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The statue of Edward Cornwallis was removed Jan. 31, 2018. (Craig Paisley/CBC) The Assembly of Nova Scotia Mi’kmaq Chiefs is willing to split the cost of a committee established to look into the commemoration of Halifax founder Edward Cornwallis, as well as Indigenous history.

But first, Halifax regional council will have to agree to some changes.

The committee met in public for the first time Monday night. The meeting only lasted five minutes.

Members voted in favour of a motion to change the structure of the committee to provide greater independence. ‘Equal partnership’

"It was established as a committee of council," said Monica MacDonald, a co-chair of the committee. "We want to make it a true and equal partnership between the Mi’kmaq community and HRM."

Chief Roderick Googoo, the other co-chair, said it was the only way to ensure a positive outcome.

"We want to do this in a very objective way," said Googoo. "To make it more valid, this committee has to be seen as arm’s length from HRM."

Coun. Matt Whitman, who walked into the meeting as it was wrapping up, remains hopeful.

"If this will help the dialogue, then good," said Whitman. Monica MacDonald and Rod Googoo head a committee studying the commemoration of Halifax founder Edward Cornwallis, as well as Indigenous history. (Pam Berman/CBC) No further meetings will be scheduled until after council approves the changes to the committee’s structure.

The statue of Edward Cornwallis was removed from a south-end park following a series of protests.

Cornwallis has been condemned for issuing a reward for Mi’kmaq scalps in 1749.

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