Labour, Enslavement and Indigenous Space: Liverpool, Nova Scotia in the Atlantic World, 1759-1812

Wednesday, January 24th, 2024, 7:00 pm (Atlantic), in-person at the Halifax Public Library. You can watch it virtual on Zoom here. 

Amber Laurie is the Acting Curator of Marine History for the Nova Scotia Museum and a PhD student at Dalhousie University. Her MA thesis research examines labour, enslavement, and Indigenous space in Liverpool, Nova Scotia, from 1759-1812. Although her research focuses on the early modern period, the concept of freedom, however it is defined and experienced, is what unites her interest in history across centuries.

Abstract: This thesis reconceptualizes the Planter and Loyalist periods around Liverpool, Nova Scotia, from 1759 to 1812. Rather than privileging the American Revolutionary War, it emphasises Indigenous space and Black people to study this shared place. Drawing on the diaries of Simeon Perkins and Mi’kmaw concepts, Msit No’kmaq and Siawa’sik, it explores how the space was re-formed with the arrival of the Planters. It also examines the development of enslavement and abolition in Liverpool through biographies to show how power imbalances informed lived experiences. This thesis argues that by de-emphasising the American Revolutionary War and loyalism narratives in the Northeast, it reveals the region was marked by power imbalances and labour relations continually being formed and re-formed. It suggests that the American Revolutionary War was not the defining moment of slaveholding in Nova Scotia, but part of a multi-phased process that grew incrementally and was sustained by settlers throughout this period.

A “second Captain Dreyfus affair”: Joseph Bernstein’s Halifax experience

Wednesday, December 13th, 2023, 7:00 pm (Atlantic), Halifax Public Library (Unfortunately there will be no Zoom option tonight – we apologize for this inconvenience). 

Judith Fingard is a retired Dalhousie University history professor and a Fellow of the Royal Nova Scotia Historical Society as well as the Royal Society of Canada. For her publications, see her website: judithfingard.com

Abstract: In 1892 Joseph Bernstein arrived in Halifax where he shared with other members of the small Jewish community a typical pattern of commercial employment until 1899 when he became an immigration interpreter at Pier 2, the Deep Water Terminus. His stable work life came to an abrupt halt in 1908 when he was dismissed from the government service. At first he blamed this turn of events on the vindictiveness of five Jewish families involved in a dispute over the suitability of a marriage partner for the third Bernstein daughter. When he delved deeper he decided that antisemitism had determined his fate. Bernstein’s identification with Alfred Dreyfus may have been inspired by cinematic depictions of the injustice endured by that French soldier.

An Architect’s View on Nova Scotian History: Part II

Join us Wednesday, November 15, 2023 at 7 p.m. via Zoom or in person at the Halifax Public Library, Spring Garden Road.

 

Syd Dumaresq will lead us through a lively discussion of the connections between our colourful history, our wonderful Architectural heritage and the people and stories behind the scenes, with particular emphasis on the Architects.

 

Syd is a fourth-generation Architect with a keen interest in history. Syd is delighted to be practicing Architecture with his son Dean. Syd and Sandy, his wife and business partner, live in Chester and are the proud parents of five children and nine grandchildren.

 

Syd’s other passions are community, the environment and sailing. Syd is Chair of the Friends of Nature Conservation Society, sits on the Chester Village Planning Advisory Committee and is secretary to the board of the Mahone Islands Conservation Association (MICA).

An Architect’s View of Nova Scotian History: Part II (November 15th)

Wednesday, November 15th, 2023, 7:00 pm (Atlantic), Halifax Public Library, or online via Zoom 

Syd Dumaresq: Syd is a fourth generation Architect with a keen interest in history and is delighted to be practicing Architecture with his son, Dean. Syd and Sandy, his wife and business partner, live in Chester and are the proud parents of five children and nine grandchildren. Syd’s other passions are community, the environment, and sailing. He is Chair of the Friends of Nature Conservation Society, sits on the Chester Village Planning Advisory Committee, and is secretary to the board of the Mahone Islands Conservation Association (MICA).

Abstract: Syd Dumaresq will lead us through a lively discussion of the connections between our colorful history, our wonderful Architectural heritage, and the people and stories behind the scenes with particular emphasis on the Architects.

An Architect’s View of Nova Scotian History (October 18th)

Wednesday, October 18th, 2023, 7:00 pm (Atlantic), Saint Mary’s University (Sobey Building room 255) or online via Zoom at this link: https://us06web.zoom.us/j/86447004134?pwd=BShqfUOpZxhyR9Xskie36fiiCCiMSv.1

Syd Dumaresq: Syd is a fourth generation Architect with a keen interest in history and is delighted to be practicing Architecture with his son, Dean. Syd and Sandy, his wife and business partner, live in Chester and are the proud parents of five children and nine grandchildren. Syd’s other passions are community, the environment, and sailing. He is Chair of the Friends of Nature Conservation Society, sits on the Chester Village Planning Advisory Committee, and is secretary to the board of the Mahone Islands Conservation Association (MICA).

Abstract: Syd Dumaresq will lead us through a lively discussion of the connections between our colorful history, our wonderful Architectural heritage, and the people and stories behind the scenes with particular emphasis on the Architects.

Cracking the Nazi Code: The Untold Story of Canada’s Greatest Spy

Wednesday, September 27th, 2023, 7:00 pm (Atlantic), Saint Mary’s University (Sobey Building room 255) or online via Zoom at the following link: https://us06web.zoom.us/j/84249054435?pwd=P6wyI7RFnTh1NfaU1Ki4vFhw9trawF.1  

 

Jason Bell: PhD, professor of philosophy at the University of New Brunswick

Abstract: In public life, Dr. Winthrop Bell of Halifax and Toronto was a Harvard philosophy professor and wealthy businessman. As MI6 secret agent A12, he evaded gunfire and shook off pursuers to break open the emerging Nazi conspiracy in 1919 Berlin. His reports, the first warning of the Nazi plot for WWII, went directly to the man known as C, the mysterious founder of MI6, and to prime ministers. But a powerful fascist politician quietly worked to suppress his alerts. Nevertheless, his intelligence sabotaged the Nazis in ways only now revealed. Bell became a spy once again in the face of WWII. In 1939, he was the first to crack Hitler’s deadliest secret code: the Holocaust. At that time, the führer was a popular politician who said he wanted peace. Could anyone believe Bell’s shocking warning? Fighting an epic intelligence war from Ukraine, Russia and Poland to France, Germany, Canada and Washington, DC, A12 was the real-life 007, waging a single-handed fight against madmen bent on destroying the world. Without Bell’s astounding courage, the Nazis could have won the war.

 

Click here for a bio of Jason Bell

“Marking” Identity and Respectability: Halifax’s African School and Scholars of the Needle

Wednesday, May 17, 2023, 7:00 pm (Atlantic), Halifax Central Library (Lindsay Children’s Room) or click here to join online via Zoom 

 

Lisa Bower: Assistant Curator and Registrar (Cultural History), Nova Scotia Museum

Abstract: Embroidered pictures composed of text and images known as “samplers” were commonly produced by nineteenth-century white settler schoolgirls across Nova Scotia. A remarkable example made in 1845, by a student at Halifax’s African School, proves the practice was also a part of the Black schoolgirl experience. Samplers changed over time and served multiple purposes. Needlework instruction and production became a paradoxical experience for its students, particularly for young Black Haligonians, simultaneously representing oppression and empowerment.  

Click here for a bio of Lisa Bower

Top of the Table Living Archives: Interrupting the Erasure of Black Being

Wednesday, April 19, 2023, 7:00 pm (Atlantic), Halifax Central Library (Lindsay Children’s Room) and online via Zoom 

 

Dr. Lynn Jones   

Abstract: This title unpacks the seemingly unorthodox and unfamiliar location of what we understand to be an archive – in this case – a dining room table. Starting from this location, the evolving archive documents a compilation of Black life gathered from past and present situations locally, nationally, and globally. This is an extraordinary attempt to ensure the invincibility of this distinct people’s experience. Lynn donated over 50 years of materials she personally collected on the history and experiences of Black People in her family, her community and locally, nationally and internationally which is now housed at St. Mary’s University and utilized by scholars, students and community from near and far. Today, she will bring to light, her impetus leading to the creation of the “Lynn Jones African Canadian and Diaspora Heritage Collection.”

Click here for a bio of Lynn Jones

“He Who Is Reluctant to Recognize Me Opposes Me”: Self-Determination, Recognition, and Revolution Between the Black United Front and the Canadian State

Wednesday, March 15, 2023, 7:00 pm (Atlantic), Halifax Central Library (Lindsay Children’s Room) or online via Zoom 

Evan Jennex: Master’s Student, Dalhousie University  

Abstract: On November 30th, 1968, over 400 Black Nova Scotians met at a North-End Halifax library to discuss the creation of a self-deterministic, activist organization called the Black United Front (BUF). Between 1969-1996 the Black United Front held Black cultural events, promoted Black businesses, and highlighted racial barriers present in Nova Scotia. This research analyzes the actions of BUF, focalizing on the relationships between BUF and State institutions that attempted to shift the organization’s direction and activism. 

Click here for a bio of Evan Jennex

The Marshall Indecision

Wednesday, February 15, 2023, 7:00 pm (Atlantic), Halifax Central Library (Lindsay Children’s Room) and online via Zoom  

 

Brady Paul: Indigenous Student Advisor, Master’s Student, Saint Mary’s University 

Abstract: The colonial bias that motivated aggressive expansion and control in Canada is still prevalent today. The Marshall decision (1999) is a prime example of how the Canadian Federal and Provincial governments still view Indigenous people as “inferior”.

Indigenous sovereignty has been infringed upon since contact with Europeans. The complete disregard for Indigenous Nationhood is not only a historical issue, but a contemporary one. Indigenous autonomy over everyday life must be recognized to truly begin the journey of reconciliation, but it begins with upholding the fundamental principles of the Peace and Friendship treaties.

Click here for a bio of Brady Paul 

Recording via YouTube coming soon!