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Black History in Alberta
Alberta's Black Pioneer Heritage
You'll learn about the long history of Black pioneers in Alberta right from the founding of our province until 2011.
An article that tells the story of Annie Saunders, one of the first people of African descent to live in Alberta.
Black Albertans You Should Know
Trailblazing Black Albertans who are too often hidden in provincial and Canadian narratives. On this site, you'll read the stories of the achievements of Black Albertans
Black Life on the Prairies
What does it mean to be Black in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba? It is impossible to limit more than 200 years of recorded Black presence on the Prairies to a single definition. This project explores the themes of migration, work, Black & Indigenous relations, resistance, and the future.
Black Life on the Prairies: Place Edition
CBC’s Black on the Prairies places Blackness in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba at the centre of the country’s story. The Black experience on the Prairies is a vast landscape that stretches from the lives of early Black settlers and Black people on the Prairies today.
Black on the Prairies
The CBC project Black on the Prairies began with a conversation among colleagues in the spring of 2020. Through five themes — Migration, Putting in Work, Black and Indigenous Relations, Politics and Resistance, and Black to the Future — this project places Black people's experiences at the centre of the Prairie narrative.
A Black Presence in Alberta, late 1800s – 1970s
This exhibit from the City Museum of Edmonton documents the long history of Black Canadians living in Alberta.
Black Settlers of Alberta and Saskatchewan Historical Society
On this site, you'll find a small collection of personal photos that document the lives of Black Canadians in Alberta
Canadian Encyclopedia: Eleanor Collins
Eleanor Collins was the first Canadian woman, the first Alberta woman, and the first Black entertainer in Canada to have her own national television show. This article discusses her many achievements. Video and audio files are included in the article.
I liked to be heard: The story of Fil Fraser, Canada’s first Black broadcaster
Fil Fraser was a pioneering Black Canadian broadcaster, journalist, author, producer, humanitarian, and educator who worked in many parts of Canada, including Alberta.
John Ware Reclaimed
Filmmaker Cheryl Foggo on her quest to re-examine the mythology surrounding John Ware, the Black cowboy who settled in Alberta, Canada, before the turn of the 20th century. Foggo’s research uncovers who this iconic figure might have been, and what his legacy means in terms of anti-Black racism, both past and present. Note: This film contains explicit language. Viewer discretion is advised.
The Last Best West
At the turn of the century, many Black families in Oklahoma wanted to escape the state’s racial violence and discrimination for a new start in Canada’s “Last Best West.” To stem the tide of Black immigration, the government began a secret campaign of disinformation.
Racism and Resistance: Early Black History in Calgary and Alberta
This blog post is the second in a series that reference the formation of various communities and social groups within early Calgary.
Return to Amber Valley
By happy accident, Senator Paula Simons went to the Amber Valley area recently, she met the Wolska-Chaney family, on their search for their own Amber Valley ancestors. Together, they discovered more than they expected, about Alberta's unique Black history.
Secret Alberta: The Former Life of Amber Valley
This short documentary film documents Amber Valley, one of the first all-Black settlements in Canada. Arriving in 1909, the pioneers of this community battled the elements and racism to not only survive but thrive.
Secret Calgary: Kicking Up A Fuss
In 1914, Charles Daniels entered a Calgary theatre with a paid ticket. He was denied his seat because he was Black. In this little-known civil rights story, Daniels reminds us that history is full of forgotten heroes.
The Story of Joseph Lewis
An article by Alberta Senator Paula Simons that tells the story of Joseph Lewis, a Black voyageur in early Canada, who settled in Alberta before moving to the Red River Colony.
We Are the Roots: Black Settlers and their Experiences of Discrimination on the Canadian Prairies
This hour long documentary tells the story of a wave of African American immigrants who moved to Alberta and Saskatchewan between 1905-1912 to escape racism and persecution in the United States.
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