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 praises her career, noting she was also the first black woman to run in a Nova Scotia provincial election.
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.
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