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Mon, 06.06.1921

The Nova Scotia Home for Colored Children opens

*On this date in 1921, the Nova Scotia Home for Colored Children was formed. 

The home opened in Halifax, Nova Scotia to accept Black children in need of care who, at the time, were not permitted in white institutions. A crowd of 3000 spectators, the largest gathering of Black Nova Scotians since 1783, celebrated the opening of the home. In the 1960s segregation was coming to an end, and Blacks were being integrated into white institutions.  During the end of segregation and into the 1970s the home became an institution for children of all races and ethnic backgrounds.  

The home came under fire when many former residents reported physical and sexual abuse they suffered during their time at the home.  Many former residents came forward with allegations of abuse they experienced during their time at the home, which ended in a class action lawsuit, and an apology from the Premier of Nova Scotia.  This abuse was discontinued in the 1980s.  On October 10, 2014, the premier of Nova Scotia, Stephen McNeil, gave an apology to those who suffered due to the Nova Scotia Home for Colored Children. A class action lawsuit with the province of Nova Scotia was settled in July 2014, which awarded 300 former residents $29 million on top of $5 million settled in the summer of 2013 with the Nova Scotia Home for Colored Children. Unfortunately, many of the former residents are still waiting for the money awarded to them.  

The former schoolhouse is now used as a meeting place for local community groups.  McNeil noted that this was one of the most horrific events that took place in the province and the cries of the people fell on deaf ears for so long. McNeil also noted that he is thankful to the former residents for their courage and ability to share their stories and bring awareness and inspiration to other African Nova Scotia communities, and all Nova Scotians.  In the present day, the building is used as a meeting place for community groups.  

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