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Daurene Lewis

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The first black woman to be elected as a mayor in Canada has died.

Daurene Lewis, a seventh-generation descendent of black loyalists, became the mayor of Annapolis Royal, N.S., in 1984.

A news release from the Nova Scotia government praised her career, noting she was also the first black woman to run in a Nova Scotia provincial election.

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"Daurene was loved and respected by all who were fortunate enough to meet her," Premier Darrell Dexter said in the statement.

"She was a trailblazer if ever there was one, a true leader, and a passionate volunteer – a great Nova Scotian whose advice I valued."

Lewis was a member of the Order of Canada, and most recently, she was principal at the Nova Scotia Community College IT and Akerley campuses.

At an event last fall, she spoke about "the pride and optimism" she had in her students for the future, Dexter said.

Lewis trained as a registered nurse, and had 30 years of experience in the health-care sector.

She also was a former director of the Centre for Women in Business at Mount Saint Vincent University.

She was chairwoman of the Africville Heritage Trust, which aims to redress the demolishing of the close-knit north-end community in the 1960s.

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She also received the Trailblazer Award as part of the Black Business and Professional Association's Harry Jerome Awards in 2011.

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