Nova Scotia Celebrates UN International Year for People of African Descent

first_imgAfrican Nova Scotian communities will share their stories with the world during 2011, the United Nations International Year for People of African Descent. “In 2011, we will step up and lead the way in celebrating the International Year for People of African Descent. Not just in Canada, but in the world,” said Percy Paris, Minister of African Nova Scotian Affairs. “I am very excited about this celebration.” Representatives from the African Diaspora Heritage Trail Foundation and the UNESCO Culture Sector were at Province House today, Dec. 15, to help Mr. Paris and Lt.-Gov. Mayann Francis officially launch the International Year for People of African Descent in Nova Scotia. “It is wonderful to see Nova Scotia embrace this theme of celebrating heritage and culture of African descent,” said Edmond Moukala, a UNESCO program specialist based in Paris. “You have a rich history here that may not be well known around the world, but it will certainly become known in 2011.” The United Nations has designated 2011 as a year to promote education and respect for the diverse cultures of people of African descent, and to increase inclusion in all areas of society. As part of its celebrations, Nova Scotia will host the African Diaspora Heritage Trail (ADHT) Conference in Halifax, Sept. 22-24. The annual conference draws hundreds of dignitaries, scholars and tourism operators from around the world who are focused on preserving and promoting important sites and stories throughout the African diaspora, the movement of Africans and their descendants throughout the world. “The ADHT initiative is designed to benefit the countries of the African diaspora by providing accessible expertise and assistance in developing heritage tourism,” said Oluremi Bademosi, a director of the Bermuda-based ADHT Foundation. “We are delighted that Nova Scotia will be the third destination outside of Bermuda to host the conference.” The international representatives are in Halifax for a site visit. They will meet with organizations such as the Africville Heritage Trust, the Black Loyalist Heritage Society and the Black Cultural Centre. On Thursday, they will visit an African heritage art show at Eastern Shore District High School and tour local communities. “We have so many stories worth telling in Nova Scotia,” said Mr. Paris. “Our visitors, both this week and next September, are going to learn what a vibrant, historic presence of African heritage we have right here in this province.”last_img

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