01/26/2013 11:31 EST | Updated 03/28/2013 05:12 EDT

Daurene Lewis, first black female mayor in Canada, dies

The first black woman to become mayor in Canada has died.

Daurene Lewis passed away Saturday morning in hospital from an undisclosed illness. She was 68 years old.

Lewis was a major figure in Nova Scotia and the African Nova Scotian community.

She was elected to serve as the mayor of Annapolis Royal in 1984, becoming the first female black person in Canada to be elected to this position.

Her family had a long history in Annapolis Royal.

She was also the first black woman to run in a provincial election.

Lewis was a member of the Order of Canada, a nurse, and held a PhD. She was also the principal at the Leeds Street campus of the Nova Scotia Community College.

She chaired the Africville Heritage Trust when it was establishing the rebuilt Seaview United Baptist Church.