Antigonish, Nova Scotia, Canada

Town of Antigonish launches African Heritage Month during celebration at StFX

January 30th, 2017

Members of the StFX and Antigonish communities gathered together on Jan. 30, 2017 to celebrate and recognize the legacy of African Nova Scotians past, present and future during the launch of African Heritage Month in Antigonish.

The town’s annual launch celebration was held at StFX’s Bloomfield Centre with town and county officials, Antigonish MLA, the Hon. Randy Delorey, Strait Regional School Board representatives, community members and StFX staff, faculty and students in attendance. This year’s theme is “Passing the Torch … African Nova Scotians and the Next 150.”

“Passing the torch is this year’s theme. Looking to future generations, we must never forget the past, whose shoulders the next generation will stand on,” Antigonish Mayor Laurie Boucher said as she officially proclaimed February as African Heritage Month.

As several speakers did during the ceremony, Ms. Boucher highlighted the heritage and wonderful contributions of African Nova Scotia communities to society.

Ms. Boucher said there is much to celebrate, and still much more to accomplish in making Nova Scotia and Canada a home we can all be proud of.

Minister Delorey said it is important to reflect on the past, to bring awareness to the history, heritage and contributions of African Nova Scotians, and to learn from those experiences to forge forward for a better future.

“This is a big year in Canada. We’re recognizing 150 years as a country. There are many historical and cultural African Nova Scotian communities that date back more than 200 years, communities that played a vital role in defining the Canada we celebrate this year,” Antigonish County Warden Russell Boucher said. “This pride and legacy needs to be celebrated.”

StFX Academic Vice-President & Provost Dr. Kevin Wamsley brought greetings on behalf of StFX and President Dr. Kent MacDonald. During his remarks, he spoke of the courage, dignity and strength of character of the late Viola Desmond, an African Nova Scotian, and the path that changed her life and in a way everyone here today as she became an icon of the civil rights movement and took her place in Canadian history.

Abena Amoako-Tuffour, Coordinator of International Student Engagment at StFX, reads a poem, Blazing Hope, during the launch.   

Along with a number of speakers, the ceremony including a selection of poetry, songs, and readings as well as inspiration that we all can make a difference.

Lorraine Reddick, Student Support Worker with the Strait Regional School Board, provided welcome and Michael Fisher, StFX Coordinator for Students of African Descent, brought closing remarks.

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