BC Black History Awareness Society (BCBHAS)

“A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots” - Marcus Mosiah Garvey Jr.

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Resources For Teachers And Students

Resources for Teachers, Students, Scholars, Researchers ...

British Columbia

  • To Canada by another road: North to British Columbia.  Provides images and text about the events leading to the decision by 800 Blacks to migrate from San Francisco.  Includes information on Douglas, Gibbs, the ships as well as learning objectives for teachers and students.
  • Black Pioneers in British Columbia: National Historic Event.  The arrival of the Black Pioneers in 1858 was designated as a National Historic Event on September 22, 1997 by the Goverment of Canada.  A plaque was unveiled on February 20, 2000 at the Shady Creek United Church at 7176 East Saanich Road.
  • Saltspring Island Archives  These archives provide significant information on the Black Pioneers that settled on the island; including content, images and a map that shows the location of 26 homesteads.  
  • Greater Victoria Public Library Utilize their online catalogue to find books on the subject of Black Canadians and Black history.
  • Inter-Cultural Association of Greater Victoria  The Intercultural Association (ICA) of Greater Victoria helps individuals and organizations to connect across cultures.  They provide information, support and tools to help immigrants and refugees, through networks, education, employment, and arts programming.
  • Places of Interest  Check out these sites related to the Black Pioneers and B.C.'s Black History.  There are places to visit in Victoria and area, Nanaimo, Vancouver Island, Saltspring Island and B.C.'s mainland.
  • B.C.'s connection with Abraham Lincoln.  Read the letter sent from the Province to the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in 2015, commemorating the 150th anniversary of Lincoln's presidency.  Christy Clark, former Premier of B.C. “When I was asked to prepare a letter on what Abraham Lincoln's legacy means to British Columbians, I wanted to ensure that what I sent was truly reflective of British Columbians' unique stories, history and perspectives". British Columbian's were asked to share their stories and the result is a unique perspective of the U.S. and B.C.'s shared history …”.  The letter from the Premier includes the comments and information from citizens including a letter received by a citizen about the election of Abraham Lincoln.  The letter is dated November 1864.
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  • Report of the Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent on its mission to Canada. At the invitation of the Government of Canada, the United Nations Working Group visited Canada.  The result is a 16-page report that includes Background details comprising an Historical Overview and Demographics, and detailed documentation on Framework and steps taken to protect the human rights of people of African descent, Manifestations of racial discrimination; followed by Conclusions and Recommendations.
  • Black History organizations and educational resources.  This Government of Canada site provides links to numerous organizations and educational resources that are uniquely Canadian, devoted to the promotion and awareness of Black Canadian History.  This link will take you to provincial organizations in Saskatchewan, Ontario, Quebec and Nova Scotia; as well as Canadian resources from the Government of Canada.
  • Key Events in Black Canadian History.  The first person of African Heritage to come to what is now Canada arrived in 1604.  His name is Mathieu Da Costa who arrived with the French explorer Samuel de Champlain.
  • The Road North: Black Canada and the journey to Freedom.  Provides images and texts about the immigration of Blacks to Canada from around the world dating back to the 17th century.
  • Black History Canada Videos and downlable guides.
  • Canadian Black Heritage in the Third Millennium  The site provides a number of links including Blacks in New France, Black Loyalists in Nova Scotia, the Underground Railroad and Confederation.  "The website contributes to a deeper understanding of the Black Canadian diaspora and promotes online resources for diverse Canadians to learn about Black history from a Canadian perspective".
  • Library and Archives Canada - The Anti-Slavery Movement in Canada.  This is an archived site.
  • Buxton Heritage Museum.  Buxton is a rural community located in southwestern Ontario.  It was established in 1849 as a community for and by former African-American slaves who escaped to Canada to gain freedom.   
  • Uncle Toms Cabin Historic Site. This site takes its name from Harriet Beecher Stowe's successful anti-slavery novel Uncle Tom's Cabin.  The site provides teaching materials about the Underground Railroad for primary, junior and intermediate students.
  • Teaching African-Canadian History.  "To share the resources and provide support to educators striving to include the African Canadian experience across the curriculum with the aim of enriching the learning experiences of all students in the classroom.
  • Viola Desmond  Black Canadian hero and civil-rights activist, she will be the new face on the Canadian $10.00 bill in 2018.  Watch the documentary "Long Road to Justice" that chronicles the arrest and trial of Viola Desmond.
  • Black Connection to Canadian Hockey: The following information and links were provided by Bob Dawson. Born in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, Bob Dawson, an all-round athlete, excelled in baseball, basketball and hockey. On the latter, he was the “first black” in 1967 to play in what was then the Atlantic Intercollegiate Hockey League (AIHL) with Saint Mary’s University in Halifax.  Darrell Maxwell (Truro, NS) and Percy Paris (Windsor, NS) later joined Bob, making Saint Mary’s the first and only Canadian university to have 3 black players on the same hockey team. To add to that distinction, during a game in 1970 against Mount Allison University in New Brunswick, Coach Boucher played Bob, Darrell and Percy together on a line thus becoming the “first all-black forward line” in the history of Canadian university and college hockey.  Bob Dawson is now a Sports Writer, Diversity Management Consultant, and Speaker. Read more about his academic, sports and personal achievements here.    Bob has written the following articles:

Canada 150 and Key Moments in Black Hockey History - Part 1

Canada 150 and Key Moments in Black Hockey History - Part 2

100 Years of the NHL and the Black Experience - Part 1

100 Years of the NHL and the Black Experience - Part 2



  • Blackpast.org.  This is a substantive reference centre providing information for the general public, scholars and researchers on African-American history and on the history of the more than one billion people of African ancestry around the world.  The site has materials on African-American history as well as global African history.
  • Aboard the Underground Railroad.  This site is hosted by the U.S. National Park Service providing descriptions and photographs on 60 historic places associated with the UGRR that are listed in the National Park Service's National Register of Historic Places.
  • UNESCO - Transatlantic Slave Routes.  The transatlantic slave trade, often known as the triangular trade, connected the economies of three continents.  It is estimated that 25 to 30 million men, women and children were taken from their homes and sold as slaves.
  • Born in Slavery: Slave Narratives from the Federal Writers' Project  The Project took place from 1936 to 1938.  The collection contains more than 2,300 first-person accounts of slavery and approximately 500 black-and-white photographs of former slaves.  
  • Black Inventors Online MuseumAnswering maching devices, blood banks, the egg beater, food preservation, traffic signals, refrigeration systems all invented by Blacks ... This site presents information on Black inventors over the last 300 years. Their contributions are chronicled and the inventors, women and men, are profiled.  
  • The History Makers: America's Missing Stories This site records, preserves and shares the life stories of thousands of African Americans from Barack Obama to the oldest living Black cowboy.  "The HistoryMakers is a leader in helping to educate and enlighten millions worldwide through refashioning a more inclusive record of American history."
  • Martin Luther King: I Have a Dream Speech  Includes a biography written for children.