African Heritage Month

Across Canada, Black History Month has been celebrated each year in February since 1950. The month of February was chosen because of the birthdays of Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln, who both played a large part in the emancipation of enslaved Blacks. In 2008, the Canadian Senate officially declared February as Black History Month across the country, but in Nova Scotia, Black History Month was renamed in 1996 and is now recognized as African Heritage Month.

In 2004, African Nova Scotian Affairs (ANSA) held the inaugural reading of the African Heritage Month Proclamation in the Red Chambers in Province House, Nova Scotia. Since then, ANSA has been working to expand awareness of African Nova Scotian Heritage Month throughout the Province.

African Heritage Month serves as a time to celebrate the contributions made by those of African descent. In Nova Scotia, we have over 400 years of heritage and contributions. Nova Scotia is home to a very rich African Heritage. This year, the municipality hosted the 5th Annual Proclamation Event. This event served as a chance to bring community together and highlight the young leaders of African descent and celebrate the local contributions of people of African descent.

Local African Heritage

Located within the Municipality of the County of Kings are two historical Black communities: Gibson Woods, and Pine Woods. Both communities are located West of Canning and North of Kentville. These two communities were once connected via by a small bridge named Gentleman’s Bridge that was demolished by 1960.

Pine Woods, now called Aldershot, was founded by sisters Dinah Powell and Chloe Lanzey. Lanzey Road in Aldershot being named after founder, Chloe. Some family names that may be recognizable coming from this community are Jones, Beare, Lanzey, Smith, Bell, Powell, and Higgins.

Gibson Woods located was named after George Gibson. George, a Black Loyalist, purchased the forty acres of land for forty pounds in 1804. After George’s death, the land of Gibson Woods was divided among his five children.

International Decade for People of African Descent

2024 marks the 10th and final year of the United Nations’ International Decade for People of African Descent (DPAD), which started in 2015 and will continue until 2024. The purpose of this decade is to strengthen global cooperation in support of people of African Descent as well as increase the awareness and the passage towards presence in all aspects of society.

Each year, the province establishes a theme in accordance with the purpose of DPAD. This year’s theme is "Our Smile, Our Joy, Our Resilience of African Nova Scotians", recognizing the resilience of people African descent across Nova Scotia. More information on the International Decade for People of African Decent can be found here .

For more information on the work of the Municipality of the County of Kings and events taking place throughout African Heritage Month, contact the Municipality's Diversity Specialists, Charissa Sanche at or Graysen Parker at