Canada's Black population includes people who migrated to Canada from Africa, Europe, the Caribbean, the United States and South America since the 17th century. These people, connected by their common African history and ancestry, have created Black history in Canada, and are important participants in Canadian history. Some examples:
- In 1608, the first recorded Black person in Canada was Mathieu de Coste
- In the 17th and 18th centuries, before the American Revolution, Black slaves were recorded in Nouvelle France, and in the English colonies.
- After the American Revolution, over 3000 slaves and free Blacks arrived as Black Loyalists. Other Black slaves joined their Loyalist slave owners when they migrated north.
- In 1792, many residents of the Black communities in Nova Scotia migrated to Sierra Leone.
- In 1793, Upper Canada passed legislation that began the abolishment of slavery and ensured any slave arriving in the province was automatically freed.
- Over 30,000 slaves came to Canada from the United States via the Underground Railroad until the end of the American Civil War in 1865.
- During the 19th Century, other migrations occurred from coast to coast. Many of the Blacks who arrived during this period were economic migrants in search of work and farmland.
- In 1910 Canada implemented a racially discriminatory immigration system, which was in place until 1967.
- Many Black Canadians volunteered and served in both World Wars, in spite of the discriminatory practices that were commonplace at the time.
- In 1946, Viola Desmond's case created pressure that eventually led to the end of segregation
- Various Black Canadians have emerged as notables, and advocates for Black rights in Canada
Some sources can be found:
- Library and Archives Canada Black History in Canada splash page provides a window to various sources
- Wikipedia Black Canadians (scroll to the bottom for sources)
- Canadian Heritage Black history organizations and educational resources
- Amherstburg Freedom Museum
- Black Cultural Centre for Nova Scotia
- Black History Manitoba
- Black History Ottawa
- The Black Loyalist Heritage Centre
- British Columbia Black History Awareness Society
- Buxton National Historic Site and Museum
- L'esclavage au Canada français: histoire et conditions de l'esclavage Marcel Trudel, Presses Universitaires Laval, 1960 (BAnQ, PDF)
- New Brunswick Black History Society
- Ontario Black History Society
- The Saskatchewan African Canadian Heritage Museum (SACHM)