The Society

Africville trust gets $2.5 million

Herald Staff
2010 The Halifax Herald Limited
November 27, 2010

Halifax Regional Municipality has written a $2.5-million cheque to honour a major part of its redress pledge to the former community of Africville.

The money has been transferred to the recently formed Africville Heritage Trust Society, Mayor Peter Kelly said Friday.

It’s an element of a compensation package for the defunct black settlement that was announced in Halifax in February.

Other components, such as renaming the municipal park that used to be Africville and setting up a black community affairs office at city hall, are still to come, said Kelly.

The trust society intends to use the money to build a church and an interpretive centre.

"We are looking forward to the Africville Heritage Trust carrying out the necessary steps for the construction" of the development, Irvine Carvery, president of the Africville Genealogy Society, said in a city hall release.

He said he’s happy with the municipality’s "sincere response."

A deal was struck between the city and genealogy society after many years of negotiations.

Elements of the Africville settlement, released during African Heritage Month, included a public apology, a $3-million municipal payout, $1.5 million from the province, $250,000 from Ottawa and a little more than a hectare of land in what’s now Seaview Park, which is earmarked for future development.

No personal compensation will be dished out.

The park, in the city’s north end, is to be renamed Africville.

Asked about the naming issue, the mayor said that remains unresolved but he expects to hear from the genealogy society soon.

"Should they wish to have Seaview Park renamed, we would rename it according to their request," he told The Chronicle Herald.

Kelly said the city’s proposed office of African-Nova Scotia affairs is to be in the next municipal budget. He said it will probably be staffed with one employee.

Razed in the 1960s, Africville was a tight-knit neighbourhood neglected by successive civic governments.

A sundial monument in the park pays tribute to the district’s founding families.

Ottawa declared the area a national heritage site in 2002.

Kelly said the balance of the city’s cash contribution — $500,000 — will be used for water and sewer services for the development site. The original community of Africville, on the shores of Bedford Basin, didn’t have such municipal services.

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The Africville Genealogy Society gratefully acknowledges the financial support of the Department of Canadian Heritage for this project.
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