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SSW Initiative - Exploring the Mathieu Da Costa African Heritage Trail

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S: AVRSB RCH Division

FC: Exploring the Mathieu Da Costa African Heritage Trail | Student Support Worker Initiative July 12, 2012 created by Charity Salsman-Huntley

1: On July 12, 2012 Student Support Workers Charity Huntley, Shawn Johnson and Tracey Clements traveled from Windsor to Port Royal to explore the Mathieu Da Costa African Heritage Trail. As Student Support Workers having the opportunity to travel to the panel locations together and talk with elders such as Dennis Jackson from Gibson Woods gave us a greater understanding of the communities that are ancestors are from and the achievements our people have made in Nova Scotia since Mathieu Da Costa arrived in Nova Scotia over 400 years ago.

2: The red dots below on the map indicate the locations of the panels along the Mathieu Da Costa African Heritage Trail. The are 8 locations in total.

3: Panel Location 1: Windsor Plains | A poet and playwright, George Elliot Clarke is a notable descendant of Windsor Nova Scotia who bases most of his work on the history and experiences of African Nova Scotian people.

4: Panel Location 2 Hantsport School | Ben Jackson who has a road dedicated in his name was a Black Civil war veteran. He received a proper burial service for his courage in active duty 95 years after his remains lay in an unmarked grave in Lochartville, NS.

5: Ben Jackson | William Hall who was the first person of African descent to receive the Victoria Cross is also featured on this panel. The monument pictured on the right is dedicated to William Hall and is located close by the panel.

6: Panel Location 3: Acadia University This panel features: William Pearly Oliver | Reverend Dr. W.P. Oliver who was a African NS visionary and activist received his degree in Divinity from Acadia University.

7: Student Support Worker Charity Huntley is standing beside the panel that is located behind U-Hall at Acadia University.

8: Panel 4: Gibson Woods United Baptist Church | Gibson Woods community has a rich history much like any other historic Black community in Nova Scotia. Gibson Woods is home to Craig Gibson who is Canada's first commanding officer of African Descent in the RCMP.

9: Gibson Wood Community includes families like the Gibsons, Jacksons, Brownings, Stevensons, and Clements. Student Support Worker Tracey Clements who is pictured above has ancestors buried in the cemetery behind the community Church

10: Edith Cromwell was the first member of the Inglewood African-Nova Scotian community to graduate from high school, and later she was among the first Black graduates of the Nova Scotia Teacher's College. | Panel 5: Inglewood Community

11: Student Support Worker Shawn Johnson stands next to the panel located at the Inglewood Community Centre. The Inglewood Community Club is made up of elders in the community who host many events at this community centre.

12: Panel 6: Valley View Provincial Park

13: The African United Baptist Association is featured at this location. The AUBA which was founded in 1854 by Reverend Richard Preston helped foster the strength and resiliency of members of Black communities across NS. The AUBA provided not only a place of worship for African peoples but opportunities for education, unity and activism.

14: Panel 7: Annapolis Royal

15: Rose Fortune, Canada's first Black female Police officer is featured at this location as well as Daurene Lewis who was Canada's first female mayor of African Descent.

16: Panel 8: Port Royal | Mathieu Da Costa who was an interpreter of African Descent in the early 1600's is featured at this location. He was the first recorded person of African Descent in Canada.

18: Special Thanks to: RCH Coordinator Krishinda McBride Secretary to RCH - Ann Gould Student Support Worker - Shawn Johnson Student Support Worker - Tracey Clements VANSDA Mr. Dennis Jackson Our African Ancestors Darcy, Kaileb & Hannah Isabella The Sankofa featured throughout this book is an African symbol that teaches us that we must go back to our roots in order to move forward.

19: References: http://mdcaht.webs.com/panellocations.htm The Black Cultural Centre of Nova Scotia http://www.auba.ca/ http://www.theguardian.pe.ca/News/Local/2012-08-03/article-3045308/Historical-posting/1 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki http://blackhistorycanada.ca/events.php “Se wo were fi na wosankofa a yenkyi," "It is not wrong to go back for that which you have forgotten."

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  • By: Charity S.
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  • Title: SSW Initiative - Exploring the Mathieu Da Costa African Heritage Trail
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