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

Influencing the Vision of Canada

Partnering with Digital Museums Canada provides a unique opportunity to further imprint the stories of these pioneers in a lasting way that reaches beyond the boundaries of our provincial neighborhoods and re-affirms the significance of these pioneers in Canadian History for all Canadians.

The BC Black History Awareness Society signed a Community Stories Agreement with Canadian Museum of History as part of a Federal Government investment program that enables community organizations to develop bilingual online community-focused exhibits to share with all Canadians.

The exhibit British Columbia’s Black Pioneers: Their Industry and Character influenced the Vision of Canada features 20 stories, 9 videos, and 86 gallery items that include images, photographs, maps, and archival documents; all are bilingual.

“With more than 500 exhibits Digital Museums Canada (DMC) is the largest source of online content and experiences shared by large and small Canadian museums and heritage organizations. These online exhibits explore history, culture, science and the arts, and feature fascinating stories and treasures from communities across the country.”

We are grateful to the following individuals and organizations that helped make this exhibit a reality with their unwavering dedication, expertise, talent, and resourcefulness.
Sponsors
City of Victoria
Greater Victoria Public Library
HERE Magazine
ITI International Technologies Inc.
Old Cemeteries Society (OCS)
Dr. John Lutz, Chair of the History Department, University of Victoria
Videography and Photography
Producer, Videographer, Photographer and Editor: John-Evan Snow (FotoVie)
Audio Recordist: Jeff Leung, Mohit Verma
Video Editor: Sandy Rossignol, Sandy Warhol
Website Technical Specialist and Support – Crystal Sherrah, ITI
Salt Spring Island Archives Research by SSI Archives Volunteers – Ceridwen Ross Collins, Christina Marshall, Usha Rautenbach, Elsie Mountford and Emma Bishop. Special thanks to Judy Sims for her memories of the Estes-Stark Collection.
Contributors
John Adams, Discover the Past Walking Tours
Fiona Bramble, HERE Magazine
Gerry Buydens, Old Cemeteries Society
Linda Carlson and Davyd McMinn, Dandridge House Video
Bertha Clarke aka Adelene Da Soul Poet
Kevin Creamore, Photography
Sherry Edmunds-Flett, Research, Historian
Barbara Hudlin, Doug Hudlin story
Crawford Kilian, Author
Dr. John Lutz, Chair of the History Department, University of Victoria
Sarah Rathjen, City of Victoria Archives
Linda Richards, Old Cemeteries Society
Shayli Robinson, Photography
Peter Schildwächter, Photography
Translation
MOSAIC Interpretation and Translation Services. All the content for the exhibit is in both official languages including stories, gallery item descriptions, alternative (alt) text, descriptive transcripts for audio and video, and closed captions for video.
Archives
Barkerville Historic Town & Park Archives
British Colonist Archives
City of Vancouver Archives
City of Victoria Archives
Oberlin College Archives
Royal BC Museum and Archives
Salt Spring Island Archives
University of British Columbia Archives
University of Victoria Archives
BC Black History Awareness Project Team
Project Manager, Lead Writer, Research: Fran Morrison
Lead Advisor, Writer, Editor: Mavis DeGirolamo
Sponsorship: Silvia Mangue
Treasurer and Legal Advisor: Paul Schachter, J.D.
Graphic Design, Photography: Beth Cruise, Tracy Guinchard
Video Content/Speakers: Youth: Khumalo, Nandi, Selina, Tanya; Karen Hoshal, Mandeep Kaur Muchina, Ron Nicholson

The story and history of the Black pioneers is an important part of understanding Canada’s multicultural society. Canadians are generally taught that Black people came to Canada to seek relief from the oppression of slavery or, more recently, from repressive socio-economic conditions in their home countries.

This story helps round out the picture of Canada by showing how this group of about 800 invited settlers contributed to the richness of the developing society in the west and were an integral part of its early formation. This results in better outcomes for understanding the advantages of multiculturalism today.