ontario news watch

Halifax street renamed after Mi’kmaq activist and ‘unsung hero’ Nora Bernard

HALIFAX — Community members and family of Mi’kmaq activist Nora Bernard came together to mark the renaming of a Halifax street that had long honoured a man who had called for the killing of her ancestors.

Bernard’s daughter Natalie Gloade said after today’s ceremony that it’s an overwhelming honour to see her mom’s name replace Edward Cornwallis’s on the north-end street sign for the first time.

Bernard, from Millbrook First Nation in Truro, N.S., was a residential school survivor who fought a 15-year court battle to win compensation for Indigenous children forced to attend those schools.

The Halifax road now called Nora Bernard Street was originally named after Cornwallis, the city’s founder and the colonial governor who issued a bounty for the scalps of Mi’kmaq people in 1749. 

In July 2021 Halifax Regional Municipality invited residents to vote on a new street name, and Bernard was the top choice, with more than 2,400 votes cast for her.

Millbrook First Nation Chief Bob Gloade says he hopes the street renaming will increase Nova Scotians’ and Canadians’ awareness of Bernard, who he calls an “unsung hero.”

Following Bernard’s legal fight, survivors of residential schools across Canada filed similar lawsuits, which were amalgamated and led to a national settlement in 2005 for more than $5 billion.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 30, 2023. 

The Canadian Press