01/29/2014 07:10 EST | Updated 03/31/2014 05:59 EDT

Petition circulates to dump royal from name of Cape Breton's Gaelic College

ANTIGONISH, N.S. - A recent decision to alter the name of Cape Breton's Gaelic College by adding the designation "royal" continues to rankle many descendents of Scottish immigrants who first landed in Nova Scotia more than 200 years ago.

Antigonish County resident Joe MacKinnon, who speaks Gaelic, says the words Gaelic and royal mix like oil and water.

MacKinnon says a petition is circulating asking the Royal Gaelic College in St. Ann's to remove the newly-received designation from its name.

So far more than 300 people have signed the petition.

MacKinnon says many people have not forgotten history and aren't in favour of having "anything royal" about the college.

Many of those opposed say the addition ignores the fact that most of the Gaelic-speaking migrants who came to Nova Scotia in the late 1700s were forced out of the Highlands in the years following a decisive battle with the English.