Discover African Nova Scotia
African Nova Scotia Road Trip
The story of black Nova Scotians is a story of many diverse groups – all connected by a shared African ancestry. As one of our founding cultures, African Nova Scotians have called the province home for centuries. You won’t soon forget exploring our vibrant African heritage and communities! For more information, download the Cultural Assets of Nova Scotia Guide.
Black Cultural Centre for Nova Scotia, Cherry Brook
Explore the history and culture of Canada’s oldest black communities, some dating back to the 1600s. The Centre houses a library, auditorium, and exhibits that tell the little known stories of these early Nova Scotia settlers.
Maritime Museum of the Atlantic, Halifax
William Hall was the first black person and the first Nova Scotian to receive the Victoria Cross – the British Empire’s highest award for bravery. See his medal on display and discover so much more at the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic, a fascinating seafaring museum on the Halifax waterfront.
Army Museum, Halifax Citadel National Historic Site
Located in the Cavalier Building at the Halifax Citadel National Historic Site, the Army Museum houses a display dedicated to Canada’s only all-black battalion and the all-black 104th Pioneer Regiment.
Africville Museum, Halifax
Africville was a thriving African Nova Scotian community nestled on the edge of Halifax Harbour - until its buildings were destroyed and residents displaced to free up land for Halifax’s industrial expansion. Today, the Africville Museum commemorates the injustice of this destruction and celebrates the strong community spirit that still endures. Although the events happened in Halifax, Africville is a universal story of community and home.
Black Loyalist Heritage Centre and Birchtown Historical Site
With a population of more than 2,500, Birchtown, Nova Scotia was home to the largest settlement of free and liberated blacks outside Africa in the years following the American Revolution.
Opening in May 2015, the Black Loyalist Heritage Centre will take visitors on the journey of these black settlers, from places like America and Jamaica to Nova Scotia – and for many, back to Africa. The centre is close to the town of Shelburne where parts of the Book of Negroes miniseries were filmed. Visitors can explore costumes from the movie and search a database of the Book of Negroes to trace their own connection to the region, era, and heritage.
Mathieu Da Costa African Heritage Trail
Mathieu Da Costa, an African-descended, multi-lingual interpreter and explorer, travelled throughout the Atlantic in the late 1500s. A series of eight bilingual interpretive panels tell his story and showcase Nova Scotia’s African heritage in the Annapolis Valley. You can learn more about him with a visit to Port Royal.
Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Site
Louisbourg was home to numerous black slaves in the 1700s. Marie Marguerite Rose was one of them, until she was given her freedom and went on to become a successful business person in the town. Visitors at the Fortress of Louisbourg can learn about her story and the stories of other blacks in the town by speaking with costumed interpreters and by visiting a monument recognizing her remarkable life.
The Fortress of Louisbourg was also a filming location for several scenes in the Book of Negroes miniseries.