Province launches online resource devoted to African Nova Scotian history

The African Nova Scotian flag is seen outside Halifax City Hall on Friday, Feb. 1, 2019. Whitney Oickle / Global News

An online resource will be launched on Tuesday to document the history and culture of African Nova Scotians.

The resource, “Looking Back, Moving Forward: Documenting the Heritage of African Nova Scotians,” has been created by Nova Scotia Archives, and it includes court records, maps, photographs, newspapers, land records and rare published materials.

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“Launching the online resource during African Heritage Month 2020 is especially momentous and meaningful,” said Lt.-Gov. Arthur LeBlanc in a press release.

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“This important collection will help all Nova Scotians better understand our incredibly rich African Nova Scotian history, heritage and culture.”

According to the province, the online resource will provide access to materials in one central place, and the public would be able to access it free of charge. Documentation will also be added annually as more material is acquired.

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“Nova Scotia has been home to people of African descent for over 400 years,” said Tony Ince, Minister of African Nova Scotian Affairs. “This collection will help us better understand our shared past while creating a more inclusive future for all Nova Scotians.”

According to the government, African Nova Scotians are the largest racialized group in the province, making up 37.3 per cent of Nova Scotia’s racialized population.

Moreover, 71.8 per cent of African Nova Scotians have roots in Nova Scotia going back three generations or more.

“This online resource holds materials representing the various African Nova Scotian communities across the province. This is an excellent tool for the public, historians, genealogists and students in all levels of the education system to learn more about African Nova Scotian history,” said David States, researcher and consultant, African Canadian history and genealogy in the Atlantic provinces.

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