African Nova Scotian Burial Grounds
The Lower Horton Baptist Church
Just before the construction of Glooscap Landing began in 2015 it was brought to our attention by a local resident that there maybe a heritage site near the development. As soon as this was brought to our attention construction on Glooscap Landing was paused until we could investigate further.
The Mi'kmaw people know first hand the pain and suffering that destruction of heritage site can have on a group of people. Mi'kmaw burial sites have been destroyed and damaged by developments in the area. Glooscap First Nation follows the teachings of the Seven Sacred Teachings. One of those Seven Sacred Teaching is Respect. In addition Glooscap Ventures has a mission to do no harm.
Once construction was paused we began the process of investigating this claim. During this pause Glooscap completed the following activities:
- Glooscap hired Archaeologists, Kelman Heritage to study the property
- Glooscap hired an independent historian, David States to research the African Canadian history in the area
- Consulted with local historical societies including the Hantsport Historical Society, Kings County Museum, The Province of Nova Scotia, Acadia University, and the Lockhartville African Canada Society.
After extensive research and support from the Nova Scotia Department of Culture and Heritage, it was determined that there was a former chapel and burial ground located on the Ben Jackson Road side of Glooscap Landing. The Chapel was the Lower Horton Church which was an African Congregation. There is believed to be up to 20 people buried there. These findings were shared and presented in a community meeting and with external stakeholders in late 2016. After consulting with local Lockhartville community members, Glooscap Ventures implemented the following activities:
- Taped off the site of the former church and burial site to ensure the area was not disturbed
- Redesigned Glooscap Landing to ensure it did not disturb the historic site
- Installed a memorial on the site to pay respects to those buried
- Installed a walking trail and information panel about the history of the site
In all Glooscap Ventures invested over $50,000 to preserve the site. The site has not been disturbed and now serves as a place to honour those buried there and share the diverse histories of Nova Scotia.
As long as Glooscap Landing is owned by Glooscap First Nation, the burial site will not be disturbed or altered. A huge thank you to all the community members that helped during this process.