A black refugee settlement in Beechville, Halifax Regional Municipality, is now officially recognized for its historical and cultural significance.
This will ensure the defining elements of the site’s character are preserved for future generations.
Minister of African Nova Scotia Affairs Tony Ince, on behalf of Communities, Culture and Heritage Minister Leo Glavine, announced the provincial heritage property designation during a ceremony today, Aug. 7, on the grounds of the historic Beechville Baptist Church.
“We are pleased to recognize the settlement as a Provincial Heritage Property and to acknowledge its ties to our African Nova Scotian community and a place that contributes to our province’s shared history,” said Mr. Ince. “It is important that this significant place be protected and its stories be shared for generations to come”.
The site, designated under the Heritage Property Act, has historical and cultural significance as it contains the original land plots settled by black refugees who escaped enslavement in the United States to what was then the British colony of Nova Scotia during the war of 1812.
“Designating this site as a historical property is another proud day for us in Beechville,” said Danielle Wright, a resident of the community. “We are honoured that many from our senior generation are here to witness their long-time efforts contributing to this significant announcement.”
The community of Beechville participated in several meetings before the formal application was submitted to the department of Communities, Culture and Heritage in collaboration with the office of African Nova Scotian Affairs.
Promoting and increasing awareness of Nova Scotia’s rich heritage and its value to the province’s identity is included as an action item in Nova Scotia’s Culture Action Plan. The full plan is online at https://novascotia.ca/culture .