September 28, 2016

Black History Month

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BHM, Black History Month, MCoS, Multicultural Council of Saskatchewan, multicultural, anti-racism, anti-discrimination, stereotype, poland, march 21, racism, discriminationBlack History Month Background

Every year, Canadians are invited to participate in Black History Month festivities and events that honour the legacy of African-Canadians, past and present. Canadians take this time to celebrate the many achievements and contributions of Canadians with African heritage who, throughout history, have done so much to make Canada the culturally diverse, compassionate and prosperous nation we know today. It is also an opportunity for all of us to learn about the wide range of African-Canadian experiences, including dealing with racism, and the vital role this community has played throughout our shared history.

Black History Month, Multicultural Council of Saskatchewan, cultural diversity, intercultural, education, anti-racism, racism, multiculturalism, ethnic diversity, culture, ethnicity, awareness, acceptance

Dr. Alfred Schmitz Shadd was the first known African Canadian in Saskatchewan.

Saskatchewan is now home to many people of African descent who have come from the United States, the Caribbean, many African countries and other parts of Canada. They are involved in all aspects of life. We continue to work towards full and equal integration. It is important for the history, contributions and legacy of people of African ancestry to be shared with others. Many people in Saskatchewan see people of African origin only as recent immigrants. Creating opportunities to highlight the contributions for over a century is important and can set the tone to welcome more recent arrivals from Africa, the Caribbean, the United States or other parts of Canada.

Saskatchewan is experiencing high levels of immigration. We welcomed 11,823 permanent residents, 10,891 temporary residents and 110 refugee claimants in 2014. Nigeria is among the top ten source countries for immigrants and six of the top ten source countries for refugees are in Africa. The First Nations and Métis populations have increased from 92,400 in 2001 to 157,740 in 2011. These trends are expected to continue in the future. Black History month events are an opportunity to focus on ways all people contribute to our cultural, social, political and economic life. It is also important to foster connections with other ethnic groups in ways that recognize and celebrate differences, while building a cohesive shared Canadian society. Black History Month is an excellent opportunity to remember the negative impacts of racism in the past and present, so that we may move forward with respect and equity.[1]

The history of people of African heritage was mostly unknown and not documented in Saskatchewan. In 1995, Dr. Bruce Shepard wrote “Deemed Unsuitable” about the history of Blacks in Saskatchewan. MCoS has promoted Black History Month and sustained our civic memory through publications, events, advertising and public education, a DVD entitled “Prairie Black”, and support for our member organizations. The Saskatchewan African Canadian Heritage Museum Inc. has made it their mission “To preserve and celebrate the heritage of people of African heritage in Saskatchewan”.

As a result of further research, collecting and documenting information, the heritage and contribution of people of African descent in Saskatchewan over the last 100 plus years, is now available. There is more research being done. Once again, we will distribute bilingual fact sheets developed by the Saskatchewan African-Canadian Heritage Museum (SACHM) on the history of people with African heritage in Saskatchewan to all schools in the province. The purpose is to educate and inform others of the unknown history and experiences of some of the original African-Canadian settlers and newer immigrants. This resource and the planned school visits will increase awareness in all students, pride in students of African ancestry and foster citizenship based on making our communities welcoming for all people (See: Black History Month Events)

[1] http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/resources/statistics/facts2012/permanent/11.asp

Did you know?Black History month, Multicultural Council of Saskatchewan, cultural diversity, intercultural, education, anti-racism, racism, multiculturalism, ethnic diversity, culture, ethnicity, awareness, acceptance

  • Dr. Alfred Shadd was the first Black resident of this province, moving from Ontario in 1896. He was a teacher, doctor, pharmacist, publisher and politician in the Melfort area.
  • 2010 was the 100th Anniversary of the first migration of African American immigrants to Saskatchewan from Oklahoma. Shiloh Church stands near Maidstone as a testament to this community.
  • The Canadian government considered passing an act that people of African descent were “deemed unsuitable to the climate and requirements of Canada” in 1911.
  • The Indian Head Rockets were an all Black baseball team that played to full crowds 1948-1955, at a time when African-Americans were banned from US major leagues.

Resources

Black History Month, Multicultural Council of Saskatchewan, cultural diversity, intercultural, education, anti-racism, racism, multiculturalism, ethnic diversity, culture, ethnicity, awareness, acceptance

Violinist, Eriyeza Buwembo, plays at a Ghanian Independence celebration.

Government of Canada – Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada Web Site

This web site contains in-depth information about Black History Month including games, quizzes, posters, featured biographies, etc.

http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/multiculturalism/black/

Saskatchewan African Canadian Heritage Museum Inc. (SACHM)

SACHM’s web site has a virtual museum that features biographies and photos of Saskatchewan individuals and families with African heritage.

They also created fact sheets that document a hundred years of black history in Saskatchewan.

Fact Sheets: 1) The LaFayette Family, 2) Dr. Alfred Schmitz Shadd, 3) Oklahoma Pioneers and the Shiloh Baptist Church, 4) Historic Timeline,  5) Bibliography for Local Information, and 6) Baseball Heroes

All together in one PDF file here: Black History Month Fact Sheets by SACHM

Web site: http://www.sachm.org/

La Communauté des Africains Francophones de Saskatchewan Inc. (CAFS)

This web site contains activities and photos from previous years.

http://www.cafs-sask.org/?page_id=151


Related links

Black History Month Events in Saskatchewan


Anti-Racism Facilitator Training

Anti-Racism Youth Leadership Workshops

Black History Month

Celebrate Canada

Islamic History Month Canada

June is National Aboriginal History Month

March 21st: International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination

Saskatchewan Multicultural Week

We Are SK Stories of Integration Project


BHM, Black History Month, MCoS, Multicultural Council of Saskatchewan, multicultural, anti-racism, anti-discrimination, stereotype, poland, march 21, racism, discrimination

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