Black Canadians were in Canada from the earliest times, initially as free people, then as slaves. With the French fur-traders, they helped found and build many of the early settlements. They had helped to defend British controlled Canada from the Americans and rewarded with land to develop.
Every February, Canadians are invited to participate in Black History Month festivities and events that honour the legacy of Black Canadians, past and present. Learn about the experience of Black Canadians and their vital role in the community through biographies, historic events and other resources.
Learn about the Black men employed as sleeping car porters in Canada from the late nineteenth century until the mid‐1950s experienced racial discrimination and exploitation on the job. Learn how they unionized for better wages and working conditions.
This excellent timeline introduces students to the many Black Canadians who held elected offices in Canada in 1859. It also includes Sir James Douglas who, in 1851, was the first Black person to be appointed governor of a colony in North America.
Learn about Africville, an African-Canadian village located just north of Halifax and founded in the mid-18th century. This article describes the origins and history of the community, as well as its unique culture and eventual destruction.
A 2019 report from Amnesty International about anti-Black racism in Canada. It gives examples of how racism is part of our Justice system and states that we have ignored the problem and continue to do so.
A virtual exhibit by the Buxton Museum that lets people explore the cabin and the barn of Henry Colbert in 1852. This is an example of the homesteads in the Elgin settlement, a settlement of black settlers in Canada.
Mathieu Da Costa was the first Black person known to have visited Canada. While here, he worked as in interpreter for Dutch and French authorities at first and later for Indigenous communities. Learn more about him here!
The contributions and achievements of Black Canadians are often excluded from textbooks and curriculum. The Periodic Table of Canadian Black History is a tool that educators, students, and families can use to explore and celebrate the stories, voices, and accomplishments of Black Canadians.
Show Girls celebrates Montreal's swinging Black jazz scene from the 1920s to the 1960s, when the city was wide open. It chronicles the lives of Bernice, Tina and Olga who danced in the clubs - mixing their memories with rarely seen footage of the era.
This excellent history site allows students to comb through the many primary documents that document the murder of William Robinson, a Black settler on Salt Spring Island in 1868. Students are encouraged to draw their own conclusions about the crime and the conviction in the case.