Halifax is acity that prides itself on its history and multiculturalism, but what many donot know is that the founder of Halifax, Edward Cornwallis, was the cause ofextreme violent racism in Canadian history. Edward Cornwallis was a soldier andpolitician and is celebrated for his legacy of founding Halifax in 1749 (MahamAbedi, 2017). Another legacy of Cornwallis that often goes unknown is how heissued an order in 1749 known as the “ Scalping Proclamation” in response to an attackon colonists, which issued a government-funded bounty to those who returnedwith the scalps of Mi’kmaq adults or children (Maham Adbedi, 2017). A statue ofCornwallis is located in Cornwallis Square in the downtown Halifax area.
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Thispast summer, Halifax residents gathered around the statue rallying against the whitesupremacist movement, which had began taking place in the United States, and toremind the public of the racism that occurred in Canada’s history (The CanadianPress, 2017). The protesters provided the Mayor with a list of demands, one ofwhich was for the statue to be removed. Many claimed the statue is distasteful andrepresented a “ colonial genocide” (Pam Berman, 2017), however, some state thatCornwallis was “ not the monster” people are portraying him as, and that weshould not try to “ erase history” (Pam Berman, 2017). The municipality has developeda panel to deal with the situation, and to increase the recognition ofindigenous history (Pam Berman, 2017). The municipality also intends to includean indigenous advisor in the Office of Diversity and Inclusion (Pam Berman, 2017). Although the statue still stands, it has been veiled with a black tarp. Overall, despite what happens to the statue, the controversy has led to the municipalityto make changes that otherwise would not have been done; it is about bringingthe community together and eliminating the public divide.