The Assembly of Nova Scotia Mi’kmaq Chiefs is calling on Halifax regional council to remove the statue of Edward Cornwallis immediately, after a process to discuss the statue’s future became stalled.
In a community notice posted to Facebook on Friday, the assembly said it agreed in October to work with council to form a panel to discuss its concerns with the statue, and how the city commemorates history.
“This committee has yet to be formed and yesterday at the assembly meeting, the Chiefs unanimously agreed that this process has taken far too long and have therefore chosen to no longer participate in these panel discussions,” the statement read.
In April, Halifax regional council voted to form an expert panel to make recommendations on how to handle city streets, parks and other infrastructure named after Cornwallis.
Cornwallis, a military officer who founded Halifax in 1749, issued the so-called scalping proclamation, offering a cash bounty to anyone who killed a Mi’kmaw person.
The statue of Cornwallis in Halifax’s south end became a flashpoint during the summer, with protestors demanding the statue be taken down.
Bob Gloade, chief of Millbrook First Nation, said the assembly has been working with councillors and Mayor Mike Savage for months.
“They were supposed to put a committee together. They still haven’t formalized an actual committee to deal with the issues,” he said.
“That’s been delayed and delayed. It’s frustrating.”
Gloade said the assembly has put forward names of people it wants to represent the Mi’kmaq of Nova Scotia on the committee.
“They keep coming back with different questions. It’s just prolonging the issue and delaying the issue,” he said.
“If they want to formalize a committee to deal with all the other issues that were brought forward for a number of years, they can do that,” he said. “But if they’re really committed to building a nation-to-nation relationship and showing a true sign of reconciliation with the Mi’kmaq of Nova Scotia, let’s deal with the one pressing issue that keeps getting continually brought up.”
“Remove the statue, plain and simple.”
CBC News has reached out to the mayor’s office for comment.