornwallis, our controversial founder, should remain on municipal landmarks.

This, after all, was the same assembly that last year managed to summon the collective will to approve the donair as Halifax’s official food.

The question of whether a statue, school, street or other public spaces should be named after Barbarous Eddy, a man who green-lit the slaughter of not only our First Peoples but also the clansfolk of the Scottish Highlanders who later settled this province?

Well, here’s what Coun. Linda Mosher (Halifax West Armdale) had to say: “He’s the founder of Halifax, and we’re a municipal government, and we’re just going to whitewash it all? We can’t do that.”

Now, councils are complex beasts. It is quite possible that a decision to shoot down a proposal presented and supported by representatives from centre-of-the-universe peninsular Halifax is more due to politics than policy.

That would make me feel a lot better about the whole thing.

If the decision, on the other hand, is supposed to be a laudable one because it respects the immutability of history, well, I have to side with Mark Twain, who calls the very ink with which the story of the past is written “fluid prejudice.”

I guess I have to throw my lot in with Napoleon Bonaparte, who calls history “but a fable agreed upon.”

It is no easy thing to impose order on the chaos of life, which is what history tries to do. Yet, facts are always, to a certain degree, works of someone’s imagination. A story emerges — but it is always subject to reinterpretation as time goes on.

A statue, on the other hand, isn’t even history. It’s a symbol that has value because of the human meaning assigned to it.

Cornwallis — hand on sword, gaze uplifted, chin thrust defiantly forward — stares west from a park on Barrington Street because every place wants a heroic creation myth. If, for a chunk of society, he’s a reminder of something terrible that happened, well, then I think it’s time for the wrecking ball. The truth is that he had blood on his hands before he arrived in the great harbour, known by the Mi’kmaq as Chebucto. In his book Cornwallis, the Violent Birth of Halifax, Jon Tattrie tells all about his role in the Battle of Culloden — the last gasp of the Jacobite revolt and the Scottish Highland way of life — in which Bonnie Prince Charlie and his bedraggled army met the redcoats at Inverness.

A thousand Jacobite soldiers died in less than 20 minutes on the moor that day. The leader of the English forces, William, the Duke of Cumberland, who would become known as Butcher for the atrocities that followed, ordered Cornwallis and James Wolfe, the conqueror of Montcalm on the Plains of Abraham, to hunt down the fleeing Highlanders.

With relish, Cornwallis followed orders directing his troops to murder, rape, burn and pillage all through the western Highlands.

One particular incident will leave you in despair for the human race: at one hamlet, Cornwallis sent his troops in to clear out the houses and assemble the Scots in the open fields.

The women were raped one by one in front of their bound husbands. Their rapists then hauled the women to their feet and held them there, helpless, as they shot and bayoneted every man and boy in the village. Then the women were dispatched too.

So I imagine that a statue in his honour would have boiled the blood of every Cameron or MacDonald who, by Cumberland’s order, suffered under the sword of Cornwallis’s troops.

What, for example, would Angus MacDonald, Hugh MacDonald and John MacPherson, whose names are on a cairn commemorating the battle that stands on a windswept shore on the Northumberland Strait, have thought spying such a statue?

The trio, born in Moidart, Scotland, fought for Prince Charlie at Culloden, which they somehow survived. Later, joining the exodus from Scotland following the Highland clearances, they landed in what would become Antigonish County, where their kin still live.

We all know that the lessons of Culloden were not lost on Cornwallis when it came time to devise a plan to take control of Nova Scotia for the British Crown. Rather than declare war on the Mi’kmaq — with the Acadians engaged in a bloody conflict to resist British colonization — he promised a reward of 10 guineas for every scalp.

It is hard reading to see how this unleashed pent-up bloodlust as uniformed rangers, volunteers and adventurers searched the woods around Halifax for Mi’kmaq to slaughter.

I’ll be honest with you: I knew none of this when I attended Cornwallis Junior High School, since renamed Halifax Central Junior High. I imagine neither did the folks who decided to put the Mi’kmaw Native Friendship Centre on the corner of Gottingen and Cornwallis streets.

In a city as steeped in history as Halifax, you’d frankly think there would be lots of names from the past worthy of public recognition.

Developer Wadih Fares, I notice, didn’t have to look far when he decided to christen the streets in his new Rockingham development.

He chose the names of prominent Nova Scotia women ranging from Marie Marguerite Rose, who played a key role in freeing black slaves here, to Theresa MacNeil, who entered the workforce after her husband died — leaving her to raise 17 kids — and became the first female high sheriff ever in Canada.

I will say that it is a nice gesture and that these are Nova Scotians who deserve every honour they get. Then I will just leave it at that.

John DeMont is an author and a columnist for Local Xpress. His Latest Book is A Good Day's Work: In Pursuit of a Disappearing Canada

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Our past has many worthy heroes

JOHN DEMONT

Wednesday August 23, 2017

Statues, it becomes more clear every day, aren't just chunks of artfully hewn stone. Nor, in my opinion, are they mainly about fidelity to the past.

The controversies surrounding them, now extending as far as Charlottesville, Va. and as near as Halifax, show that statues are objects onto which we project our values, however virtuous or dubious they might be.

Don't take my word for it. In 2013 Saint Mary's University history professor John Reid read a paper about the founder of Halifax before the Royal Nova Scotia Historical Society.

"The historical memory of Cornwallis that was symbolized by the statue was governed not by history," he concluded, "but by a potent mixture of imperialism, a racially charged triumphalism based on the savagery-civilization binary, state promotion, and an economic agenda."

His argument is that the sentiment the statue expressed - that an Englishman could defeat a "childlike" savage any old time- was pure colonial imperialist bunk. And that the only motivation the Canadian National Railway had in 1931 when it put up most of the dough for the statue, was to spiff up the property it owned across from the railway station and hotel it had built on Hollis Street.

Now, everyone's got an opinion on the Cornwallis statue: leave it where it is on Barrington Street with some sort of explanatory plaque about Cornwallis's bloody ways; move it to some less-public space; bring in the wrecking ball.

I have the utmost confidence in the collective wisdom of the committee struck to determine the statue's future. So I'm going to leave that matter for now to mull another question: If not Cornwallis, who?

I have no problem with the figure of Robbie "A Man's a Man for a' that" Burns in Victoria Park on South Park Street, other than it makes no real sense in a city and province when so many folks of note don't merit a plaque, let alone a full-blown effigy.

The captains of industry like Samuel Cunard, or their descendants, can pay for their own statues as far as I'm concerned.

It is good on the other hand to see some public money going into a monument being built to honour women volunteers during the Second World War.

But to counter the Cornwallis statue I would love to someday see an image of Port Royal-born Joseph Broussard, also known as Beausoleil, the Acadian Che Guevara.

Beausoleil led the Acadian and Mi'kmaq militias against the English during the same year that Cornwallis was issuing his infamous scalping decree.

Then, after Acadia was lost, he led the first Acadians to Louisiana, where he also became a hero. (His Louisiana blood line lives on through such modern-day descendants such as Beyonce Knowles and her sister Solange.)

If Cornwallis got the nod then, perhaps so should Chief Jean Baptist Cope, who negotiated long and hard to mitigate the indignities suffered by the M'ikmaq while they were being overwhelmed by the English newcomers in the early 19th century.

How about one for mariners for the ages like Captain Savalette, the Basque whaler whom Samuel de Champlain - who has his own statue at the reconstructed Port Royal fortress - wrote of meeting in Canso at the turn of the 15th century? The hardy captain had crossed the Atlantic 83 times by 1565, the year Champlain was born.

How about some statuary for seamen like Joshua Slocum, the first person to singlehandedly sail around the world, or seawomen like Bessie Hall, who, at 20, became the first woman to captain a boat across the Atlantic when her father and his crew collapsed in a small-pox induced delirium after leaving New Orleans for Liverpool, England.

There's Nova Scotia understatement to that woman, who then returned home to live a quiet land-lubbing life raising her kids in Annapolis Royal.

Just as there is for the wonderfully named May Virtue, a Salvation Army nurse who reportedly became Halifax's first policewoman in 1917. She spent nearly two decades walking the beat in uniform with her friend Bessie Egan - at one time a child protection worker and evangelist, a champion of the poor and downtrodden - helping the city's working classes.

Mercifully we've already got one for Joe Howe, arguably the greatest man in our history.

But I'd love to see a statue for Donald Marshall Jr., who helped root out the prejudice in our legal system and then fought for the rights of our first peoples.

Just like we need something more than a sign in a cemetery to commemorate what Viola Desmond, our Rosa Parks long before Rosa Parks was Rosa Parks, did.

While we are at it, what about something to remind us of the feats of our greatest privateer, Joseph Barrs. At the wheel of the Liverpool Packet during the War of 1812, all he did was capture 50 American vessels in 10 months.

I could, truthfully, go on and on. Heroes, men and women destined to lead bigger lives than the rest of us, have always strutted across the land in this place. Tell me which of them you think is deserving of their own statue. I'll pass the names along.

We'll keep the conversation going.

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Gov. Edward Cornwallis
Crimes Against Humanity

NOTE: Before getting into the ethnic cleansing of the Mi’kmaq that Governor Edward Cornwallis attempted in Nova Scotia during the 1750s, I want you to read the following quotes from a Associated Press story about the capture of Ratko Mladic, Europe’s most-wanted war criminal. The similarities between the reaction of the minority of Serbs who continue to idolize him as a hero, despite the overwhelming evidence against him, and the many defenders of Governor Edward Cornwallis, despite the overwhelming evidence against him, is striking!

Mladic captured at last

After 16 years, the most-wanted war criminal in Europe is found
By DUSAN STOJANOVIC The Associated Press
Fri, May 27, 2011

AFTER 16 YEARS on the run, a frail and haggard Ratko Mladic was hauled before a judge Thursday — the first step in facing charges for international war crimes, including the slaughter of 8,000 Muslim men and boys in the Bosnian town of Srebrenica in 1995....

Mladic, 69, was one of the world’s most-wanted fugitives. He was the top commander of the Bosnian Serb army during Bosnia’s 1992-95 war, which killed more than 100,000 people and drove another 1.8 million from their homes. Thousands of Muslims and Croats were killed, tortured or driven out in a campaign to purge the region of non-Serbs.

He was accused by the UN International Criminal Tribunal in The Hague, Netherlands, of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes for the massacre of Muslims by Bosnian Serb forces in eastern Bosnia and the relentless four-year siege of Sarajevo....

Judge Fouad Riad of the UN tribunal said there was evidence against Mladic of "unimaginable savagery."

"Thousands of men executed and buried in mass graves, hundreds of men buried alive, men and women mutilated and slaughtered, children killed before their mothers’ eyes, a grandfather forced to eat the liver of his own grandson," Riad said during Mladic’s 1995 indictment in absentia.

International law experts hope the arrest will send a message to figures like Libya’s Moammar Gadhafi that no leader charged with a war crime can expect to escape justice forever.

"Impunity has really been withdrawn from war criminals," said Richard Goldstone, the prosecutor in the 1995 indictment. "It’s a very different world, and the prospects of them standing trial one day have been heightened considerably."

U.S. President Barack Obama, meeting with other world leaders at the G8 summit in France, hailed the arrest.

"May the families of Mladic’s victims find some solace in today’s arrest, and may this deepen the ties among the people of the region," he said.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said it marked "an important step in our collective fight against impunity."....

The Serbian Radical Party called Mladic a "hero" and described his seizure as "one of the hardest moments in Serbian history." The extreme-right group 1389 said the arrest was "treason."

Hundreds of pro-Mladic demonstrators in the northern city of Novi Sad tried to break into the offices of the governing Democratic Party but were prevented by riot police. At least two people were reported injured.

President Boris Tadic appeared jubilant at a news conference announcing Mladic’s capture.

"We have ended a difficult period of our history and removed the stain from the face of Serbia and the members of our nation wherever they live," he said...."

They didn’t even wake us up," said a resident who identified himself only as Zoran for fear of retaliation.

He and other residents of the village of 2,000 people insisted they had no idea Mladic was living in their midst — not that they would have minded.

"I’m furious," Zoran said. "They arrested our hero."

Many residents came out to defend Mladic, waving Serb and Russian flags on Lazarevo’s narrow tree-lined streets. They blocked the road with a trailer, demanded that no camera lenses be pointed at the house, and told journalists to leave. A sign reading "Mladic Hero" rose at the entrance of the village.....

The arrest releases Serbia from the widespread suspicion it was protecting Mladic. UN war crimes prosecutor Serge Brammertz was due next month to give the world body a report critical of Serbia’s lack of co-operation with the hunt for Mladic and other fugitives.

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NOTE: The following is what Robert Jackson, chief American prosecutor at the Nuremberg Trials, had to say about genocidal behaviour:"

"No regime bent on exterminating another peoples will describe their intent in so many words, since such intent is imbedded in the very operation of the system of extermination. On the contrary, the actions of the agencies of murder are enough proof of such intent, and therefore when the transporting of people into the conditions of disease and death is condoned and facilitated by a government, and when these crimes are concealed from the scrutiny of the world of the same government or other agencies, it can be safely asserted that this regime intends to annihilate the targeted people and is guilty before the world of crimes against humanity."

Bassam Imam: February 1, 2011

Any person who believes in a just GOD, a person with an atom's worth of dignity and morality, would rename Cornwallis Park. He, Cornwallis, ordered the extermination of full-fledged human beings like us who had a GOD-given right to live on their own lands justly, peacefully, and without being slaughtered, persecuted, tortured, unjustly demonized or otherwise treated badly.

BRITISH SCALP PROCLAMATIONS
1749 AND 1750

When Governor Edward Cornwallis and his entourage founded Halifax in 1749, it was during a lull in the war with the Mi'kmaq. In fact, the Mi'kmaq greeted them with hospitality. One settler wrote home: "When we first came here, the Indians, in a friendly manner, brought us lobsters and other fish in plenty, being satisfied for them by a bit of bread and some meat."

I’ve (Daniel N. Paul) often be told by die hard believer in the goodness and greatness of the British Empire that what Governor Edward Cornwallis did in 1749, issuing a proclamation for the scalps of the Mi’kmaq, was out of the ordinary for actions instigated by them against the Indigenous Peoples of North America, in fact the practice was widespread.

Example: February 20, 1725, the earliest recorded scalps were taken in New Hampshire, when white bounty hunters killed 10 sleeping natives.

During the1500s and early 1600s British colonial officials began the process of ethnic cleansing Great Britain’s North American colonies of their Indigenous populations by offering bounties for the heads of murdered Indigenous people. During the Pequot War in the 1630s, they began to offer payments for their scalps. However, scalping laws, which offered bounties for Indigenous scalps, weren’t officially included in the laws of the British American colonies until the mid-1660s.

The Mi'kmaq, although Cornwallis blamed it on the French, began to leave the area when he started to display designs against their land. At a meeting held in Cape Breton in the early fall of 1749 a British emissary told the Chiefs about their settlement plans for the province, which gravely alarmed the Mi'kmaq. Professor Jeffrey Plank, university of Cincinnati, remarks on the subject:

"...if the Micmac chose to resist his expropriation of land, the governor intended to conduct a war unlike any that had been fought in Nova Scotia before. He outlined his thinking in an unambiguous letter to the Board of Trade. If there was to be a war he did not want the war to end with a peace agreement. "It would be better to "root" the Micmac out of the peninsula decisively and forever." The war began soon after the governor made this statement."

If instead, the English had offered to make a reasonable land deal with the Mi'kmaq at this time everything could have been settled peacefully. But, they made no move to engage them in negotiations on any issue, let alone permission to settle on their land. Therefore, the Mi'kmaq renewed their declaration of war against them on September 23, 1749.

In response Cornwallis demonstrated how inhuman and ruthless he could be. On October 1, 1749, he called a meeting of Council aboard the HMS Beaufort; the following extract is taken from the minutes:

"That, in their opinion 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.

"That, in order to secure the Province from further attempts of the Indians, some effectual methods should be taken to pursue them to their haunts, and show them that because of such actions, they shall not be secure within the Province.

"That, a Company of Volunteers not exceeding fifty men, be immediately raised in the Settlement to scour the wood all around the Town.

"That, a Company of one hundred men be raised in New England to join with Gorham's during the winter, and go over the whole Province...

"...That, a reward of ten Guineas be granted for every Indian Micmac taken, or killed."

The horror contained in these words probably escaped the English. In their blind arrogance they could not see the unspeakable crime against humanity they had authorized. The next day, without conscience, the bounty was proclaimed by proclamation by Cornwallis:

"Whereas, notwithstanding the gracious offers of friendship and protection made in His Majesty's Names by us to the Indians inhabiting this Province, The Micmacs have of late in a most treacherous manner taken 20 of His Majesty's Subjects prisoners at Canso, and carried off a sloop belonging to Boston, and a boat from this Settlement and at Chinecto basely and under pretence of friendship and commerce. Attempted to seize two English Sloops and murder their crews and actually killed severals, and on Saturday the 30th of September, a body of these savages fell upon some men cutting wood and without arms near the saw mill and barbarously killed four and carried one away.

"For, those cause we by and with the advice and consent of His Majesty's Council, do hereby authorize and command all Officers Civil and Military, and all His Majesty's Subjects or others to annoy, distress, take or destroy the Savage commonly called Micmac, wherever they are found, and all as such as aiding and assisting them, give further by and with the consent and advice of His Majesty's Council, do promise a reward of ten Guineas for every Indian Micmac taken or killed, to be paid upon producing such Savage taken or his scalp (as in the custom of America) if killed to the Officer Commanding."

Thus, at a cost to his Majesty's colonial government's treasury of ten guineas per head, and at a cost to his servants of their immortal souls, the planned extinction of the Mi'kmaq was under way. It was an action no civilized nation would countenance, nor could any nation that undertook it be called civilized!

That aiding and assisting the Mi'kmaq was used by the English as an excuse to slaughter the French is attested too by Abbé Maillard, who kept a record of the Mi'kmaq declaration of war in Míkmaq and English. The following excerpt is translated from it:

"In 1758,while the King and his Ministers debated policy at Westminster in London, guerilla warfare intensified in the Maritimes, with English militiamen skirmishing with roving parties of Míkmaq and French soldiers. Captain John Knox witnessed some of the atrocities that seem to have become commonplace on the Acadian frontier. What follows is an excerpt from Knox’s war journal, which was not published until 1914. It describes an incident in which a party of French soldiers were taken prisoner by British colonials.

“And as there was a bounty on Indian Scalps (a Blot on Britain’s Escutcheon), the Soldiers soon made the supplicating Signal, the Officers turn'd their Backs and the French were instantly shot and scalp’d. A Similar Instance happened about the same time. A Party of the Rangers brought in one day 25 Scalps pretending that they were Indian. And the Commanding Officer at the Fort then Col. Wilmot, afterwards Gov. [Thomas] Wilmot (a poor Tool), gave Orders that the Bounty should be paid them. Capt. Huston who had at that time the Charge of the Military Chest objected such Proceedings both in the Letter & Spirit of them. The Col. told him, “That According to law the French were all out of the French [sic], that the Bounty on Indian scalps was according to law, and that tho’ the Law might in some Instances be strain’d a little yet there was a Necessity for winking at such things.” Upon which Huston in Obedience to Orders paid down £250, telling them that the Curse of God should ever attend such guilty Deeds“.

In the first paragraph of his sick proclamation Cornwallis cites various incidents as justification for its issuance. As far as I can ascertain it was only in the Americas where European colonial administrators would sometimes condemn to death an entire race of people for the actions of a few of their members. Imagine, holding innocent children responsible, and condemning them to die in an effort to try to terrorize adults into submitting to one's will!

Cornwallis, in a 1749 memorandum to the Lords of Trade requesting retroactive approval for actions he had already initiated, provides further proof of his insincerity and treachery towards the Mi'kmaq:

"When I first arrived, I made known to these Micmac, His gracious Majesty's intentions of cultivating Amity and Friendship with them, exhorting them to assemble their Tribes, that I would treat with them, and deliver the presents the King my Master had sent them, they seemed well inclined, some keeping amongst us trafficking and well pleased; no sooner was the evacuation of Louisbourg made and De Lutre the French Missionary sent among them, they vanished and have not been with us since.

"The Saint John's Indians I made peace with, and am glad to find by your Lordship's letter of the first of August, it is agreeable to your way of thinking their making submission to the King before I would treat with them, as the Articles are word for word the same as the Treaty you sent me, made at Casco Bay, 1725, and confirmed at Annapolis, 1726. I intend if possible to keep up a good correspondence with the Saint John's Indians, a warlike people, tho' Treaties with Indians are nothing, nothing but force will prevail."

Cornwallis cites everything but the real reason why the Mi'kmaq ended their brief cordial relations with the settlers. The omitted reason-and perhaps due his biases he was unable to recognize it-was that they had discovered that the British had come to seize more of their land and establish more settlements instead of making a lasting peace. Therefore, their disappearance from the site of Halifax at the same time the British were evacuating Louisbourg was only coincidental. The declaration of war made by the Mi'kmaq Chiefs in response to the seizure of ancestral lands attests to this.

The statement Cornwallis makes that "Treaties with Indians are nothing, nothing but force will prevail" provides a clear picture of the morally bankrupt people the Mi'kmaq had to deal with. His pretending to promote honour and good faith in dealings with the Mi'kmaq and other Amerindians while at the same time having no intention to act accordingly clearly reveals his own corrupt ethical standards and those of the system he represented.

The Lords of Trade responded to Cornwallis's letter in a memo dated February 16, 1750. They were not overly enthusiastic about the course of action he had chosen, for they cautioned him:

"As to the measures which you have already taken for reducing the Indians, we entirely approve them, and wish you may have success, but as it has been found by experience in other parts of America that the gentler methods and offers of peace have more frequently prevailed with Indians than the sword, if at the same times that the sword is held over their heads, offers of peace and friendship were tendered to them, the one might be the means of inducing them to accept the other, but as you have had experience of the disposition and sentiments of these Savages you will be better able to judge whether measures of peace will be effectual or not; if you should find that they will not, we do not in the least doubt your vigour and activity in endeavouring to reduce them by force."

Many apologists have claimed that the cruelties inflicted upon the Mi'kmaq and other Amerindian Nations were for the most part local acts of depravity and not acts sanctioned by the European Crowns themselves. However, this reaction by British officialdom towards Cornwallis's proclamation proves that contention wrong. By not rescinding or condemning his inhuman proclamation, the Lords of Trade, policymakers for the British government, showed support, thus implicating the British Crown itself in the crime of genocide.

The Lords also put into writing the paranoid fear the English had of Amerindians. It's embodied in the worry they expressed that the bounty on the Mi'kmaq might, "by filling the minds of bordering Indians with ideas of our cruelty,"somehow unite all the Amerindian Nations of the Americas against them in a continental war. The equivalent of such an impossible feat would have been the uniting of all the countries in Europe against an invader, which, based on their mutual dislike of one another, would have been impossible. However, what the Lords proposed might happen poses an interesting point. If the people of the Americas could have overcome their cultural differences and united, and if they had been heirs to a class-based, barbaric and warlike history similar to that of the Europeans, whom they may have outnumbered, most of the citizens of Europe today might be speaking a language imported from the Americas rather than the other way around.

On June 21, 1750, in what must have resulted from dissatisfaction with the number of Mi'kmaq scalps being brought in, Cornwallis's Council raised the monetary incentive by proclamation to fifty pounds sterling per head. It's interesting that Gorham himself was part of the Council which approved the 1749 scalp bounty, and he was also a member of the Council in 1750 when the bounty was raised. One might be excused for concluding that he was in a conflict of interest.

Professor Jeffery Plank, University of Cincinnati, comments:

Everyone involved understood the conflict to be a race war.... During the 1750s the politics of Nova Scotia centered on issues of national identity. At various times during the decade, the British engaged in combat with several different peoples who inhabited, or passed through, Nova Scotia: The Micmac, the French ... and the Acadians.... The British governors of Nova Scotia generally believed that they were surrounded by enemies, that the Acadians, the Micmac and the French would soon find a way to cooperate and overthrow British rule. One of the principle aims of British policy, therefore, was to keep these people separated, to isolate the Micmac, the Acadians, and the French. To achieve this goal of segregation, the colonial authorities adopted two draconian policies. In 1749 the governor began offering bounties for the scalps of Micmac men, women and children. The aim of this program was to eliminate the Micmac population on the peninsula of Nova Scotia, by death or forced emigration. In 1755 the British adopted a different but related strategy: it deported the Acadians, and relocated them in safer colonies to the west. Viewed in the abstract, these two programs, to pay for the deaths of the Micmac and to relocate and absorb the Acadians, represented very simple thinking. The colonial authorities who endorsed these programs placed the inhabitants of Nova Scotia into two categories, Europeans and savages, and treated them accordingly.

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Quoted from Micmac History, by Lee Sultzman

The Micmac did not sign any peace agreement with the British that year. They had suffered a severe smallpox epidemic during 1747, and the French had accused the British of deliberate infection. Whether true or not, the Micmac believed the French and were so angry about this, they refused to make peace. In this decision, they had the full support of a French priest, Father Le Loutre (the new Rasles). Settlements at Chebucto and Canso were attacked during the summer of 1749. Especially galling to the British was the capture of an army detachment at Canso which later had to be ransomed from the French commandant at Louisbourg. The British refused to declare war reasoning that, since the Micmac were supposed to have submitted to British authority in Nova Scotia at the Treaty of Boston (1726), they could be treated as rebels, not enemies. In other words, no rules of civilized warfare. Offering £10 for every Micmac scalp or prisoner, Cornwallis dispatched the Cobb expedition with 100 men to hunt down and kill Micmac. In addition to the usual £10 for scalps or prisoner, Cornwallis offered an additional incentive of £100 for the capture of Le Loutre.

Cobb's expedition destroyed just about everything they found, but Micmac resistance only stiffened. By 1750 the price of scalps was raised from £10 to £50 which provided incentive for the formation of two additional ranger companies under Captains William Clapham and Francis Bartelo. During 1751 the fighting continued across the Chignecto Isthmus of Nova Scotia, but by summer Cornwallis ordered all ranger companies (except Gorham's) to disband. Too many strange scalps had been turned in for payment, including several which bore unmistakable signs of European origin. The French were still providing arms to the Chignecto Micmac - who were still dangerous and under the hostile influence of Father Le Loutre - but sending hired killers after them was never going to solve the situation. Cornwallis' decision ultimately proved correct, and in November, 1752 at Halifax, the Micmac signed a peace treaty with the British.

Unfortunately, the peace lasted less than two years...

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Statue of Gov. Edward Cornwallis
Cornwallis Park
Barrington Street, Halifax, Nova Scotia

For Daniel N. Paul, author of We Were Not the Savages

by Roger Davies

Cornwallis Must Answer!

Governor Cornwallis, loyal subject
of His Majesty George II,
how many murders makes
Nova Scotia English? How many
hunks of dried and bloodied skin
ripped from someone just then
picking berries or gathering clams
suffices the Crown? You stretch
evil taut, like a murderer’s
cord, over a land your blind eyes
can only see as wilderness or
the Imposition of State.
What accounting makes your
mind? Does the once tender
skin and shining hair come to
account in the “Account of
Scalps”? Don’t you think
a child’s Proof of Extermination
is worth an extra guinea or two?
It is the final solution,
after all.

Don’t be cheap, Governor.
And when did you and your
flowery language gangsters
dream up the beginnings
of biological warfare, putting
smallpox in blankets for
The People of the Land? The day will
come, Edward, when Cornwallis
Junior High will recognize you
for who you are and what you are,
instituting Mi’kmaq Holocaust Day,
when the children will surround
your obscene likeness in silence,
armbands of Mi’kmaq triangle designs,
in this place, sister to the Star of David.

Copyright: Roger Davies 2007

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Halifax Herald - April 25, 2010

Hair ad raises ire of Mi’kmaq

Photo insensitive, Dan Paul says

Models With Hair Packets

By JON TATTRIE Special

A Halifax business is apologizing to Mi’kmaq people after running an advertisement featuring models holding human hair extensions in front of a statue of Edward Cornwallis.

Kevin Stanhope, the owner of Hairdressers’ Market Inc., said he had no idea that Cornwallis, the Englishman tasked with founding Halifax, offered a bounty for the scalps of Mi’kmaq men, women and children in 1749 and 1750.

"Whose statue it was, we knew nothing about. Absolutely nothing," he said Thursday.

Hairdressers’ Market sells hairdressing supplies and its ad in the April edition of Faces Magazine showed four young women laughing and holding packets of human hair.

Stanhope only discovered Cornwallis’s grisly past when Mi’kmaq people contacted him to ask him what he was thinking.

Stanhope, who is from New Brunswick, said he got the models to pose at the statue because it had multiple levels and was near his south-end business.

"Who would suspect? It’s a public park. If there’s such an offensive connection to it, why’s it there? Why aren’t there warning signs on it?" he asked.

Kyle Turk, publisher of Faces, likewise pleaded ignorance.

"I didn’t even know what that statue was. Obviously, we wouldn’t have published it if we had known."

He said the ad has been pulled from the May edition and would be taken off the website.

Dan Paul, Mi’kmaq historian and the author of We Were Not The Savages, was one of the people who contacted Stanhope. He said he was appalled when he saw the photograph and wanted to find out if it was created out of ignorance or racism.

After exchanging emails with Stanhope, he believes no racism was involved.

"I think it exemplifies the ignorance of Nova Scotia’s history," Paul said. "It was the actual hope of Cornwallis to wipe out the Mi’kmaq population on the mainland of Nova Scotia, which at the time included New Brunswick. You’re talking about most of the Mi’kmaq population."

Paul, who has long campaigned against the statue in Cornwallis Park near Halifax’s train station, described the governor’s explicit targeting of women and children as "sick in the extreme."

The plaque on the statue briefly outlines Cornwallis’s short career in Halifax but says nothing of the scalping proclamations.

Paul said that’s indicative of Nova Scotia’s "hidden history."

He compared it to the 1946 incident in which Viola Desmond was arrested for sitting in the whites-only section of a New Glasgow theatre.

The Dexter government gave Desmond, who was a beautician, a posthumous pardon this month.

"How many Nova Scotians knew that had happened? I would say very few, (outside of) the black population," Paul said. "Nova Scotia has diligently crafted an image that it is and has been for some time a racially equal society, which it wasn’t and to a large degree still isn’t. If it was, you wouldn’t see Cornwallis’s statue down at the end of Barrington Street.

"I’m not trying to erase his name from the history of this province. You can’t erase Hitler’s name from Germany’s history either but to continue to honour him is almost impossible to believe."

Paul said the incident points to a failure in the province’s education system.

"Are we doing a good job of teaching history to our children here in Nova Scotia? The answer is no. If you want to prevent the wrongs of the past from happening again, you have to teach the population about the past," he said.

Stanhope said he agreed with Paul. He’s ordering a copy of We Were Not The Savages and has signed Paul’s online petition calling for the removal of the statue.

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Kings considers Cornwallis name change request

BY JENNIFER HOEGG

The Kings County Advertiser/Register March 31, 2010

Dr. Daniel Paul, Member of the Order of Canada and
the Order of Nova Scotia, signs a copy of his book,
We Were Not the Savages
for Kings County Councillor Dick Killam.

The Cornwallis River winds through a large part of Kings County. Dr. Daniel Paul is leading a campaign to change the landmark’s name - and all others named for Governor Edward Cornwallis.

Paul spoke to Kings County’s committee of the whole (COTW) March 16 about the petition to rename all schools, streets, parks and other public areas named for the founder of Halifax because of his “attempted genocide” of the native population.

The author of is a leader and advocate for the Mi'kmaq culture: he received a honourary Doctor of Letters Degree from the University of Sainte-Anne in 1997 and is a member of both the Order of Canada and the Order of Nova Scotia. He appeared by invitation of the Race Relations and Anti-Discrimination Committee, in accordance with the municipality’s commitment to “promote respect, understanding, and appreciation of cultural diversity and inclusion of Aboriginals and racialized communities into the cultural fabric of the municipality.”

Addressing the past

Paul said the petition is “a project I have been working on for about 25 years.

“We really don’t know that a great deal of wars were fought here…. It’s a very long history and a very sordid history and very hard to condense it into a 20-minute presentation.”

However, he did provide councilors with extensive historical background.

“In 1749, Cornwallis came and set up shop in what is now Halifax,” Paul said. “He sent out emissaries to meet with Mi'kmaq chiefs to let them know Britain now owned Nova Scotia. They were now subjects of the king and had no property rights

In response, Paul recounted, the natives “renewed their declaration of war against the British on September 25, 1749.”

After Mi’kmaq attacked a group of British men in what is now Dartmouth that month, Cornwallis decried “perhaps it would be best to eliminate the Mi'kmaq all together,” Paul said, “and enacted a bounty for Mi'kmaq scalps men, women and children.” He wrote to British authorities to “exterminate the people and get rid of them in Mainland Nova Scotia all together.”

Considering the “cruel nature of what he had done,” the British worried it would encourage tribes to ally against whites. A bounty was set at 10 guineas per head at first, rising to 50 guineas in June of 1750.

Quoting Joseph Howe, Paul said, “the indians… had good reason for what they did. They were fighting for the country they loved.”

The Mi'kmaq had a good relationship with the French Crown, whose representatives first claimed what is now Nova Scotia in 1604. When Britain won the territory in 1713, a lengthy war began.

“You can’t go back, you can’t change history, you can’t take Cornwallis out of the history of Nova Scotia - but does he have to be idolized?” Paul asked. “Absolutely not.

“It’s not a civilized thing to do.”

Mixed reception

Councillor Chris Parker thanked Paul for his presentation and suggested to his colleagues, “if we were in a Germany, we wouldn’t have a street named Hitler Street, we wouldn’t have a river named Hitler River.”

“If our council wouldn’t sign the petition, I sure will”

“There were a lot of things in (the presentation) I didn’t know,” Councillor Dick Killam said. “But, over the years, I have sensed there were some big things in the background.” Killam said he also would sign the petition and he had visited the Annapolis Valley First Nations community to discuss the Cornwallis River, which flows through the Cambridge community.

"You can’t go back, you can’t change history, you can’t take Cornwallis out of the history of Nova Scotia - but does he have to be idolized? It’s not a civilized thing to do.” - Daniel Paul

“We definitely need to get the name Cornwallis out from their eyes, if possible.”

Councillor Wayne Atwater asked if Paul would be presenting to the Town of Kentville. Paul replied he was concentrating his efforts on Halifax Regional Municipality, but would welcome the opportunity.

“I want to commend you for your effort,” Atwater told Paul. “I’m just not one for signing petitions.”

After the presentation, COTW recommended council send letter to Kentville and the premier requesting they “deal with” the petition from Dr. Daniel Paul, and the petition be posted on the municipality’s webpage. “We recognize the fact the building is located in Kentville,” Deputy Warden Diana Brothers said before making the two motions, “but we represent 50,000 people outside town of Kentville, including two first nations, and I’m very aware of that.”

“I’m very proud of you people,” Paul said. “You have shown there are very forward-looking people in this country. We may be able to start a ball rolling here that will be unstoppable.”

********************

Native Council of Nova Scotia

Special Board of Directors Meeting, March 7, 2011

Motion # 5

That the Native Council of Nova Scotia support the imitative to remove the name Edward Cornwallis from the Cornwallis School.

Moved by: Kirk Arsenault

Seconded by: Wade White Sr.

There being no further discussion, Motion # 5 carried.

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Please visit these URLs to read more about British barbarities

http://www.danielnpaul.com/AcadianMi'kmaqContactsOutlawed.html
http://www.danielnpaul.com/BritishScalpBounties.html
http://www.danielnpaul.com/BritishGenocide-1759.html
http://www.danielnpaul.com/NewBrunswickCreated-1784.html

A better understanding of the before mentioned can be had by reading: First Nations History - We Were Not the Savages - 2006 Edition
http://www.danielnpaul.com/WeWereNotTheSavages-Mi'kmaqHistory.html

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Persistence pays off!

Halifax Herald

School to shed name of Cornwallis

By DAVENE JEFFREY Staff Reporter

Thu, Jun 23, 2011

The Halifax regional school board voted unanimously Wednesday to forever sever the tie between a south-end junior high school and a city founder who put a bounty on the Mi’kmaq.

Acting on a motion by its Mi’kmaq member, Kirk Arsenault, the board agreed that Cornwallis Junior High must have a new name.

The school is named after Gov. Edward Cornwallis, who spearheaded the colonization of the area for the British in the mid-1700s.

"Edward Cornwallis is deeply offensive to members of our Mi’kmaq communities and to Nova Scotians generally who believe school names should recognize persons whose contributions to society are unblemished by acts repugnant to the values we wish our schools to embody and represent," Arsenault said, reading from his motion.

He called the board’s decision "an exercise in healing and of education."

No one appeared before the board to oppose Arsenault’s motion, and he said most of the feedback he received from the public before the meeting was positive, with only a few people opposing the name change.

"Some people have tried to turn it into some sort of a political storm and tried to flip it back on the Mi’kmaq people," he said.

Mi’kmaq elder and author Daniel Paul addressed the board after the motion was passed.

"I’m proud of you. You are proactive and God bless," he said.

Paul has long been spreading the word of Cornwallis’s scalp proclamation against the Mi’kmaq and protesting the Halifax founder’s place in history as a figure deserving tribute.

"Twenty-five years I’ve been at this," he said.

Paul, who started school in 1948 and quit in 1953, said the only mention of the Mi’kmaq in his school textbooks was that they made axe handles and baskets.

But nowadays, in at least one Dartmouth junior high school, Mi’kmaq studies is a more popular course than Canadian history and African-Canadian history combined, teacher Ben Sichel of Prince Andrew High told the board.

The Cornwallis controversy comes up in class every year, Sichel said.

"You can’t change history. This is true. But you can choose who you honour," he said before the vote was taken.

"(You) have an opportunity to make a historic contribution to peace and justice in this province."

It will be up to the school community to choose a new name for the junior high.

"It’s a great school," said board member David Cameron, who said his granddaughter goes there.

"It will still be a great school with a name of which everyone can be proud."

The school sits in Cameron’s district.

Paul said outside the meeting that he’d like Cornwallis’s name to be removed from more than just the school. For example, he’d like Cornwallis Park, across the street from the Via Rail station, to be renamed Freedom Park and a statue erected "to all the immigrants who came to this country and helped to build the country into the powerhouse that it is."

Racism: Reply from Robert Stoddard, HRM, Email - January 2, 2011, to a request by Noella Fisher for his support to have the name of Governor Edward Cornwallis removed from public places

"Take me off this list - I have more pressing issues with taxes and terrorists. If our councillors have time to put toward something (in my opinion) so frivolous, then perhaps we do have too many of them."

NOTE: When the issue being tabled for discussion, the barbaric attempt at ethinic cleansing of a people of color from their land by English Governor Cornwallis, is described by a Caucasian to be "something so frivolous" can he be described as anything other than a white supremacist? D.N. Paul

********************

Mi’kmaq elder suggests renaming school for Duckworth, Paul suggests late social activist’s name replace Cornwallis

By MICHAEL LIGHTSTONE Staff Reporter

July 9, 2011

The Halifax man who 25 years ago started a drive to have monuments and other honours to Edward Cornwallis removed has a suggestion for the committee that is to consider a new name for Cornwallis Junior High School.

Mi’kmaq elder and author Daniel Paul said his personal preference is to rename the school after the late Muriel Duckworth, a longtime Haligonian known nationally as a peace activist and humanitarian. She campaigned for decades for social justice.

Duckworth died in 2009 at age 100.

"She was a great human rights worker," Paul said Friday. "A person of that nature would be a great name."

Duckworth vigorously protested armed conflicts dating back to the Second World War, which started when Germany invaded Poland in 1939. She was still attending peace rallies during the U.S.-led war in Iraq.

A tireless social activist, friends said she was as energetic and warm as she was articulate. Nominated in 2005 — among 1,000 women collectively — for a Nobel Peace Prize, Duckworth had her peace work cut out for her considering that she lived in a navy port that is home to Canada’s East Coast fleet and welcomes visiting warships.

Paul said hers was the only name that came to mind. He said Duckworth was someone who "represented the good in people" and would be "a worthy candidate."

Among other honours, Duckworth has received the Order of Canada, the Pearson Peace Medal, the Governor General’s Award in Commemoration of the Persons Case (which recognizes the struggle of women for equality) and several honorary degrees.

According to a Halifax regional school board spokesman, the school-naming process is led by the principal.

"The process calls for (a) committee to submit a list of names to the board in order of preference," Doug Hadley said in an email. "The board will ultimately select one as the new name."

Last month, the school board voted unanimously to purge Cornwallis Junior High of its name after hearing from a Mi’kmaq board member who argued it should be dropped. During colonization by the British in the 1700s, Gov. Edward Cornwallis put out a bounty for the scalps of natives, including women and children, vowing to clear the Halifax area of all Mi’kmaq people.

Supporters of the change say the board was right to take the name off a school because Cornwallis was involved in ethnic cleansing. Opponents say people shouldn’t try to undo history to make the sins of the past fit today’s mores.

Paul said he knew there would be some backlash after the board made the move to strip the school’s name.

"Most of it is caused by ignorance of history," he told The Chronicle Herald.

The board policy on school naming said the procedure will include public input.

"The process will include a school organization such as a school advisory council, parent-teacher association, school steering team and the public," said the policy. "Also, student input, appropriate for the age level served by the school, should be a significant part of the process."

Hadley couldn’t say when the name-change discussion will begin.

"At this point, no timelines have been set."

Seven months after June 22, 2011, the date the Mi'kmaq representative on the board, Kirk Arsenault, put forward a motion for the school name change, and the Halifax Regional School Board passed it, the name was officially changed on January 25, 2012 to Halifax Central Jr. High.

********************

Removal of Edward Cornwallis' name from public places in HRM

We have started the effort to have Cornwallis Park in Halifax renamed and his statue remove from the Park. The following is a copy of the letter sent to two Halifax Regional Municipality Councillors by Noella Fisher and their responses. The response from Councillor Mary Wile is indicative of prevalent White supremacist attitudes that we will encounter, her rationalization for her negative response is warped and offensive to say the least.

Original Message

From: "Noella Fisher"

To Halifax Regional Municipality Councillors Linda Mosher mosherl@halifax.ca and Mary Wile wilema@halifax.ca

Subject: Removal of Edward Cornwallis' name from public places in HRM

NOELLA A. BRENNAN FISHER, Q.C., JP

HALIFAX, N. S., B3N 3M4

noella.fisher@ns.sympatico.ca

July 24, 2011

Councillors Mary Wile and Linda Mosher, Halifax Regional Municipality, City Hall, Halifax, NS

RE: Removing the Name of Edward Cornwallis from Public Places in HRM

Dear Councillors;

It has been some months now since I contacted both of you regarding the above noted topic. I understand that the book, First Nations History - We Were Not the Savages - Third Edition by Daniel Paul has been delivered to you and I trust that you may have now had an opportunity to read it or at least the parts referencing Edward Cornwallis' heinous actions against the Mi'kmaq people of our fair Province.

Since I was in contact with you, the Halifax School Board has now agreed to change the name of Cornwallis Junior High School in Halifax and the Kings County Municipal Council has passed a motion in support of changing the name of places and things in the Province that were named to honour Cornwallis, including the Cornwallis River. In the past names of buildings that were named to honour Cornwallis have also been changed, including Cornwallis Court, which was changed to Summit Place when the G 8 Summit was held in Halifax. Strikingly, this was the first and only time that we are aware of where the name of a building where the Summit was held in any G 8 country was changed. It likely indicates that Federal authorities were aware of the Governor's efforts to ethnic cleanse peninsula Nova Scotia of the Mi'kmaq and didn't want to chance exposing the barbarity to world-wide public scrutiny.

You may wish to verify this, but it is our understanding that HRM has passed a policy regarding changing names in HRM. Apparently, a Councillor now has to present a motion to Council to override this policy in order to remove the name of Cornwallis from the Park on Barrington Street in Halifax and replace it with something all inclusive of Nova Scotia's diverse ethnic groups, and to remove the name of Cornwallis Street and any this name from all public places where the name of Cornwallis is held in high esteem in HRM.

I believe that either one of you or perhaps both of you Councillors may now be in a position to put forward and support such a motion. It is a controversial topic and will likely bring out the racist elements in our society so you must be prepared for this. We may also be accused of attempting to re-write history but in fact, we are attempting to right history. The history cannot change but why should it be displayed as lop-sided and biased and hold this man up as an honourable man? Should history not reflect the true facts that Cornwallis was intent on genocide of the Mi'kmaq people and for that, he should not be celebrated in this municipality? It is an embarrassment and outrageous to all intelligent people to celebrate such a person. The documents proving this remain in the Nova Scotia Archives.

If we can help you in getting this motion passed by HRM Council, please let me know what you will require. A group of concerned citizens, Mi'kmaq, Caucasian and others, are at your disposal in order to achieve the stated purpose.

I understand that the plaque on the statue of Cornwallis is owned by Parks Canada and they have been notified of this problem. If they do not agree to remove the plaque, we are requesting that a plaque be added to the statue describing these atrocities committed by the first Governor of NS. I believe the statue is owned by HRM and frankly, we would like to see the statue itself removed as holding this man, with a such a sordid historical past, up to public esteem is offensive to not only our Native Peoples but to many of the citizenry of HRM as well.

We will provide you with a written draft motion if you like, assist in lobbying other Councillors, seek support of groups and persons interested in seeing this motion passed if you deem this and anything else necessary. As you are aware, an on line petition is in circulation and has been signed by over 3200 persons thus far who are in support of this motion. Signatories include the two Regional Chiefs of the Assembly of First Nations, Chiefs of several bands, MLAs, MPs, many prominent members of the African Nova Scotia Community, the Gaelic Community, Acadian Community, Caucasians and many Mi'kmaq people among others.

We are looking at the motion being placed before HRM Council at the first Council meeting in November, 2011 in order to give you sufficient time to do whatever else is required for you to present this motion between now and then.

I look forward to hearing from both of you soon in response to this request and stand ready to assist in any way you indicate.

Yours very truly,

Noella A. Brennan-Fisher, QC, JP

Response From councillor Mary Wile wilema@halifax.ca

To: Noella Fisher

Sent: Monday, July 25, 2011 5:27 PM

Subject: Re: Removal of Edward Cornwallis' name from public places in HRM

Noella: there is certainly two opposite views and each have made valid points. Each nation was involved in this history-and each caused the death of others. We cannot blame one and not the other. By trying to change history -which is "real" life events-this will possibly create more animosity and bad-feelings--if it hasn't already.

Similar events have happened around the world with the deaths of thousands. The world is full of horrible wars, and slaughters, and some are going on right now. I would rather leave history as it is then to revive anymore hatred. Look at Somalia - thousands dying because of a ridiculous Al-Quaida leader who doesn't want the "christians" coming into their territory to provide food and water. Now is this ancient hate or not?

We cannot go back in time! Nor can we change our past, or predict our future.

Noella: thank you for your input and I wish you all the best.

********************

The following provides a good example of how hard it is to get Anglo government officials to do the right thing and stop honouring historical barbarians.

Removal of Edward Cornwallis' name from Cornwallis River

Governor Edward Cornwallis - War Criminal

At a duly convened Meeting of the Annapolis Valley Band Council, May 3, 2011, the following motion was put forward and passed.

In January 2011, with the knowledge of the Chief and Council of the Annapolis Valley Band, I sent the following letter to Nova Scotia's Minister of Natural Resources (a copy was also sent to the Minister of Aboriginal Affairs, Premier Darrell Dexter):

January 2, 2011

Honorable John MacDonell
Minister of Natural Resources
P.O. Box 698
Halifax, NS
B3J 2T9

Dear Mr. MacDonell:

Re: Cornwallis River

I wish to request that you ask the Government to change the name of the Cornwallis River back to it's original Mi'kmaq name, Jijuktu'kwejk (Narrow River). Eskasoni Mi'kmaw Elder, Greg Johnson, should you wish to contact him, is an expert on such names greguj@ns.sympatico.ca.

I will now cite two main reasons for this request:

First and foremost, the name given to the river by the British, in place of it's original Mi'kmaq name Jijuktu'kwejk, honours Edward Cornwallis, an English Governor who, on October 2, 1749, issued a proclamation for the scalps of the Mi'kmaq, including those of women and children. In his letters to the Lords of Trade in London he states that he issued the proclamation to try to exterminate the Mi'kmaq on the Nova Scotia mainland. Because of this, condemnation should be his, not honours! By all the ties of humanity there should never be a place in a modern civilized society named in honour of an individual responsible for initiating such a barbarous undertaking, especially one who committed a crime against humanity that is termed Genocide in modern language.

Is it racism that permits the honouring of such an individual in this Province? I will state that I have grown exceedingly tired of hearing this: "it was a long time ago, therefore you People should get over it and move on." Such advice should not be given to anyone protesting colonial barbarism in a society that describes itself as a modern just society. Lets envision that one day a Nation elects a far right wing government which decides to raise a statue in honor of Hitler, an action that results in it's Jewish citizens protesting such a hideous affront - should they be given the same advice given us, "get over it, move on, after all its been over 65 years since the Nazi Horrors were uncovered," never I hope.

It's not unheard of for governments to make amends for societal wrongs of the past, they are not rare. I.e., the Acadiens have received an apology for the deportation of their ancestors, which was authorized by Governor Charles Lawrence on July 29, 1755, it was the right thing to do - they were not told to "get over it and move on," also the Japanese for WWII internment, the Chinese for the Chinese Exclusion Act, etc.

Resulting from colonial genocide attempts and neglect, the Nova Scotia Mi'kmaq population became so low in the mid-1800s that two of the Province 's most renowned heros, Joseph Howe and Abraham Gesner, predicted that our ancestors would not survive. They did survive and we are here as proof that barbarism does not get the rewards it seeks.

The second reason is that the River flows by a Mi'kmaq First Nation Community, situated on Cambridge Indian Reserve, which, which when considering Cornwallis's genocidal actions, is unconscionable! It is reprehensible that Mi'kmaq from that community, on a daily basis, have to cross it to attend school and attend to other necessities.

From time to time I've met with skepticism about the size of the effort by Governor Edward Cornwallis's military government to exterminate Nova Scotia's Mi'kmaq. Therefore, I'm passing the following along for you to consider. There were three British militias involved in harvesting Mi'kmaq scalps, two were disbanded in 1751 because too many scalps were being brought in for payment that appeared to be Caucasian. I would venture to guess that it wasn't the possibility that the scalps might be Acadien that bothered British authorities, because the following sentence was included in Cornwallis's October 2, 1749 proclamation "and all as such as aiding and assisting them" which would have been the French. Therefore, I lean toward the scenario that a few of, as the British called them, "suitable Protestant settlers" were also going missing.

The following is quoted from Micmac History, by Lee Sultzman

"The Micmac did not sign any peace agreement with the British that year (1749). They had suffered a severe smallpox epidemic during 1747, and the French had accused the British of deliberate infection. Whether true or not, the Micmac believed the French and were so angry about this, they refused to make peace. In this decision, they had the full support of a French priest, Father Le Loutre (the new Rasles). Settlements at Chebucto and Canso were attacked during the summer of 1749. Especially galling to the British was the capture of an army detachment at Canso which later had to be ransomed from the French commandant at Louisbourg. The British refused to declare war reasoning that, since the Micmac were supposed to have submitted to British authority in Nova Scotia at the Treaty of Boston (1726), they could be treated as rebels, not enemies. In other words, no rules of civilized warfare. Offering £10 for every Micmac scalp or prisoner, Cornwallis dispatched the Cobb expedition with 100 men to hunt down and kill Micmac. In addition to the usual £10 for scalps or prisoner, Cornwallis offered an additional incentive of £100 for the capture of Le Loutre.

Cobb's expedition destroyed just about everything they found, but Micmac resistance only stiffened. By 1750 the price of scalps was raised from £10 to £50 which provided incentive for the formation of two additional ranger companies under Captains William Clapham and Francis Bartelo. During 1751 the fighting continued across the Chignecto Isthmus of Nova Scotia, but by summer Cornwallis ordered all ranger companies (except Gorham's) to disband. Too many strange scalps had been turned in for payment, including several which bore unmistakable signs of European origin. The French were still providing arms to the Chignecto Micmac - who were still dangerous and under the hostile influence of Father Le Loutre - but sending hired killers after them was never going to solve the situation. Cornwallis' decision ultimately proved correct, and in November, 1752 at Halifax, the Micmac signed a peace treaty with the British.

Unfortunately, the peace lasted less than two years..."

I have hope that this request will result in approval and be one small step towards putting an end to the idolizing of a colonial despot. I'm not suggesting that his name be erased from the history of this Province, this cannot happen, nor can Hitler's name be erased from Germany's history, they are part of both. But, neither, because of the horrors they instigated, should be treated as heros!

All the best,

Dr. Daniel N. Paul, C.M., O.N.S.

C.c.: Premier Darrell Dexter, Minister of Aboriginal Affairs

I received the following response from Minister MacDonell, dated February 10, 2011

Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations
Office of the Minister
PO Box 216
Halifax, NS
B3J 2M4
Telephone 902-424-5550

Feb 10, 2011
Dr. Daniel N. Paul
28 Elmdale Crescent
Halifax, NS, B3R 2G5

Dear Dr. Paul:

Thank you for your letter of January 2, 2011 to the Minister of Natural Resources which was forwarded to this Department requesting the government change the name of the Cornwallis River back to its original name, Jijuktu'kwejk (Narrow River). The naming of geographic features is governed by policies, principles and procedures developed jointly between the Federal and Provincial governments.

Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations administers the Provinces's Nova Scotia Geographic Names Program. This Program facilitates the naming of geographic features and place names within Provincial jurisdiction and includes overseeing the Geographic Naming Process in accordance with the policies, principles and procedures as specified by the Geographic Names Board of Canada (GNBC). (See geonames.nrcan.gc.ca/prod/pubs e.php)

The authority to change a name of a river that flows through various jurisdictions would be jointly held by those jurisdictions. In the case of the Cornwallis River, this would include: Indian & Northern Affairs Canada (INAC) and the Cambridge Reserve (Annapolis Valley First Nation), the Municipality of the County of Kings, the Town of Berwick, the Town of Kentville and the Town of Wolfville.

The re-naming of the Cornwallis River, under the existing prescribed process, will involve a consultive and formal process with multiple Municipalities, First Nations and Indian and Northern Affairs (INAC) to ensure all interests are represented.

The Geographic Naming Process in Nova Scotia is generally initiated by individuals and organizations. Applicant(s) considering a proposal to add a new official name, change an official name or rescind a name (remove from official status) are advised to first review the GNBC Principles and Procedures. The applicant would then submit a completed Nova Scotia Geographic Names Change Request Application Form (enclosed). The Program reviews the Application for adherence to the principles and procedures of the GNBC.

If the Application is approved by the Program, the applicant would proceed to develop a formal Nova Scotia Geographic Names Proposal which would contain all the documentation to support the Change Request. Approval by all affected jurisdictions is a critical element for a successful Proposal. The Applicant would engage the community and obtain their support as indicated through a community petition/plebiscite, Motion in Council and a letter from the MLA. In some circumstances, Cabinet approval may be warranted.

Official geographic feature and place names are accessible via www.nsplacenames.ca . This site also contains information about the Naming Process, including the GNBC principles that guide the decisions regarding geographic names.

Glooscap

The following Email was sent to me by Debbra Wilkinda - Access Nova Scotia Branch

February 23, 2011
Debbra Wilkinson
wilkinda@gov.ns.ca

Subject: Name change request received

Good evening Dr Daniel Paul,

The Nova Scotia Geographic Names Program received your Change Request Application on February 17, 2011.

As part of the NSGNPs Review Process, it was confirmed "Narrow River" (English Translation) did not exist in the Nova Scotia Geographic Names Database, thereby not conflicting with the GNBC Guiding Principles or NS Naming Process. It is important that others have not associated the name to near by rivers.

Soon, I will forward to you the naming process outlining the procedures necessary to change an official geographic name. I will also attach three files (petition, map, and a list of civic addresses to petition) to help you with the next step of the naming process.

Respectively Debbra
Access Nova Scotia Branch
SNSMR-IMS-GIS NSGC-Amherst 902-667-6298
Debbra A Wilkinson
Geographic Names
Technical Administrator

The following letter, as a follow-up to the Email, was received from Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations:

Dr. Daniel N. Paul
Halifax, NS

April 18, 2011

RE: Request to change Cornwallis River to Jijuktu'kwejk (Narrow River)

Dr. Daniel Paul,

The Nova Scotia Geographic Names Program has reviewed your Change Request Application received on February 17, 2011. During the Application Review, it was confirmed that the name Jijuktu'kwejk (Narrow River) could be proposed if there is overwhelming community support for this change.

The purpose of the Nova Scotia Geographic Names Program is to implement the Naming Process in Nova Scotia, by following the Principles and Procedures of Geographical Naming as defined by the Geographic Names Board of Canada. As per Principle # 2, Names In General Public use, first priority shall be given to names with long-standing local usage by the general public. Unless there are good reasons to the contrary, this principle should prevail. The name Cornwallis River has been in local use for over two hundred years. From the information supplied in the letter attached to the application, you have provided two reasons why this change should happen.

Typically, the Program processes Changes Requests that may impact one or possibly two jurisdictions. Overwhelming community support for a name change is required for any name change to occur. Normally, this would be indicated first by an overwhelming positive response in a petition from the local community, followed by Municipal Council Approval and/or local MLA approval letter all included with a formal Proposal (see attached for details) that is reviewed by the Program.

The Program does not oversee the changing of Geographic names which require a broader consultation than the immediate jurisdictions within the feature or place is contained. Changing the name of the Cornwallis River to Jijuktu'kwejk not only has to have significant support within the Municipality of Kings County, Town of Berwick, Town of Wolfville, Town of Kentville, and the Annapolis Valley First Nation/Cambridge Reserve and Indian and Northern Affairs Canada, it also has potential to require a much broader consultation and agreement within Nova Scotia. The Nova Scotia Geographic Names Program is not set up to deal with changes that would require province-wide support.

You may consider seeking out other options for obtaining province-wide support for such a far reaching Geographic Name change.

Sincerely,
Nancy Saunders
Director, Geographic Information Services
Member, Geographic Names Board of Canada

The following is my response to Saunders; she did not mention or address the most important reason for the name change request, racism!

Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations
IMS Section, PO Box 2521, Halifax, NS, B3J 3N5
Phone: 902-424-4966, Fax: 902-424-0650

May 13, 2011
Nancy Saunders
Director of Geographic Info Services
MS Section
PO Box 2521
Halifax, NS
B3J 3N5

Re: Cornwallis River name reversion request

Dear Ms Saunders:

Thanks for your April 18, 2011 memo, reference, the above mentioned matter, most appreciated. However, I wish to point out that in my opinion you've sent it to the wrong party. The rational for my opinion is that the request was made to the Honourable John MacDonell for resolution, therefore, it would be more appropriate for you to inform him that your organization is unable to deal with it, and put the request back in the hands of the government, which does have the power to deal with it.

Returning the request to the Government is a necessity because there is a racism issue that needs to be dealth with in this instance. The government has to answer, once and for all time, this question: "Is it in the best interests of racial harmony in Nova Scotia to continue to have a river that was renamed Cornwallis River from it's original Mi'kmaq name Jijuktu'kwejk (Narrow River) by British colonial authorities to honour a colonial governor, Edward Cornwallis, a man who made a self-confessed effort to exterminate the Mi'kmaq?" The question asked about the river also applies to other places, and things, named to honour Cornwallis in this Province.

To state that things cannot be renamed, or changed, in Nova Scotia is not supportable. For instance, not too long ago the cities of Halifax, Dartmouth, and Sydney, along with several Towns disappeared from the map of the province, replaced by regional municipalities. Many street names in Halifax and other places have been changed, provincial highways have been renamed, etc. On a wider scale many locations in other provinces and USA states have had name changes because the names given them by Caucasians were recognized as racist, thus, insulting to First Nations Peoples.

Cornwallis crossed the boundary of civilized behaviour and conduct in war, even for that era, when he and his military government made the decision to root the Mi'kmaq out of peninsula Nova Scotia for all time, and issued a proclamation for the scalps of men, women and children. As three colonial militias were engaged in the harvest of scalps, there is no question that the gruesome quest was not followed through.

I'll close with the following quote from a scholarly paper written by the University of Cincinnati History Professor Geoffrey Plank, and quotes from several other reliable sources:

Paper entitled The two Majors Cope: The Boundaries of Nationality in Mid-Eighteenth Century Nova Scotia, August 5, 1995, p. 17.

"If the Micmac chose to resist his expropriation of land, the governor intended to conduct a war unlike any that had been fought in Nova Scotia before. He outlined his thinking in an unambiguous letter to the Board of Trade. If there was to be a war, he did not want the war to end with a peace agreement. "It would be better to root the Micmac out of the peninsula decisively and forever." The war began soon after the governor made this statement."

Collections of the Nova Scotia Historical Society, John Gorham:

"It is reported that ... a party of Gorham's rangers one day brought in 25 scalps, claiming the bounty of £10 per scalp. It was strongly suspected that not all of the scalps were those of Indians, but included some Acadians too. The paymaster protested the payment, but was ordered to pay £250 anyway.... The records of Chignecto include several instances of extreme cruelty and barbarism by the rangers."

Two Majors Cope, p. 16-27:

"Everyone involved understood the conflict to be a race war.... During the 1750s the politics of Nova Scotia centered on issues of national identity. At various times during the decade, the British engaged in combat with several different peoples who inhabited, or passed through, Nova Scotia: The Micmac, the French ... and the Acadians.... The British governors of Nova Scotia generally believed that they were surrounded by enemies, that the Acadians, the Micmac and the French would soon find a way to cooperate and overthrow British rule. One of the principle aims of British policy, therefore, was to keep these people separated, to isolate the Micmac, the Acadians, and the French. To achieve this goal of segregation, the colonial authorities adopted two draconian policies. In 1749 the governor began offering bounties for the scalps of Micmac men, women and children. The aim of this program was to eliminate the Micmac population on the peninsula of Nova Scotia, by death or forced emigration. In 1755 the British adopted a different but related strategy: it deported the Acadians, and relocated them in safer colonies to the west. Viewed in the abstract, these two programs, to pay for the deaths of the Micmac and to relocate and absorb the Acadians, represented very simple thinking. The colonial authorities who endorsed these programs placed the inhabitants of Nova Scotia into two categories, Europeans and savages, and treated them accordingly." (The Acadiens have received an apology.)

Lords of Trade in London, approving Cornwallis's barbarism:

Daugherty, p. 48

"As to the measures which you have already taken for reducing the Indians, we entirely approve them, and wish you may have success, but as it has been found by experience in other parts of America that the gentler methods and offers of peace have more frequently prevailed with Indians than the sword, if at the same times that the sword is held over their heads, offers of peace and friendship were tendered to them, the one might be the means of inducing them to accept the other, but as you have had experience of the disposition and sentiments of these Savages you will be better able to judge whether measures of peace will be effectual or not; if you should find that they will not, we do not in the least doubt your vigour and activity in endeavouring to reduce them by force."

Jaenen, p.184, Lords of Trade:

The Lords also put into writing the paranoid fear the English had of Amerindians. It's embodied in the worry they expressed that the bounty on the Mi'kmaq might, "by filling the minds of bordering Indians with ideas of our cruelty," somehow unite all the Indigenous Nations of the Americas against them in a continental war.

The time has arrived for the government of Nova Scotia to forcefully address systemic racism matters that negatively affect the Mi'kmaq, as it is doing to alleviate the systemic racism that has negatively affected other racial minorities.

All the best,

Mi'kmaq Elder, Dr. Daniel N. Paul, C.M., O.N.S.

C.c.: Premier Darrell Dexter, Minister of Aboriginal Affairs
Honourable John MacDonell
Honourable Percy Paris
Chief Brian Toney, Annapolis Valley Mi'kmaq First Nation Community
Dr. Donald Julien, Executive Director, CMM
Dr. Joe B. Marshall, Executive Director, UNSI

Halifax Herald - February 14, 2016

Kentville walk to draw attention to Cornwallis’s policy on First Nations

A Kentville woman wants to restart public discussion on the idea of renaming the Cornwallis River through Kings County.

“This is about raising public awareness,” Richelle Brown Redden said of a short walk she has planned for Saturday, starting at the bridge over the river in Kentville.

Brown Redden said she was was excited a few years ago when a school in Halifax bearing the name of former Nova Scotia governor Edward Cornwallis changed its name.

“I thought the ball was in motion, but then things just stopped,” said Brown Redden, a student at Nova Scotia Community College’s Kingstec campus in Kentville.

She said she and her 10-year-old son cross the Cornwallis River daily, and when he became aware of Cornwallis and his policy toward natives, he couldn’t understand why the river had the name it does.

“I couldn’t answer him when he asked why it hasn’t changed.”

That’s when she thought she should try to raise awareness again on her own. She discussed the issue with some fellow students and said most had no idea who Cornwallis was and what he had done.

In 1749, as the British were colonizing the Halifax region, Cornwallis put a bounty on the scalps of natives, including women and children, vowing to clear the area of all Mi’kmaq.

“I think a lot of people just aren’t aware,” said Brown Redden, who is not a member of Canada’s First Nations.

She said she hopes to have 30 people or so come out to walk from the Cornwallis River Bridge, up Cornwallis Street, past the Cornwallis Inn and back at noon Saturday.

She said she knows many people don’t associate the name with the former governor, but it does affect people.

“I think our First Nations have had such a painful history in the province that it really shows that we believe in hope and in the future.”

The Annapolis Valley First Nation band in Cambridge raised the issue of renaming the river with Kings County council in 2011.

The county said the issue falls under provincial jurisdiction.

********************

UVic to rename Trutch building because of colonial politician's racist legacyUVic to rename Trutch building because of colonial politician's racist legacy

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Removal of Statue of Gov. Edward Cornwallis
Cornwallis Park
Barrington Street, Halifax, Nova Scotia

Removal of Statue of Gov. Edward Cornwallis
Cornwallis Park
Barrington Street, Halifax, Nova Scotia

Removal of Statue of Gov. Edward Cornwallis
Cornwallis Park
Barrington Street, Halifax, Nova Scotia

Removal of Statue of Gov. Edward Cornwallis
Cornwallis Park
Barrington Street, Halifax, Nova Scotia

Removal of Statue of Gov. Edward Cornwallis
Cornwallis Park
Barrington Street, Halifax, Nova Scotia
(TIM KROCHAK / Staff)The Chroncile Herald

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