**** HRM Media Release
Date of Council Meeting: November 17, 2020
Subject: Use of the term Micmac on Municipal Streets and Facilities
Motion for Council to Consider:
That Regional Council request a staff report on renaming Micmac Boulevard, the Micmac Transit Terminal, and Micmac Drive in Dartmouth, and Micmac Street and Micmac Court in Halifax.
The report should consider
(1) Whether the east-west portion of Micmac Boulevard from the current intersection of
Glen Manor Drive should become part of Glen Manor to better fit HRM’s current
policies for street names
(2) A new commemorative name for the portion of Micmac Boulevard that extends from
the intersection of Glen Manor to the intersection of Lancaster/Woodland that reflects the former Black community that previously existed in the area for approximately 200 years
(3) Whether the Micmac Transit Terminal should be given the same commemorative name as Micmac Boulevard or a new one of its own
(4) New or corrected names for Micmac Street, Micmac Court, and Micmac Drive
The Cornwallis Taskforce report recommended that HRM examine its approach to naming
streets and places to reintroduce Mi’kmaq place names and language. The term Micmac is used on several streets in HRM and has been described by members of the Mi’kmaq community as “outdated and disrespectful” and “antiquated.” HRM should consider whether Micmac should be changed to Mi’kmaq or if entirely new names are needed for these streets given that all of the geographic areas where they’re located have different Mi’kmaq names.
The situation around Micmac Boulevard is somewhat more complicated. Micmac Boulevard, like the Mall, appears to be named after nearby Lake Micmac (the lake was renamed Lake Micmac in 1922). The land that Micmac Boulevard is built on is a very important site for the
history of another historically marginalized group: Black Nova Scotians.
The Avenue was an historic Black community in Dartmouth with roots that go back to the early 1800s. The Church
that stood near the corner of Glen Manor and Crichton, just a short distance from present day Micmac Boulevard, was one of several Baptist Churches founded by Richard Preston.
Municipal Streets and Facilities
African Baptist tradition that began there in the 1840s lives on today at the Victoria Road Baptist Church in Downtown Dartmouth.
Given the history of the land where Micmac Boulevard is today, subject to discussion with the affected communities, a new commemorative name that draws from the Black community may be the better fit.
In addition to HRM’s usual Civic Addressing processes of engaging with residents and businesses on the affected streets, HRM staff should also engage with the Black and Mi’kmaq community through HRM’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion and the African Nova
Scotian Affairs Integration Office.