Ed­u­ca­tion work rec­og­nized through Or­der of Nova Sco­tia

Brad Bar­ton one of five peo­ple in­ducted into or­der

Tri-County Vanguard - - NEWS - SARA ERIC­S­SON DIG­BY­COURIER.CA EM­POW­ER­MENT

Brad Bar­ton has re­ceived the Or­der of Nova Sco­tia in recog­ni­tion of his work as an ed­u­ca­tional leader both provin­cially and na­tion­ally.

The cer­e­mony hap­pened Nov. 7 at Prov­ince House in Hal­i­fax, where Bar­ton was rec­og­nized for his work in pro­mot­ing the need for an in­clu­sive ed­u­ca­tional ex­pe­ri­ence for African Nova Sco­tian stu­dents and their fam­i­lies. Af­ter years of ded­i­cated ser­vice with groups ad­vo­cat­ing for cul­tur­ally in­clu­sive school cur­ricu­lums, Bar­ton has be­come a lead­ing author­ity for ed­u­cat­ing peo­ple on what ed­u­ca­tion should look like.

“The past has cre­ated chal­lenges for us, as African Nova Sco­tian learn­ers. Progress is about longevity – we’ve come far, but still have far to go,” he said.

SPEAK­ING OUT TO GIVE OTH­ERS A VOICE

Bar­ton grew up on his fam­ily’s homestead in Jor­dan­town. He served as stu­dent coun­cil pres­i­dent at Digby Re­gional High School in 1963, and felt he was des­tined for a ca­reer in ed­u­ca­tion.

Fast for­ward sev­eral years, and Bar­ton was liv­ing in Dart­mouth, Brad Bar­ton re­ceives the Or­der of Nova Sco­tia at Prov­ince House, with Premier Stephen McNeil and Lieu­tenant Governer Arthur Le­Blanc. do­ing just that – work­ing with groups and serv­ing on com­mit­tees like the Black Ed­u­ca­tors As­so­ci­a­tion, the Black Learn­ers Ad­vi­sory Com­mit­tee and the Coun­cil on African Cana­dian Ed­u­ca­tion, among oth­ers, to ad- vo­cate for an ed­u­ca­tional sys­tem within which African Nova Sco­tian stu­dents were rep­re­sented.

“The bot­tom line was al­ways to cre­ate an en­vi­ron­ment for black stu­dents to feel com­fort­able and part of their school. If you aren’t wanted, you lose that de­sire to work hard,” he said.

Dur­ing his time in ed­u­ca­tion, Bar­ton was a teacher and later prin­ci­pal at el­e­men­tary, ju­nior high and high schools, teach­ing stu­dents who’ve now be­come his

RECOG­NI­TION OF THE PROGRESS ACHIEVED

Bar­ton is now re­tired, but still reg­u­larly vol­un­teers with dif­fer­ent groups to con­tinue work­ing for equal­ity.

His ties to the com­mu­nity re­main strong, even af­ter sev­eral years away.

His ties to the wider Digby com­mu­nity re­main strong even af­ter sev­eral years away, in­clud­ing his in­volve­ment with the Jor­dan­town, Aca­ci­av­ille, Conway Bet­ter­ment As­so­ci­a­tion, or JACBA, the group that chal­lenged the lack of African Nova Sco­tian ma­te­rial in the school cur­ricu­lum, along with sys­temic racism toward African Nova Sco­tian stu­dents.

The award is proof his ef­forts have been no­ticed, show­ing some progress has been made. But the fight is far from over.

“The idea is to try and make things bet­ter for every­one – the black com­mu­nity in Digby, and the wider com­mu­nity too,” he said. “We have to have our voice at the dif­fer­ent lev­els – gov­ern­ment, ed­u­ca­tion, so­cial – so we can be heard.”

Sub­mit­ted by gov­ern­ment House, HaL­i­FaX

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