The Herbalist Association of Nova Scotia got its roots back in 1997 when a very small group of herbalists joined informally as the Nova Scotia Herbalist Association. The now-defunct group, headed by Mark Taylor, worked together on a paper, “Altruism through Tradition and Austerity: The Nature of Health, a report presented to the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Health on Herbs, Vitamins and Supplements”, prepared by NSHA Alternative Health Advisory Committee on behalf of the Nova Scotia Herbalist Association, January 1998. Taylor left the province, and the group, who’s mission had been accomplished, went dormant.
One of the members, Michele Graveline, took the initiative to reinvent the NSHA and create a new group. After countless phone calls, and many attempts to collect an interested group, including sending out a poster to various health food stores, Michele’s efforts were rewarded. Savayda Jarone, an herbalist returning to Nova Scotia, contacted Michele and from that point forward, there was enough momentum to get the group off the ground.
At a meeting held at Dalhousie University on October 18, 2002, a small group of likeminded individuals met. By this point, the Nova Scotia Legislature had passed a ruling with respect to the use of “Nova Scotia” in names. In response, the group came up with the name “Herbalist Association of Nova Scotia”. Two weeks later, on November 1, 2002, the founding members, Julie Coleman, Jennifer Melanson, Jennifer Scott, Jeanette Poirier, Savayda Jarone and Michele Graveline signed the Registry of Joint Stock documents and HANS was born.
Since then, HANS has participated in many events, including, but not limited to; the Annual Health Show held every year in Halifax; fundraising dances where they have shared proceeds with various charities; slideshows at the Nova Scotia Museum of Natural History with the United Plant Savers, plant sales, plant circles, various professional development and the much anticipated annual Herb Fair and HANS AGM.
HANS now has over 40 members and a very active Board of Directors that are dedicated to the preservation and respect of plants as well as the visibility of herbal medicine within this province and beyond.