Edward Cornwallis, memorialized in a downtown statue as the founder and first governor of Halifax, is also well remembered by some Nova Scotians as the man who ordered all Mi’kmaq men, women and children scalped for a 10 pound sterling reward in 1749.
Yesterday, on the National Aboriginal Day of Action in Support of First Nations, the statue wore a brightly coloured one cent price tag and a small gathering of young adults from the Mi’kmaq community quietly requested the government get rid of the statue.
“It’s very hurtful,” said Alana Lee, a Dalhousie University Social Work student.
The history of Mi’kmaq people in Nova Scotia has been a painful one, Lee said.
And what happened to her people in the past is not the sort of thing that’s taught in grade school.
“There’s that whole piece that’s cut out, Canada’s shame,” she said. “You don’t hear about all the social injustices within the Indian Act and people don’t know why we’re facing issues.”
Natives living on and off reserves in Canada face issues of poverty, drug addiction and substance abuse.
The Atlantic Policy Congress of First Nation Chiefs co-chair Chief Lawrence Paul, spoke at Dalhousie University yesterday to commemorate the day of action which was recognized in cities all across Canada.
He said in a release the day is an opportunity to raise awareness about the plight of Canada’s First Nations.