News release

African Heritage Month Celebrations Begin

A virtual celebration today, January 23, marked the launch of African Heritage Month with a provincial proclamation and poster unveiling. The month recognizes and highlights the contributions of African Nova Scotians throughout the province’s history.

“The theme of African Heritage Month 2023 reminds us that the history of African Nova Scotian communities is defined by strength and determination,” said Lt.-Gov. Arthur J. LeBlanc. “As a province, we celebrate the legacy and contributions of African Nova Scotians, both past and present. Their lives and journeys have made a significant influence on our collective provincial identity; their stories will be shared and remembered for generations to come.”

This year’s theme, Seas of Struggle – African Peoples from Shore to Shore, recognizes the resilience, strength, determination and impact of people of African descent from the shores of Africa to the shores of Nova Scotia, with the Atlantic Ocean being the everlasting connection. The theme recognizes people of African descent as global architects and designers of civilization, advancement and change.

“Our province is proud to recognize the contributions, culture, and history of African Nova Scotians and people of African descent,” said Premier Tim Houston. “Diversity, inclusion and equity are fundamental to our collective growth and prosperity. Learning from our history and making change together today will help us build a better future.”

The provincial launch is available to watch at:

The African Heritage Month Information Network selects the theme, produces educational posters, and supports virtual and in-person events across the province.


African Heritage Month is a time for us to share, learn about and educate people on one of the founding cultures of Canada. This year’s theme speaks to the resiliency of African Nova Scotians through harsh physical and mental circumstances as they charted a course for a diverse province and country. Russell Grosse, Executive Director, Black Cultural Centre, and Organizational Lead, African Heritage Month Information Network

People of African descent have contributed to the rich diversity and vibrant communities that have defined Nova Scotian culture for more than 400 years. Sharing African Nova Scotian history helps us to further understand the experiences of African Nova Scotians and form a deeper connection to each other. Pat Dunn, Minister of African Nova Scotian Affairs

African Nova Scotian history is our shared history – a history that dates back centuries and is filled with achievement, accomplishment and resiliency. The significance of this history can be seen throughout the province in the formation of communities that thrive to this day. Dwayne Provo, Associate Deputy Minister, African Nova Scotian Affairs

African Heritage Month provides an opportunity for all of us to learn, understand and appreciate the important role Black people have played and continue to play in our society. Not only have we played an important role historically with the establishment of various black communities in Nova Scotia and other parts of Canada, but we have also contributed culturally, economically and otherwise to the development of this great country. African Heritage Month encourages us to work together with respect and love for each other as we walk hand-in-hand, side-by-side, striving to build a better world, a world free from racism where no one is left behind. Gordon Earle, former Member of Parliament for Halifax West

Quick Facts:

  • the Province has proclaimed February as African Heritage Month
  • the African Heritage Month Information Network is a partnership with nine African Nova Scotian organizations
  • there are more than 50 African Nova Scotian historical communities in Nova Scotia
  • 2.4 per cent of Nova Scotians identify as African Nova Scotian
  • 71.8 per cent of African Nova Scotians have roots in the province going back three generations or more

Additional Resources:

For more information about African Heritage Month or to order a poster, visit:

African Heritage Month events calendar:

African Nova Scotian Affairs:

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

International Decade for People of African Descent: