Abuse Allegations: The Nova Scotia Home for Colored Children

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It is a shelter for young people with a name from the past that can still make you flinch: "The Nova Scotia Home for Colored Children" is at the centre of a lawsuit and a controversy with allegations of physical and sexual abuse stretching back decades. We hear from three former residents and from the Nova Scotia government minister responsible for the file.



Abuse Allegations: The Nova Scotia Home for Colored Children

If former residents of the place still called Nova Scotia Home for Colored Children are telling the truth, it may be more accurate to call them former victims. The home first opened in 1921 as an orphanage for black Nova Scotian children.

It's intent was to give them safe shelter, but their stories of physical and sexual abuse suggest childhoods filled with fear, pain and despair. More than 100 former residents are involved in legal action, including a proposed class action suit, against the institution and the provincial government.

Anna Maria spoke with three former residents and their lawyer yesterday. Tony Smith was in Halifax along with lawyer Ray Wagner. Harriet Johnson was in Montreal. And June Elwin joined us in Toronto.

* A WARNING, parts the discussion are graphic and disturbing.

At a point in the conversation, Harriet describes a violent sexual assault... a scene so graphic and horrific, we are not airing it in full. We did continue the conversation with Harriet and picked up again.

Nova Scotia's Minister of Justice - Ross Landry

We requested an interview with Veronica Marsman, the current executive director of The Nova Scotia Home for Colored Children. She said she'd call us back, but hasn't.

However, Ross Landry, Nova Scotia's Minister of Justice joined us by phone from Halifax.

This segment was produced by Halifax Network Producer, Mary Lynk.

Music Bridge

Artist: Chris Velan
CD: Twitter, Buzz, Howl
Cut: # 2, Long Way From Home
Label: Mutation
Spine: MM 1101


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