News release

New Exhibit to Explore African Nova Scotians’ Connection to the Sea

From fishers to shipbuilders and sailors to shippers, the stories and contributions of African Nova Scotians in marine industries will be featured in a new, collaborative museum exhibit.

The African Nova Scotian Seafaring Project is a collaboration between the Fisheries Museum of the Atlantic, the Black Loyalist Heritage Centre and the Black Cultural Centre for Nova Scotia. The government is investing $150,000 in the project, scheduled to launch next spring.

“People of African descent have contributed greatly to every aspect of Nova Scotia’s society, including in marine industries,” said Fisheries and Aquaculture Minister Steve Craig, on behalf of Pat Dunn, Minister of Communities, Culture, Tourism and Heritage and African Nova Scotian Affairs. “This project is another opportunity to further learn about African Nova Scotian history going back more than 400 years.”

The African Nova Scotian Seafaring Project is in the early stages of planning and will require input from a community working group. It will officially launch in May 2023 at the Black Loyalist Heritage Centre in Shelburne County and travel to locations across the province before arriving at the Fisheries Museum of the Atlantic in Lunenburg, where it will remain long-term.

The total cost of the project is estimated at $200,000.


African Nova Scotian history is filled with achievement, accomplishment and resiliency. It is important that we live in a province with museums that try to reflect our incredible diversity, including our connections to the sea. There is still so much more to learn and know. Dwayne Provo, Associate Deputy Minister, African Nova Scotian Affairs

The African Nova Scotian Seafaring Project will shine an important light on a little-known aspect of our shared history. Delving into Nova Scotia’s rich seafaring heritage through the lens of the African Nova Scotian community will educate and inform. Russell Grosse, Executive Director, Black Cultural Centre for Nova Scotia

The Fisheries Museum of the Atlantic is honoured and grateful to be a part of this important and exciting project. Adrian Morrison, Curator, Fisheries Museum of the Atlantic

The Black Loyalist Heritage Centre is excited to collaborate on the African Nova Scotian Seafaring Project. We look forward to connecting with communities across the province and bringing recognition to the contributions of African Nova Scotian seafarers through this exhibit. Braden Chetwynd, Programming and Outreach Co-ordinator, Black Loyalist Heritage Centre

Quick Facts:

  • the government funding was awarded to the Lunenburg Marine Museum Society, a volunteer group that operates the Fisheries Museum of the Atlantic
  • 2.4 per cent of Nova Scotians identify as African Nova Scotian
  • there are more than 50 African Nova Scotian communities in Nova Scotia
  • 71.8 per cent of African Nova Scotians have roots in the province going back three generations or more

Fisheries Museum of the Atlantic:

Black Loyalist Heritage Centre:

Black Cultural Centre for Nova Scotia:

Count Us In: Nova Scotia’s Action Plan in Response to the International Decade for People of African Descent, 2015-2024: