BCBHAS President, Silvia Mangue “The Importance of Including Black History in B.C. Curriculum and Heritage Programming” “ Understanding history and the people that lived that history is paramount to the fight against racism, because when we understand history and is subjects, we are better equipped to write laws and policies that are more equitable and just for all of us. By learning about the past and placing in its true context we can more clearly know what society must do to create equity within our human family. When we don’t teach the past, the present is not easily understandable and we run the risk of conjectures that lead to racist ideas and therefore racist behaviours. When we teach children and youth about the past, the present becomes clearer and the future hopeful”.
British Columbia Resources
This BC Black History Timeline covers events in B.C. as well as some significant events in Canada, the United States and/or globally that had/is having an effect on Black settlement in BC and the experiences of Blacks in BC. The first settlers arrived in April 1858; however the first entry in the timeline is August 1, 1834 when slavery was abolished in the British Empire which included Canada.
Explore the timeline
“BC Black Pioneers: Influencing The Vision of Canada“ This BILINGUAL exhibit, designed and developed by BC Black History Awareness Society with investment from Digital Museums Canada, tells the story of the Black Pioneers who came to British Columbia starting around 1858. It includes 20 short stories, some with videos and more than 80 archival images and materials. Visit
“Challenging ‘Racist’ British Columbia: 150 Years and Counting”
Examines the historical thread of racism and how it connects to the racism that is ongoing. Individuals, educators, and policymakers can use this to amplify the diversity of voices and experiences in our movement and pathway forward. Co-authored by activists & scholars from diverse communities, this resource will assist anti-racist educators, teachers, scholars, and policymakers. Teachers Corner includes glossary, pre/post chapter questions and links to other resources. Enhanced Digital Edition and Videos
“1923: Challenging Racisms Past and Present” One hundred years ago, the Canadian government passed “An Act Respecting Chinese Immigration” that came into effect on July 1, 1923. Known as the Chinese Exclusion Act, it was an overtly racist law prohibiting the arrival of newcomers from China. It also required all people of Chinese heritage, including the Canadian- born, to register with the federal government in order to stay in the country.” This book, released in June 2023, with 6 chapters organized chronologically, reviews what happened in the ten years preceding the Chinese Exclusion Act, to better understand its origins and how it related to Indigenous, Black and other racialized communities, and to Canada’s history of settler colonialism. Dr. Ningping Yu translated this booklet into the Chinese language, and is also available. Download 1923
Canadian and other Province resources
Canadian Encyclopedia Black History in Canada: This is an all-inclusive gateway to many resources and information on Activists, Athletes, Black in STEM, Communities, Film &Television, Legislation, Musicians, Pathfinders, Writers, a Canadian Black History TIMELINE and more!
Canadian Black Heritage Stamps More than 30 Canadian Black Heritage Stamps have been issued since 1983; 4 for BC history makers. Rosemary Brown (2009), Joe Fortes (2013), Hogan’s Alley (2014), and Eleanor Collins (2022).
A Black Peoples History of Canada (BPHC) Dalhousie University, Nova Scotia
“This is a three-year project initiated by the Department of Canadian Heritage and Dalhousie University in 2021. Its purpose is to conduct new research into our nation’s rich African Canadian heritage. Partnering with African Canadian groups and government agencies responsible for education, BPHC will help create new elementary and secondary school curricula in English and for teaching Black history in every Canadian province and territory.”
“A Black People’s History of Canada empowers educators, learners, and all Canadians through ground-breaking research in African Canadian history.”
Dr. Afua Cooper, Professor, Department of Sociology and Social Anthropology, Dalhousie University; has assembled a team of senior scholars and graduate students in the field of African Canadian history to undertake a very ambitious, three-year project. A Black People’s History of Canada is designed to help solve the generations-long problem of “why there isn’t more Black history in Canadian schools.”
Canadian Organizations devoted to Black History This Government of Canada site provides links to 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 Government of Canada resources; and of course this site, BC Black History Awareness Society.
Alberta: And Still We Rise A Black Presence in Alberta, late 1800s – 1970s
Researched and developed by Dr. Jennifer Kelly. Black history is Alberta’s history. In this exhibit explore the formation of Alberta’s Black communities from the late 1800s through to the early 1970s. Although Black peoples encountered racism in Alberta they were also active and assertive in challenging such instances.
Ontario: Teaching African-Canadian history: The goal of this site is “to share 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.” The site is maintained by Natasha Henry, the president of the Ontario Black History Society. She is an educator, historian, and curriculum consultant, specializing in the development of learning materials that focus on the African Diasporic experience.
def·i·ni·tion (noun) a statement of the exact meaning of a word
What does Anti-Black Racism mean? Is prejudice and racism the same? The Canadian Race Relations Foundation maintains a glossary with definitions of key concepts relevant to race relations, the promotion of Canadian identity, belonging and the mutuality of citizenship rights and responsibilities. We’ve selected some of the CRRF definitions that you will find here and a link to their complete glossary.
Test your knowledge of BC Black History
Earn a BC Black History Awareness Society Certificate!
.Online, At Home: Photos by August de Richelieu from Pexels
.Classroom: Photo By CDC, Unsplash
.Children with Backpacks: Note Thanun, Unspash
.BC Black History Timeline ©BC Black History Awareness Society
.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
.Challenging ‘Racist’ BC: The book and its cover were designed by John Endo Greenaway using the painting Flight Through the Four Winds by Master Carver Ahtsik-sta Qwayachiik (Sanford Williams