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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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