Red Paint Thrown On Halifax’s Edward Cornwallis Statue After Controversial Vote

Red paint defaces the statue of Halifax city founder Edward Cornwallis in Halifax on Friday, May 13, 2016.

Red paint defaces the statue of Halifax city founder Edward Cornwallis in Halifax on Friday, May 13, 2016.

By Red Power Media, Staff, May 20, 2016

Red paint thrown on statue of Halifax founder who issued bounty on scalps of Mi’kmaq men, women and children

The Mi’kmaq have long called for removal of tributes to Edward Cornwallis, some calling his actions against their ancestors a “genocide.”

Cornwallis, then governor of Nova Scotia, founded Halifax in 1749 and soon after issued a bounty on the scalps of Mi’kmaq men, women and children, in response to an attack on colonists.

A statue of Cornwallis was vandalized last week, days after Halifax council refused to reconsider how the city honours its controversial founder.

Red paint was found on the statue’s base, plaque and nearby stones, with smaller splashes on the statue itself.


The statue, which the Mi’kmaq community has long argued is racist, has been at the centre of controversy with many calling for it to be taken down. (CP)

All-White Vote Criticized

The statue has been vandalized before, in 2013, vandals wrote “FAKE”” in large red letters on the statue.

The Mi’kmaq Native Friendship Centre and Cornwallis Street Baptist church have petitioned council to re-name Cornwallis Street, partly inspiring the motion.

Rebecca Thomas, a Mi’kmaq poet who was named Halifax’s poet laureate in March, has criticized the vote of the all-white council, noting the “sweet irony” of some councillors’ concerns that their history would be erased in favour of an indigenous narrative.

Halifax removes red paint thrown on statue

Tiffany Chase, a spokeswoman for the Halifax Regional Municipality, said the city’s graffiti-removal contractor has already fixed the damage.

The city decided not to ask police to investigate.

Halifax police Const. Dianne Woodworth said the force does not investigate vandalism unless a complaint is made by the property owner.

“We don’t have an investigation at this point.”

With files from the Canadian Press