Dr. Daurene Elaine Lewis Becomes the First Black Mayor in Nova Scotia and the First Black Female Mayor in North America


Halifax, Nova Scotia

(September 9, 1943 – January 26, 2013)


 Dr. Lewis trained as a registered nurse, and graduated from Dalhousie University with a Diploma in Teaching in Schools of Nursing.  Daurene also holds a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from Saint Mary’s University.  She has thirty years experience in health care and business ranging from hospital staff nurse to administrative positions to business owner. For many years, Dr. Lewis owned a weaving and design business in Annapolis Royal. She has been employed with the Departments of Community Service and Health in administrative positions and was the Executive Director of the Centre for Women in Business at Mount Saint Vincent University.  She is currently principal of the Halifax Campuses and Sites of the Nova Scotia Community College. 

Daurene is a seventh generation descendent of Black Loyalists who settled in Annapolis Royal in 1783.  In 1984 she was elected Mayor of Annapolis Royal thus becoming the first black mayor in Nova Scotia and the first black woman mayor in North America.  In 1988 she entered provincial politics and was the first black woman in Nova Scotia to run in a provincial election.

Dr. Lewis’ numerous awards include, 1993 recipient of an honorary degree from Mount Saint Vincent University, 1994 Black Cultural Centre’s Wall of Honour, 1995 Global Citizenship Award commemorating the United Nations 50th Anniversary, 1998 the Progress Club of Halifax Woman of Excellence award for Public Affairs and Communication, 2002 was YWCA volunteer award, 2002 Queen’s Jubilee Medal, and 2003 invested in the Order of Canada.

Dr. Lewis has been heavily involved in community activities for many years.  Some of her current involvements are the Board of Directors of Canada Post, Governor of Canadian Unity Council Director Vanier Institute of the Family, Advisory Committee for Dalhousie University’s Law Program for Indigenous Black and Mi’kmag Students, Federal Judicial Appointments Advisory Committee, President Halifax Club of Zonta International  and Board of Directors Neptune Theatre.

Dr Lewis has also served on many other national and provincial boards such as the Black Business Initiative, Canadian National Institute for the Blind, Nova Scotia –  Prince Edward Island Division, Metropolitan Immigrant Settlement Association Immigrant Entrepreneur Orientation Program, Chair-Canadian Race Relations Foundation Research Advisory Board,  Canadian Women’s Foundation, lay member Nova Scotia Barristers’ Society’s Bar Council,  Metro United Way, YMCA, Prior Learning Assessment Centre, Black Cultural Centre, Chair – Nova Scotia Fundraising Committee to establish Chair of Black Canadian Studies at Dalhousie University, National Leadership Committee to establish the James Robinson Johnston Chair of Black Canadian Studies, African (Immigrants) Society of Nova Scotia Board of Patrons, Women’s Future Fund, Port Royal 400 th Anniversary Society, Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, Minister of Education’s Steering Committee for the Department of Education Cultural  Affairs Division’s to establish Nova Scotia Arts Council, Annapolis Royal Historic Gardens , Advisory Committee Municipal First Nation Multicultural Race  Relation Program Henson College/Dalhousie University, Advisory Committee Department of Cultural Affairs Federal-Provincial Cooperation Agreement, Board of Directors Gerontology Association of Nova Scotia, Member – Premier’s Monitoring Committee for the Implementation of the Voluntary Planning’s Economic Strategy (Creating Our Own Future), Board of Directors King’s Theatre, Annapolis Royal, Board of Directors Valley Health Foundation,  Board of Directors Annapolis Regional Community Arts Council, Executive Member Union of Nova Scotia Municipalities, Mayor Town of Annapolis Royal, Board of Directors Annapolis General Hospital, Board of Directors Valley Health Services, and Councillor Town of Annapolis Royal.

In her spare time Dr. Lewis enjoys collecting antiques, music, reading and travel particularly to Asia.


SOURCE:  Dalhousie Univerisity