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Nova Scotia town joins others in removing the name Cornwallis from municipal property

LUNENBURG, N.S. — Another community in Nova Scotia has removed the name Cornwallis from municipal property — and the town of Lunenburg is now looking for new names from the public.

Lunenburg council announced Tuesday that a street and two parks will be renamed following a recommendation from the town’s anti-racism committee.

The committee said changes are needed because the parks and street were originally named after former Nova Scotia governor Edward Cornwallis, who issued a “scalping proclamation” in 1749 that offered a bounty to anyone who killed Mi’kmaq men, women or children.

Several other Nova Scotia communities have removed the name from their streets, including Bridgewater, Kentville, Halifax and Sydney. A statue of the British military officer was also removed from a park in downtown Halifax.

The plan in Lunenburg is to find new names that will honour Mi’kmaq and African Nova Scotian figures.

Lunenburg is asking residents to submit their ideas to an online public survey.

The survey includes a number of renaming options, including E’se’katik — the original Mi’kmaq name for Lunenburg — which means “place of clams.”

Other options include Gta’n, the Mi’kmaq word for ocean; Kluscap, the spiritual figure for Indigenous peoples in New England and Atlantic Canada; Matlot, the Mi’kmaq word for sailor; and Merligueche, the Mi’kmaq word for “whitecaps which topped the waves.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 25, 2023.

The Canadian Press