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5 Black Trailblazers

Black History Month is celebrated in February in Canada. In honour of this month, Shon a Case Manager in our Home Now program, provided an overview of why we celebrate Black History Month, as well as five Black Canadian Trailblazers we should know about.

Black people become concerned that history, books and schools only focused on things from one perspective and did not consider the history and contributions of Black people. Canadians were and still are unaware of the fact that even though African people were once enslaved, they were freed and contributed to the territory that is now Canada.

In the United States, Black History Month started as Black History Week in 1926 and grew into Black History Month in 1976. In 1995, the Government of Canada officially recognized February as Black History Month in Canada.

Five Canadian Black Trailblazers You Should Know About

John Ware first black cowboy in Alberta. Interesting fact: One of the first settlers featured on stamp.

Learn more about John Ware from the Secret Life of Canada Podcast HERE.

Viola Desmond Canadian Civil Rights Activist and Businesswoman. Interesting fact: Featured on the $10 bill.

Learn more about Viola Desmond from the Canadian Museum of Human Rights HERE.

Lincoln Alexander. First Black Canadian Member of Parliament. Interesting fact: He has a school and highway named after him.

Learn more about Lincoln Alexander from The Canadian Encyclopedia HERE.

Corrine Sparks. First Black Woman to Become a Judge in Canada. Interesting fact: Still lives in Nova Scotia.

Learn more about Corrine Sparks from the Provincial Court of Nova Scotia HERE.

Willie O'Ree Professional Hockey Player. Interesting fact: First black hockey player in the NHL.

Learn more about Willie O’Ree on Sportsnet HERE.

Black History Month is a time to learn more about Canadian history and acknowledge the important contributions of Black Canadians to the settlement growth and development of Canada. Black History is everyone’s history.

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