PORT HAWKESBURY, N.S. – A Cape Breton mayor wants the island’s traditional Mi’kmaq name added to the iconic sign welcoming visitors to the island.
The updated sign on bridge linking the island to the mainland would read “Welcome to Cape Breton/Unama’ki,” adding the name used by Mi’kmaq residents and institutions.
Mayor Brenda Chisholm Beaton of Port Hawkesbury has drafted a letter to Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil asking for the change.
The traditional name loosely translates to “Land of Fog.”
Chisholm Beaton says the small token would show that First Nations are respected — the island has five Mi’kmaq communities with about 7,500 people.
The idea was widely supported during the One Cape Breton summit in November by members of municipalities and First Nations communities.
“To have Unama’ki added to the Welcome to Cape Breton sign, it would be very symbolic of our shared history,” said Chisholm Beaton.
“We are here on unceded ancestral Mi’kmaq territory, and it certainly is like I said a very small token, but it will go a long way with regards toward reconciliation.”