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Arrivals in Late 1800s

Dr. Jennifer Kelly

Initially, Black Canadians made their way to the North-West Territories as individual pioneers or accompanying traders. Most were attempting to make a living from the fur trade and found employment with companies such as the Hudson’s Bay Company.

Place Renaming in Edmonton: A Constant in the City’s History

Connor Thompson

Renaming places in Edmonton has become a major point of public discussion with several renamings occurring, or being proposed, since…

Sam the Shoemaker: Cobbling Together Community

Harma-Mae Smit

It was the turbulent sixties. In the United States and Canada, teenage unrest was making headlines. Even in the small…

Alberta’s Early Black Settlements

Dr. Jennifer Kelly

Many Black immigrants who came to Alberta as family groups in the early 1900s had previously lived in Oklahoma Territory alongside the Five Civilized Tribes (Cherokee, Creek, Seminole, Chickasaw, Choctaw). Following the creation of the state in 1907, Black residents faced increased levels of discrimination through segregation laws and voter disenfranchisement.

Social Exclusion

Dr. Jennifer Kelly

In the early 1900s, Black pioneers in Alberta often saw themselves as proud Canadian citizens and British subjects. However, they faced and fought exclusion from several aspects of Canadian life ranging from serving in the Canadian Expeditionary Forces to local theatres to swimming pools and access to housing.

“Our Negro Citizens” Newspaper Columns

Dr. Jennifer Kelly

“Our Negro Citizens” (ONC) was a weekly column in the Edmonton Journal and Edmonton Bulletin in the early 1920s. It was written by Reverend Geo. W. Slater Jr., pastor of the Emmanuel African Methodist Episcopal (EAME) church in Edmonton.

ONC: Capturing Everyday Life & Challenging Stereotypes

Dr. Jennifer Kelly

While life during this period was vibrant it must also be recognized that stereotyping by mainstream society was apparent and affected levels of expectations, as well as the employment prospects, of many of these Black citizens. The ONC column took a strong stance on issues of racism and social exclusion regarded as “drawing the colour line.”

Changing Social Conditions, Occupations & Immigration

Dr. Jennifer Kelly

During this time, we begin to see a change in the demographics of the Alberta-based Black Canadian community as folks who came from the United States in the early 1900s begin to encounter people recently arrived from the United States, often as athletes, and those who were arriving in increasing numbers from the Caribbean.

Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters

Dr. Jennifer Kelly

Beginning in 1939, American A. Philip Randolph visited Canada to assist with organizing an International section of the U.S.-based Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters (BSCP). The catalyst for this separate organization of workers was the racism that employees of African descent faced on the railway.

Emigration of Teachers from the Caribbean to Alberta, 1960s

Dr. Jennifer Kelly

Within the larger group of Caribbean immigrants there were a number of internationally educated teachers who came from different islands in order to fill the need for teachers in Alberta.

Louise Umphreville: Edmonton’s Forgotten First Lady

Tom Long

History is how we understand the past and that understanding is based on records made and kept by biased hands….

Peter Hemingway Fitness and Leisure Centre: Architectural Masterpiece and Community Recreation Hub

Tracey L. Anderson

A Centennial Project  Coronation Park, in west central Edmonton, is a 35-hectare park named to honour Queen Elizabeth II’s 1953 coronation. Although small compared…