The Pursuit of Social Justice by the Care-leavers from the Nova Scotia Home for Coloured Children and the Production of Knowledge
Mount Saint Vincent University
My study is essentially about the marginalization of the Black Nova Scotian community by the Province of Nova Scotia. The impact of marginalization has made lifelong learning strategies more difficult for Black Nova Scotian learners. This study focuses on people who, as youth, lived at the Nova Scotia Home for Coloured Children. These people will be referred to as “Care-leavers”, which is a term to describe former residents residing in congregate care facilities and out-of-home care settings (Daly, 2014; Skold, 2016; Wright, 2017). I assert that the experiences of the care-leavers from the Nova Scotia Home for Coloured Children exemplify anti-Black sentiments and institutional and systemic racism committed against the Black Nova Scotian community by the Province of Nova Scotia. The Nova Scotia Home for Coloured Children was a forced segregated orphanage for orphaned and neglected Black children operated by the provincial government. This segregation was in keeping with the belief that Black people were innately inferior and the White population was at risk of contamination, if Blacks and Whites mingled. My study investigates the 15-year struggle that care-leavers undertook to seek social justice for their treatment at the Home. In 2014, under the leadership of Premier McNeil, the liberal government settled with the care-leavers of the Nova Scotia Home for Coloured Children. In 2015, Premier McNeil announced the Restorative Inquiry. The Restorative Inquiry has the power of a royal commission, which is empowered to subpoena witnesses, to compel the production of documents, and enact legislation. All indications are that the Restorative Inquiry as one of its remits, is to address racism in Nova Scotia. The Restorative Inquiry which is ongoing is examining racism as it pertains to education.
African Nova Scotian, youth, care-leavers, education