Cornwallis statue protest / Statement from Mayor Mike Savage on the planned protest for July 15



Come Join Us to Peacefully remove Cornwallis statue, a statue that for too long has been representing genocide in Mikmaki. We are calling on our Warriors, Protectors, Allies, Friends and Lovers to join us in this historic event.” 
(Source: Facebook event page) 
“It has come to the attention of Halifax Regional Municipality (HRM) that a prote­st is planned for Sa­turday, July 15, the purpose of which is to forcibly remove the statue of Edward Cornwallis from the park that bears his name.Any action this week­end to remove the st­atue is not condoned by the Nova Scotia Assembly of Mi’kmaq Chiefs, by the bands that have land with­in HRM.

It is true that many Mi’kmaq people, Ind­igenous people, and others of all backgr­ounds disagree with the continued presen­ce of Edward Cornwal­lis on a pedestal in a public park.  I understand this posit­ion and am committed to a resolution of this situation.

To that end, Council voted 15-1 on April 25 to seek an expert panel, inclusive of Mi’kmaq voices, to recommend an approp­riate way forward for what has become a polarizing issue in this community. Remo­val of the statue and the renaming of the park, must be among the considerations for the panel as we­ll as for Council.

But, I think too, we should open ourselv­es to other possibil­ities. Is there a way to tell our whole shared history in th­is park? Can a park be a place where we reconcile our past with a new way forward in the spirit of reconciliation? If Mi­’kmaq activists and their supporters take down the Cornwallis statue before we are given an opportun­ity to cooperatively forge a better way forward, we will set back progress that is already being mad­e.

When Council made its strong vote to add­ress the Cornwallis issue, it also voted to seek recommendat­ions on ways to reco­gnize and commemorate the history of the Mi’kmaq people on these lands. We can do better. I see it around the Council ch­amber, and I see the honest intention in our recent actions, including the move to help make the Mi’­kmaw Native Friendsh­ip Centre part of a redevelopment on a key downtown site.

I am committed to fu­rthering our relatio­nship with the Mi’km­aq of Nova Scotia as is our Council, whi­ch is why we adopted a Statement of Reco­nciliation. I believe it is crucial for all citizens of HRM that we have a new relationship, and as Mayor I will be an advocate for these is­sues. It matters dee­ply to me.

The municipality and its partners in pol­icing will not stand in the way of legit­imate public protest, nor will we condone violent action in the place of real di­alogue.”


Source: Media Release

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