Our History & Heritage – African Nova Scotian Leaders
Dr. Daurene Lewis
February is African Heritage Month. Each week this month we are celebrating the life and contributions of an impactful African Nova Scotian. This week we are focusing on Dr. Daurene Lewis!
Born and raised in Annapolis Royal, Dr. Daurene Lewis (1943-2013) has left a significant impact on the Nova Scotian community.
Dr. Lewis was a woman who wanted to make a difference in the world. With ancestors who held titles like, “first female police officer in North America,” Dr. Lewis knew she wanted to live up to her family’s legacy.
She began her political run in 1979 when she decided to run for a seat on the Annapolis Royal Town Council and was appointed Deputy Mayor in 1982. It was in 1984 that she earned her title as a “first” when she became the first African Canadian mayor and the first African Canadian female mayor. Her train of firsts did not stop there, however, in 1988 she entered provincial politics and thus became the first African Nova Scotian woman to run in a provincial election.
Aside from her political achievements, Dr. Lewis holds many other lifetime successes. She holds an MBA degree from Saint Mary’s University, she is a registered nurse with a diploma from Dalhousie University, she was the executive director for the Women in Business Centre at Mount Saint Vincent University (MSVU), owned a business in Annapolis Royal, and was the principal for NSCC’s Halifax campus. She also has received numerous awards over the years including: an honorary degree from MSVU, she holds a place on the Black Cultural Centre’s Wall of Honour, she received the Global Citizenship Award, the Progress Club of Halifax Woman of Excellence award, the YWCA volunteer award, the Queen’s Jubilee Medal, and she was invested in the Order of Canada in 2003.
Source: Black History Society