The arrival of Black settlers in 1858 is designated an “Event of National Historic Significance” by the Government of Canada

The Historic Sites and Monuments Board plaque is located at the Central Saanich United Church formerly The Shady Creek Church. The plaque, which was designated on September 22, 1997 and unveiled on February 20, 2000 reads:
In 1858, nearly 800 free Blacks left the oppressive racial conditions of San Francisco for a new life on Vancouver Island. Governor James Douglas had invited them here as promising settlers. Though still faced with intense discrimination, these pioneers enriched the political, religious and economic life of the colony. For example, Mifflin Gibbs became a prominent politician; Charles and Nancy Alexander initiated the Shady Creek Methodist Church; John Deas established a salmon cannery; and the group formed one of the earliest colonial militia units, the Victoria Pioneer Rifle Corps.