The Ties that Bind
What draws people together? Or drives them apart? Traditionally, Mi’kmaq people settled along major rivers and travelled between seasonal encampments to fish and gather with friends and family. French settlers cultivated rich farmland only to be torn from their communities during the Acadian expulsion. Gaels often followed family members immigrating to Canada and settled in kinship communities. Many African Nova Scotians were also promised land, but what they received was often near-impossible to farm. Some people have come to Nova Scotia seeking opportunity — others to escape conflict, slavery or crushing poverty.
Family ties, a good piece of land and the chance to make a living – all remain factors in shaping our communities. But things are changing. Our communities are becoming diverse and inclusive. More of us are living in towns and cities. People now gather online to socialize and do business. What ties you to your communities? Do you think these connections will last?
Your Communities, Your Stories
The Nova Scotia Museum belongs to all of us, and we’re striving to diversify our collections so that everyone’s stories are told. We’re presenting more intangible heritage – language, music, dance, and stories – to provide a more complete interpretation of the Gaels and Acadians. We’re using archaeology to better tell the stories of indigenous peoples, and early African Nova Scotian communities like Beechville and Birchtown. And we want new Nova Scotians to use our collections to learn more about the place they now call home.
Community is an important part of our museum stories, including the ones featured below.
- The Black Loyalist Heritage Centre in Shelburne, which tells the story of the world’s largest free settlement of Africans outside the continent in the late 18th century
- Visit North Hills Museum in Granville Ferry, where you will be introduced to Robert Patterson and his contributions to early heritage preservation in his communities
- Barrington Woolen Mill, depicting the crucial role of small industry in early settlements like Barrington
- Le Village historique acadien | The Acadian Village Museum in the Pubnico region, which highlights the role that kinship plays in building communities