Cultural Contribution of Indigenous People in the Canadian Military

Poster MacFarlane

The Royal Nova Scotia Historical Society has received the following notice:

When the first Canadian contingent left Halifax in 1914 for the Great War, it appeared to be very British. After the experiences of that first world war and of the past century, it has become clearer that Indigenous People have not only been included in the Canadian military but have contributed significantly to its evolution.

The Royal United Services Institute of Nova Scotia extends an invitation to members of the Royal Nova Scotia Historical Society to hear a talk by John MacFarlane, Directorate of History and Heritage, Department of National Defence, on Wednesday, 21 November 2018. John’s talk is titled “Growing Together: the Cultural Contribution of Indigenous People in the Canadian Military since the First World War.” His bio is attached.

The event will start at 11:30 am at the Royal Artillery Park Officers’ Mess, 1575 Queen Street, Halifax, with an informal no-host get together, followed by the talk at noon, then questions and answers, to finish about 1:30 pm.

A limited number of light lunches will be available at a small charge. There are some cafés, etc., in the area that offer quick take out lunches. Parking at Royal Artillery Park is very limited.

Registration is not required and there is no fee to attend this event.


CAH Darlington
Commander, Royal Canadian Navy (retired)
Vice-President, RUSI(NS)

Royal United Services Institute of Nova Scotia
Twitter: @RUSI_NS
Facebook: Royal United Services Institute – NS

Speaker Bio

Seven Flags over Shearwater

Orr poster

Members of The Royal Nova Scotia Historical Society have been invited to attend the following presentation:

Presentation Title: “Seven Flags over Shearwater: 100 years of an East Coast Air Station”

Abstract: On Sunday, 25 August, 1918, two Curtiss HS-2L flying boats of the United States Navy took off from United States Naval Air Station Halifax, located at Baker Point on the eastern shore of the harbor. They then proceeded to fly over the Citadel – thereby eliciting a strong letter of protest from the army authorities. From this somewhat inauspicious beginning commenced 100 years of aviation at ‘an East Coast Air Station’ – and what an exciting 100 years they have been.

The air station played an integral part of the development of the RCAF in the lean years of the Depression and during the Second World War, was the main operational base of the RCAF’s Eastern Air Command. After the war, the station was transferred to the Royal Canadian Navy and renamed RCN Air Station (RCNAS) Dartmouth and commissioned as HMCS SHEARWATER. With the unification of the Canadian Armed Forces in 1968, HMCS SHEARWATER became Canadian Forces Base Shearwater and reported first to Maritime Command and then, in 1975, to Air Command. Today, Shearwater is the Master Helicopter Base of the RCAF responsible for the provision of operationally-ready maritime helicopters and personnel to the RCN.

This talk will trace the 100 years of aviation at Shearwater and seek to explain the historical significance of the events that took place there.

Speaker Bio

Government House Lectures – Winter 2018 Schedule

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Evenings @ Government House
Winter 2018 Series
Three themes/anniversaries are marked in this series:
  • African Heritage Month 2018 (Educate, Unite, Celebrate Community)
  • Centenary of the end of the First World War
  • Centenary of women attaining the right to vote in Nova Scotia

13 February – To mark African Heritage Month 2018, Vanessa Fells of the Black Loyalist Heritage Centre will present on the Black Loyalists of Nova Scotia.

27 February – Dr. Sally Ross will present on the history of Acadian schools in Nova Scotia from 1758 to 2018: Challenges and Victories.

13 March – Professional musicians Patricia Creighton and Peter Allen will give a Flute and Piano Recital.

27 March – To commemorate the centenary of the end of the First World War, Dr. Brian Tennyson will present on Nova Scotia’s Experience of the First World War.

10 April – To celebrate Tartan Day, the Amethyst Scottish Dancers of Nova Scotia will perform both traditional and modern highland and step dances.

24 April To commemorate the centenary of many women attaining the right to vote in Nova Scotia, Dr. Heidi MacDonald will present on this important stage in the suffrage movement.

These are free public events – everyone is welcome

Government House is located at 1451 Barrington Street, Halifax. All events commence at 7:00pm and doors open to the public at 6:30pm. As seating is limited to 90, people wishing to attend must register by calling 902-424-7001 or by visiting the Evenings @ Government House section under News & Events on the official website at: or by emailing For more information and to view upcoming events in the series visit or follow the Lieutenant Governor on Twitter @LtGovNS and Facebook.

This schedule is available as a PDF download.

Conference: “Canada before Confederation: Early Exploration and Mapping, 1498-1763”

Canada before Confederation: Early Exploration and Mapping

MTA Department of Modern Languages and Literatures
Monday, 13 November 2017 at 8:00 AM – Tuesday, 14 November 2017 at 9:00 PM (AST)
Halifax, NS

To be held at the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic; registration closes Nov. 2, 2017

Further details here


In Commemoration of Reverend William A. White & the No. 2 Construction Battalion

Voyage-of-discoveryOn Friday, October 21st and Saturday, October 22nd 2016, a symposium will take place at Acadia University in honour of Reverend William A. White and the No. 2 Construction Battalion. It is a very full day and a half of activity during which there will be displays of student research, exhibits of WW1 material, and panel discussions on the service and sacrifice of the men of the No. 2. For information and registration, please visit

The Nova Scotia Archaeology Society Public Talk – 29 September, 2015

Forensic Investigation of the 17th Century Chesapeake

Owsley lecture Sept 2015_small

Click to download lecture poster

Dr. Owsley’s talk launches the Nova Scotia Archaeology Society’s 2015-16 lecture series, which is dedicated to the theme of archaeological science. Many of the talks pertain to material cultural research right here in Nova Scotia. Dr. Douglas Owsley will be visiting us at Saint Mary’s next week (Tues., 29 Sept.) to give a public lecture on his recent forensic work at early 17th century Jamestown.

September 29 – 7:00 pm
McNally Theatre/Auditorium,
Saint Mary’s University, 923 Robie Street, Halifax.

A backgrounder may be found here, courtesy of the BBC:



Nova Scotian Institute of Science Public Talk – RESCHEDULED to March 16

NOTE: New Date and Location for this Lecture!

Click to download lecture poster


The Shipwrecks of Halifax Harbour and Approaches”

Gordon Fader – President, Atlantic Marine Geological Consulting

7:30pm, Monday, March 16th, 2015
Helen Creighton Room, Alderney Gate Public Library
40 Alderney Drive, Dartmouth, NS.

Important Reminder: On the evening of the lecture, the Angus L. Macdonald Bridge will close for repairs at 7:00pm. If you live on the Halifax side of the harbour and wish to attend the NSIS lecture, please remember to either leave early to cross the Macdonald Bridge, or use the MacKay Bridge, or take the ferry to Alderney Landing.


During mapping of Halifax Harbour and approaches by the Geological Survey of Canada at BIO, numerous shipwrecks were discovered. Only a few were previously known and the discoveries opened a new chapter in the history of the Harbour. With assistance from the Maritime Museum and local divers, Gordon Fader was able to piece together the stories of their demise. Additionally, knowledge of the seabed using modern high resolution mapping technology has revealed detailed characteristics of the vessels and what has happened to them since their sinking. The stories of the shipwrecks will be elaborated against a background of the seabed of the Harbour.

All are welcome but seating is limited so “first come first served”!

For more details about the Nova Scotian Institute of Science at

Evenings @ Government House Public Talk – 21 April 2015

DSCN0585“Thibodeau Village: Community Engagement, Archaeology and the Discovery of an Acadian Past in a Nova Scotia Planter Landscape”

Sara Beanlands

Date: Tuesday April 21, 2015
Time: 7:00pm – 8:30pm (Doors open at 6:30pm)
Location: Government House, 1451 Barrington Street, Halifax
Registration: Call 902-424-7001 or register online

Sara Beanlands is a Principal and Senior Archaeologist with Boreas Heritage Consulting Inc., specializing in cultural resource management. Graduating from Dalhousie University with a Bachelor of Arts in 1998, and completing a Master’s degree in History at Saint Mary’s University in 2010, Sara has undertaken a wide range of archaeological projects throughout Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador, and in Ontario. She has served as President of the Nova Scotia Archaeology Society, currently sits on the Board of Directors of the Archaeological Land Trust of Nova Scotia and the Royal Nova Scotia Historical Society, and recently joined the faculty at Saint Mary’s University as an adjunct professor in the Department of Anthropology.

During the summer of 2013, Sara directed a large public archaeology programme on a farm in the small rural community of Poplar Grove that contains both Pre-Deportation Acadian archaeological resources and evidence of early Planter occupation. Offering a unique opportunity to explore the cultural interface of Acadian/Planter settlement in Nova Scotia, participants in the public programme included direct descendants of both the original Acadian and Planter families who occupied the site.

This is a free public event, everyone is welcome.
For more information and to view upcoming events in the series visit or follow the Lieutenant Governor on Twitter @LtGovNS and Facebook

New Book: Voyage of Discovery: Fifty Years of Marine Research at Canada’s Bedford Institute of Oceanography

Voyage-of-discoveryMembers and friends of the Royal Nova Scotia Historical Society may be interested in a new book that commemorates the fiftieth anniversary of marine research accomplishments of the Bedford Institute of Oceanography (BIO). Since 1962, BIO, based in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, has been Canada’s premier, multidisciplinary marine research facility. Over the past five decades, researchers at BIO have made significant contributions to global understanding of the oceans.

Voyage of Discovery: Fifty Years of Marine Research at Canada’s Bedford Institute of Oceanography summarizes research on the oceanography of the Arctic and Eastern Canada in a series of 48 papers by past and present research staff from all oceanographic disciplines. Members of the Society may be particularly interested in the chapter by Dalhousie Historian of Science, Dr. Eric Mills, entitled “Canadian Marine Science from before Titanic to the Establishment of the Bedford Institute of Oceanography in 1962.” Two other chapters trace the historical roots of BIO.

Voyage of Discovery was prepared with a broad readership in mind and was launched at BIO on 20 November 2014. Further details about this new book, published by the BIO-Oceans Association, are found in the attached Table of Contents and Announcement / Order Form. Note: See the NSIS website for the files mentioned.