Learning Centre

EXPLORE: Have an open mind.
DISCOVER: Expand your horizon of knowledge.
LEARN: Acquire new understanding, challenge your interpretations and perceptions.
SHARE: Start a conversation, enrich the collective knowledge of family and friends.
“For the great merit of history or biography is not alone the events they chronicle, but the value of the thought they inspire.” Mifflin Wistar Gibbs

Here is a selection of resources, websites, articles, reports, videos for educators, parents, students, families, researchers and you

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Pioneers and History Makers: Bios, Stories, Features and Articles
group of friends looking at computer screen“In 1858, nearly 800 free Blacks left the oppressive racial conditions of San Francisco for a new life on Vancouver Island” Some of their stories are here as well as biographies, stories, personal accounts, articles about 20th century  history makers and influencers here in BC.

BC Black History Timeline Publication
Bottom half of book cover with the words BC Black History Timeline, background is 2 images side by side shaded in light blue and yellow

Events in B.C. as well as some significant events in Canada, the United States and/or globally with respect to Black settlement in BC and the experiences of Blacks in BC. 

Explore the digital timeline


Black Canadians in the 21st Century
business man
“.. shifting the collective thinking about who we are and what we contribute to the world “ as well as some demographic information from Statistics Canada.

BCBHAS bilingual exhibit with Digital Museums Canada "Their Industry and Character Influenced the Vision of Canada"
Digital Museum Canada BC Pioneer Exhibit Home Page
This national online exhibit was produced by BC Black History Awareness Society about BC Black Pioneers. It is fully bilingual and includes 20 short stories, some with videos and more than 80 archival images and materials.  About the project

Resources for Educators and Parents
group of high school students with backpacks entering a schoolAll the resources in this Learning Centre could be used by educators and parents but here is a selection of resources, many with teaching information, guides and materials.

BCBHAS partnered with Royal BC Museum and Archives Learning Team to create this PATHWAY.
It includes Primary Sources Activities for grades 5 and up.

Stylized text on white background

"Hope Meets Action: Echoes Through the Black Continuum" is now a travelling exhibition!
2 6-foot high, self-standing, information panels supported and connected by rigid metal frames with title and text about the exhibit

Written, told and designed by Black voices, this exhibition reclaims and retells our complex history across the centuries into the present. The exhibition was open at Royal BC Museum until March 2022.  About the exhibit. Parts of the exhibit can be viewed online.

Dictionary page blurred text except for word focusWhat does anti-Black racism mean? What’s the difference between discrimination and prejudice? Here are “key concepts relevant to race relations, promotion of Canadian identity, belonging and the mutuality of citizenship rights and responsibilities”.

Research Resources
person walking between stacks of booksTwo great resources BC Archives Black History Records Research Guide in partnership with the BC Archives published in March 2024 and "The Catalogue" originally published in 1978 with ongoing updates - 11 sections providing references for education, legal issues, population, women, politics and more. Both resources provide links and/or references to additional materials.

Places of Interest
hand on map pointing, camera and sunglasses sit on map
Explore Victoria, south Vancouver Island, Nanaimo and Salt Spring Island, Lower Mainland and Northern BC.

Slavery in Canada and the Underground Railroad
Slave sale advertisement-September 1790 Halifax“Canada has its own history of slavery – and it is a history we should never forget” Canadian Museum of Human Rights; and Canada was also a refuge for freedom-seekers via the Underground Railroad.

Anti-Racism in B.C. and Canada: Struggle, Strategy, Resilience
silence is compliance sign“Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be.” Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Commencement Address at Oberlin College, June 1965.

Canadian Organizations devoted to Black history
black woman holding maple leaf at foreheadLink to resources that are uniquely Canadian; national and provincial; devoted to the promotion and awareness of Black Canadian history.

Black History Month and other commemorative days
Black History Month text on black, red and green backgroundWe are going back to that beautiful history and it is going to inspire us to greater achievements.” Carter G Woodson, Father of Black History Month.
In addition to BHM there are other days celebrated nationally and internationally that have relevance to the Black experience here in BC.

Youth Engagementoutside in park setting woman crouching working on graffiti piece on plywood, spray paint cansOur Youth Engagement Coordinator used a series of workshops for youth to dive in and explore the five elements of Hip-Hop: Knowledge, MCing, DJing/Lyricism, Breakdancing/African dance, and Graffiti.

Rosie Jones and Joan Cook Memorial Bursary for Camosun College Students
university student in dorm room doing homework using computerThis bursary was established to provide financial assistance for students with a heritage background.

UN Decade for People of African Descent: 2015-2024
African Descent decade emblem
Themes: Recognition, Justice, Development. “In proclaiming this Decade, the international community is recognizing that people of African descent represent a distinct group whose human rights must be promoted and protected ..”

Test Your Knowledge   
Earn a BC Black History Awareness Society Certificate!
young girl holding tablet facing camera

Watch!family siting on couch looking at computera selection of family friendly videos, digital content and 1 full length documentary.

Baobab Trees
The baobab (BOUGH-bob) tree is known for its size and spiritual significance in many African cultures. It is also known as The Tree of Life

These trees are the background for our Learning Centre banner. They are recognized as a symbol of community. The tree is a prehistoric species which predates mankind, native to the African savannah. The baobab has many useful properties, which is why it is widely known as the Tree of Life. It behaves like a giant succulent with up to 80 percent of its trunk made up of water. Sand bushmen relied on the trees for water when the rains failed and the rivers dried. A single tree can hold up to 1,180 gallons (5,360 liters) of water, while the hollow center provides valuable shelter. The Order of the Baobab is a South African civilian national honor, instituted in 2002. It is awarded to citizens for distinguished service in the fields of business and the economy; science, medicine, and technological innovation; or community service.

Sources, Credits and References
Header Graphic with Baobab (BOUGH-bob) trees, Tracy Guinchard, ©BC Black History Awareness Society
Friends/Colleagues, Fauxels, Pexels
BC Black History Timeline ©BC Black History Awareness Society
Narrator, Photo by Anthony Shjraba, Pexels
DMC Home Page: Images courtesy of City of Victoria Archives, Royal BC Museum and Archives, Salt Spring Island Archives; Collage designed by Beth Cruise, BC Black History Awareness Society
Youth with backpacks, Stanley Morales, Pexels
Hope Meets Action Exhibit, Photo courtesy of Royal BC Museum and Archives, BC Black History Awareness Society Collection
“For Sale” BC Black History Awareness Society collection
Silence is Compliance, Danny Lines, Unsplash
Woman with Maple Leaf, Joanna Nix-Walkup, Unsplash
Dictionary Page, Romain Vignes, Unsplash
Researcher, Bantersnaps, Unsplash
Map, Element5, Unsplash
Black History Month graphic, BC Black History Awareness Society
Youth Engagement: Photo ©Charity Williams
University Student, Julia M. Cameron, Pexels
International Decade for People of African Descent mark
Youth with ipad, Julia M. Cameron, Pexels
Family watching video, August de Richelieu, Pexels
Grove of Baobab Trees, Theme Inn, Unsplash