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A People’s History of Nova Scotia

A conference by Solidarity Halifax

Friday October 4 2013
- 4:00pm
Saturday October 5 2013

Venue: Mi’kmaq Friendship Centre
Address: 2158 Gottingen Street

» More information

Register now until October 1! And help us spread the word!


We will feature the stories of: The Women’s, LGBTQ, African Nova Scotian, and Workers Movements; and Indigenous Decolonization in Nova Scotia.

This conference will unite radical stories of resistance in Nova Scotia, and present history as a site of tension, failure and change, not simply as an object for consumption. The conference will honour the particularities of our movements, while creating an opportunity to examine our struggles collectively from an anti-capitalist perspective.

Knowing our legacy of left resistance in Nova Scotia will help us push further and harder in our current struggles.

Speakers include: George Elliot Clarke, Lynn Jones, Chris Frazer, Pat Kipping, Carolann Wright-Parks, Sherry Pictou, El Jones, Evan Coole, Tony Tracy, and Darlene Lawrence!

Together they will tell stories of occupations, strikes, and liberation movements, and of big wins, hard losses, and pivotal lessons. The conference will also honour the memory of Rocky Jones.

The conference will also feature a People’s Museum that will tell a visual narrative of radical struggle in Nova Scotia. The tools of resistance, be they posters, banners, t-shirts or song sheets, help demonstrate the creativity, resourcefulness and perseverance invested in the work of creating lasting, positive change.

6pm – 9pm, Friday, October 4, 2013
9am – 4pm, Saturday, October 5, 2013

Mi’kmaq Friendship Centre
2158 Gottingen Street
Halifax, Nova Scotia

>>Register here by October 1, 2013, and join the Facebook event. <<



Friday, October 4, 2013

6:00pm – Registration

6:30pm – Stories of African Nova Scotian struggles for civil liberties and the legacy of Rocky Jones


George Elliot Clarke was born in Windsor, Nova Scotia, near the Black Loyalist community of Three Mile Plains, in 1960. He is the inaugural E.J. Pratt Professor of Canadian Literature at the University of Toronto. Clarke has been instrumental in promoting the work of writers of African descent, especially those of Nova Scotia. Clarke coined the term, ‘Africadian’ to identify the Black culture of Atlantic Canada. George is Toronto’s Poet Laureate.

Carolann Wright-Parks is the Manager of Community Economic Development and Strategic Engagement with the Greater Halifax Partnership. She has over 30 years of community organizing experience, and has worked in Toronto and South Africa in the areas of health, anti-poverty and anti-racist issues.

Darlene Lawrence has worked at the Digby County Resource Centre for 18 years as Executive Director. She is also the former Chairperson of the Nova Scotia Advisory Council on the Status of Women, Chairperson of the Black Employment Partnership Committee and founding member of the Women for Economic Equality. Ms. Lawrence is currently the Chairperson of the Digby Education Committee, a committee for Black parents, which addresses the needs of Black learners.

El Jones is a poet, teacher, community worker, and spoken word activist. Her poetry is particularly committed to political causes and social justice and has worked extensively with organizations around Halifax performing and presenting on issues of social change.  She currently teaches in the African Canadian Transition Program at NSCC and in the Women’s Studies program at Acadia. El is Halifax’s Poet Laureate.

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Saturday, October 5, 2013

9:00am – 9:30am – Registration

9:30am – 9:45am – Opening remarks from Solidarity Halifax

9:45am – 11:15am – Stories from the LGBTQ, Women’s and Indigenous Decolonization movements


Chris Frazer is an associate professor in history at StFX, an activist in labour and queer organizing, a drag performer, and a founder of the Canadian Federation of Students. An expert in the history of bandits, Chris is currently researching the history of drag in Halifax.

Pat Kipping has engaged in women’s, peace and environmental activism since the early 1970s. She made a film about women’s peace activist Muriel Duckworth and currently serves on the board of Ecology Action Centre and started the reBoom Housing Boomers Study Group.

Sherry Pictou has volunteered and worked in various capacities for a number of First Nations organizations and for her home community the Bear River First Nation, Nova Scotia in particular. Much of this work has involved political and activist work in ascertaining the right to initiate community approaches to natural resource harvesting and management as well as several community learning projects regarding small scale and indigenous fisheries. Currently, Sherry is an Interdisciplinary PhD student at Dalhousie University and is serves as a co-chair of the World Forum of Fisheries Peoples.

11:15am – 11:30am – Break

11:30am – 12:30pm – Caucusing

12:30pm – 1:15pm – Lunch

1:15pm – 2:45pm – Stories from the Canso Fishermen’s Strike, the Gottingen Street Occupation and from radical Cape Breton


Tony Tracy is a longtime trade unionist and social justice activist living in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Hyper-caffeinated at all hours of day and night, he works closely with unions and social justice coalitions throughout Nova Scotia.

Lynn Jones grew up in Truro, NS, where from a young age she struggled against explicit racial segregation. As a university student, she was active against the Vietnam War, she worked in solidarity with struggles for self-determination elsewhere in the world, and fought for programs that gave Black and indigenous students access to post-secondary education. Later she became active in her union, the Public Service Alliance of Canada, and went on to become the first woman of colour to be Vice-President of the Canadian Labour Congress.

Evan Coole is a socialist activist who has worked on labour, anti-poverty and equity campaigns. He was born in a coal mining family in Glace Bay, Cape Breton and has had a long interest in the island’s labour and racial justice struggles. 

2:45pm – 3:15pm – Conference speakers in conversation with each other

3:15pm – Closing remarks by Solidarity Halifax

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