Did you know that African Canadians worshipping on the lakeshore founded Toronto’s first Baptist Church in 1826?
Did you know that Upper Canada was the first place in the British Empire to make laws limiting slavery (1793)?
Did you know that Mathieu Da Costa, a multilingual translator of African descent, came to Canada with Samuel de Champlain in 1604?
If you didn’t, now you do. And you can learn many more such interesting facts about the African-Canadian experience.
To mark Black History Month, York’s Harriet Tubman Institute for Research on the Global Migrations of African Peoples is posting did-you-knows daily on Facebook and Twitter throughout February.
The postings are part of the institute’s new project, Breaking the Chains: Presenting a New Narrative of Canada’s Role in the Underground Railroad. Funded by a knowledge mobilization grant from the Social Sciences & Humanities Research Council of Canada, the project aims to produce and share new scholarship on the immigration to Canada of African American refugees from slavery.
The institute is collaborating with scholars and educators, community groups, libraries, government agencies and other stakeholders to write a new chapter on Canada’s Underground Railroad-era heritage. The objective is to share this new information with the public, especially teachers, children and youth, in easily accessible ways.