As cities and communities across Canada confront the legacies of colonialism and racism, monuments and memorials have become a hot topic of public debate. On November 14th, London, Ontario’s Words Festival, brought together Lisa Helps, Mayor of Victoria, Monica MacDonald, co-chair of Halifax’s Cornwallis Taskforce, and University of Toronto History Professor Melanie Newton, for a discussion on the deliberative processes… Read more »
What the committee’s work does, the report suggests, is carefully and responsibly “harmonize commemoration with publicly-held values, and in particular to resolve situations in which sites of commemoration may have become actively offensive to those values.”
“What’s in a Monument?” is based on a public lecture delivered on March 11 in the History Matters Series organized by the University of Calgary History Department and the Calgary Public Library. We recommend that you read yesterday’s post by Jewel Spangler about the Robert E. Lee monument in Charlottesville before Part II because it provides the theoretical framework for… Read more »
By Tom Fraser On January 30th 2018, Halifax Regional Council voted 12-4 in favour of the immediate removal of the statue of Edward Cornwallis which has stood upon a plinth in the city’s south end since 1931. Despite the oft-repeated lamentations from colleagues and constituents about the “rewriting of history,” 12 councillors finally found the courage to listen to both prominent… Read more »
By Thomas Peace Last week marked the twentieth anniversary of Jack Granatstein’s provocative polemic Who Killed Canadian History, a book that laments the perceived steep decline in Canadians’ knowledge of our past. It is rare for any book to have such staying power. Earlier this month, for example, the book was drawn upon extensively in an op-ed column for my local… Read more »
By Lachlan MacKinnon On 30 May 2013, the controversial statue of Edward Cornwallis standing in downtown Halifax was once again thrust into public debate. That morning, the rear of the monument’s base was found to have been graffitotagged with the word “fake.” Similarly, the plaque bearing Cornwallis’s name was defaced with the words “self-righteous ass.” This was the latest salvo… Read more »
Removing the name of Halifax’s founder, Edward Cornwallis, from the masthead of a South End junior high school is perhaps the most recent and blatant example of the old controversy over renaming schools.