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The Society

The Black Loyalist Heritage Society, located in Birchtown, Nova Scotia, is a dynamic, charitable society committed to discovering, interpreting, safeguarding and promoting the history and heritage of the Black Loyalists in North America.

The Black Loyalist Heritage Society is the only national, charitable organization self-entrusted to ensure the chronicles and contributions of the Black Loyalists takes its place with other communities that shape Canada’s cultural mosaic.

In 1989, a handful of people met to discuss the history and genealogy of the Black Loyalists in Shelburne, Nova Scotia. The group, for the most part, identified themselves as descendants of the first settlers. They were concerned that the local community was unaware of the contributions made by their ancestors. They began collecting family data and other significant historical information and before long, the group was formally incorporated in 1991 as the Shelburne County Cultural Awareness Society. After a few years the group realized that its main objectives and undertakings had focused on discovering and preserving Black Loyalist history, so in 1999, the Society changed its name to the Black Loyalist Heritage Society.

The group of individuals worked hard to build membership and interest in the Society and continue to create awareness of Birchtown’s historical significance. The group was also instrumental in blocking a proposed land fill to the Birchtown area which could have destroyed any evidence of the early Black Loyalist settlers.  For over 20 years, the Black Loyalist Heritage Society has been building awareness of the significance of both the story of the Black Loyalists and Birchtown itself.  We have increased our capacity to deliver an appealing visitor experience.  In addition, we have engaged with the broader community and cultivated vital partnerships to develop a larger vision for Birchtown.  We have embarked on a journey to retrace the steps of Black Loyalist ancestors and to create a path for future generations to discover this remarkable narrative.

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