In October 2017, Halifax Regional Council approved the creation of a Special Advisory Committee on Commemoration of Edward Cornwallis and the Recognition and Commemoration of Indigenous History was established, with the mandate of providing advice to Regional Council regarding the commemoration of Edward Cornwallis on municipal assets (e.g. park, statue, street) and on the recognition and commemoration of indigenous history in the lands now known as the Halifax Regional Municipality.
Council approved a budget for the committee of $50,000, for research, public engagement, and other required supports, and a stipend for each committee member of $150 per meeting, up to $2,100. There was no reporting period established for the committee.
The names of the 10 members, five proposed by the Assembly of Nova Scotia Mi’kmaq Chiefs and five by staff from the Halifax Regional Municipality, were presented on July 17, 2018 to Regional Council, which ratified the appointment of proposed members.
In August 2018, the co-chairs requested a change in the governance structure of the committee. This motion was approved by Regional Council in October 2018, following similar motions passed by the committee, then by the Assembly.
In December 2018, an administrative approach to the new governance structure was ratified between the Halifax Regional Municipality and Kwilmu’kw Maw-klusuaqn Negotiation Office (Mi’kmaq Rights Initiative) on behalf of the Assembly of Nova Scotia Mi’kmaq Chiefs and the Mi’kmaw of Nova Scotia.
Originally established as a Special Advisory Committee to Regional Council, the new governance structure better reflects the equal partnership between the Halifax Regional Municipality and the Assembly of Nova Scotia Mi’kmaq Chiefs, and the committee now has the ability to set its own processes and procedures.
The mandate and membership of the committee remain the same. However, the original budget of $50,000 will now be funded equally by the Halifax Regional Municipality and the Assembly, and the administrative support for the committee will also be equally shared.
The new committee has also been asked to complete its work within two years.
A motion was passed at the first meeting of the newly constituted committee on Jan. 21, 2019 for the Special Advisory Committee to be renamed the Task Force on the Commemoration of Edward Cornwallis and the Recognition and Commemoration of Indigenous History.
Regular meetings are planned for the third Monday of every month, as scheduling allows. The first in a series of public consultation sessions are anticipated to be held in spring 2019. Details regarding specific timing will be announced in the near future.
Members of the public can also provide written submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org on the topics of the commemoration of Edward Cornwallis on municipal assets (e.g. park, statue, street) and on the recognition and commemoration of indigenous history in the lands now known as the Halifax Regional Municipality. These submissions may be made available to the public through any reporting by the committee and/ or freedom of information requests. Please note that the Task Force will address correspondence received at its discretion and correspondence received may form a part of the public record of matters before the Committee.
For more information on the work of the Commemoration Task Force you can visit halifax.ca. Specifically, https://www.halifax.ca/city-hall/boards-committees-commissions/a-c/task-force-commemoration, or visit the Kwilmu’kw Maw-klusuaqn Negotiation Office (Mi’kmaq Rights Initiative) website at http://mikmaqrights.com/our-community/commemoration-task-force/.
- Yvonne Atwell
- Jaime Battiste
- Sheila Fougere
- Pam Glode-Desrochers
- Chief Roderick Googoo (co-chair)
- Dr. John Johnston
- Dr. Monica MacDonald (co-chair)
- Heather McNeill, Q.C.
- Mi’kmaq Elder Dr. Dan Paul
- John Reid