Denise Allen poses for a photo on the former site of the Seaview African United Baptist Church in Africville last Thursday. Allen is part of a group mounting a legal challenge to the Africville compensation deal announced last month.

A group of people dissatisfied with the Africville reparations deal is attempting a legal challenge.

Spokeswoman Denise Allen told Metro Halifax Thursday the group has instructed its lawyer, Robert Miedema, to file an injunction against the reparations deal negotiated between HRM and the Africville Genealogy Society.

Allen said the Genealogy Society does not represent the people of Africville.

“(The injunction is) against the whole notion of the Genealogy Society board of directors claiming that they have the authority to enter into this type of legal agreement,” she said. “This (deal) was all prearranged behind (former Africville residents’) back, without their knowledge, without their approval.”

When contacted by Metro, however, Miedema said no injunction had been filed from his office, and he could not comment on whether one would be filed in the future.

The deal, announced last month along with an official apology from Mayor Peter Kelly, includes $3 million towards the re-construction of the Seaview African United Baptist Church and the construction of an interpretive centre.

Allen said she doesn’t take issue with any one specific part of the settlement; she said she’d accept whatever the people of Africville decide upon, even if it is the settlement currently on the table.

“At least I would have known that it came from the people of Africville, and not dictated to the people of Africville,” she said.

Allen also alleges that the vote to approve the deal, held by the Genealogy Society in an information session closed to the public, was invalid. Genealogy Society president Irvine Carvery denies that claim.

“We held a meeting and the majority of the people supported the settlement,” said Carvery. “A full 80 per cent of the people there put up their hands in support of (the deal) without hesitation.”

Carvery said the Genealogy Society is proceeding with the development.

“We’re clear in our direction and we will be moving ahead with the rebuilding of the church and the building of the interpretive centre,” he said.

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