History of Black Nova Scotia 


Map with names of communities

StFX strives to create a living and learning community where we can all thrive.  

We believe that in a community of equity and inclusion, you can openly and comfortably bring your whole self to school every day and feel a sense of belonging and safety. We know that when you can bring your whole self, it enhances your learning.   

In the spirit of equity and inclusion, let's take a moment to situate StFX geographically and culturally. 

We would like to recognize the African Nova Scotian communities who have called this land their home for the last four hundred years, and who have also been marginalized and excluded in this territory.  

Peoples of African descent are a vibrant part of Nova Scotia’s past. These individuals have made Nova Scotia their home and have contributed to the fabric and success of today’s province. Nova Scotia can be said to be the birthplace of black culture and heritage in Canada, boasting the largest Indigenous Black community in Canada. 

These culturally rich settlers formed the African Nova Scotian community, and today, over 400 years later, call Nova Scotia their home. During their time, they've settled in 52 historic communities, such as some of the well-known communities of Shelburne, Africville, East Preston, Annapolis Royal, Cherry Brook, Halifax, Sydney, Antigonish, Springhill, North Preston, and Beechville to name a few. 

StFX affirms that Black lives matter, as we continue to address the intersections of racism, colonialism, and sexism in our communities. 

Kente Cloth

The Black Cultural Centre

Kente Cloth

Nova Scotia Archives

Kente Cloth

The Story of Africville

Kente Cloth

Tourism Nova Scotia

The Sankofa Bird 

Graphic image of a bird

“Sankofa” is an African word from the Akan tribe in Ghana. The translation of this term means to “go back and get it.” The Sankofa bird symbolizes the Akan people’s quest for knowledge, in the context of critical examination, intelligence, and patient investigation. The symbol itself – shown in the photo above – is based on a mythical creature, a bird, with its feet planted firmly forward while its head looks backward. It is believed by the Akan peoples that past experiences serve as a guide for planning for the future. To the Akan, it is the wisdom in learning from the past that helps to ensure a strong future. 

For more information regarding the Sankofa bird, its historical context, and resources explored, visit The Power of Sankofa

Adinkra Symbols & Meanings 

Adinkra are visual symbols that encapsulate evocative messages conveying traditional wisdom, philosophical thoughts and ideas, and aspects of life and the environment. To learn more, visit African Adinkra Symbols and Meanings

An African symbol depicting knowledge


An African symbol depicting creativity


An African symbol depicting unity



Human Rights and Equity

424C Bloomfield Centre
5555 Union Place
Antigonish NS B2G 2W5