The province of Nova Scotia will contribute $1.5 million over three years to help construct a church and interpretive centre on the former site of the African Nova Scotian community of Africville. Premier Darrell Dexter and Minister of African Nova Scotian Affairs Percy Paris, made the announcement today, Feb. 24, at an event celebrating the commitment of all levels of government to the Africville project. The province’s contribution will go toward the capital costs of the development of a church and interpretive centre on the former site. “The province of Nova Scotia, led by the Office of African Nova Scotian Affairs, has spent years working with the Africville Genealogical Society and other levels of government to make sure this tribute to Africville became reality,” said Premier Dexter. “I am happy to say that the province’s contribution will help ensure former residents of Africville and their descendants have a fitting memorial that will tell the story of this unique community.” Forty years ago, the last home in Africville was bulldozed. Its razing ended a six-year period of deconstruction. Homes, the post office, the school and the church were physically destroyed. Families, lifestyles and livelihoods were psychologically devastated. In 2005, the Africville Genealogy Society contacted political representatives to discuss recognition for the former residents and descendants of Africville. In response, the Africville Steering Committee was established, including the Africville Genealogy Society and representatives from all levels of government. The purpose was to work towards building a fitting memorial for the former Africville community. “Today is very special. Now we can begin to heal,” said Irvine Carvery, president of the Africville Genealogy Society. “The work this committee has done over the past five years is going to create a legacy for future generations.” “Far too many members of Nova Scotia’s youth only know Africville as a park to walk a dog. That will change,” said Mr. Paris. “This is a long-term project but, today, we can now look forward to the exciting work ahead in realizing this project’s goals.” The Africville Steering Committee will continue to meet with project consultants to plan next steps.