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Customs and Traditions

This section will examine some of the historical customs and traditions observed by Alberta’s Black pioneers. Their cuisine, inventive home remedies, and cultural beliefs all serve to define the cultural component of the Black pioneer story. By incorporating these customs and traditions into their daily lives, Alberta’s close-knit Black pioneers ensured the preservation of their heritage. Moreover, cultural enrichment provided them with an excellent opportunity to socialize with other Black pioneer families living nearby. Weary of other ethnic settlers and desperate to avoid racial confrontations, Alberta’s rural Black settlements were isolated enclaves. By incorporating various customs and traditions into their lives, Blacks ensured that life in Canada was more than just drudgery and hard work.

Alberta’s Black pioneers continued to practice the customs and traditions introduced to them by their ancestors, many of whom were slaves and shared their experiences with their own children and grandchildren. As other sections will explain, descendants of Alberta’s Black pioneers continue to host traditional celebrations as a means of reconnecting with their unique heritage.


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            For more on Black settlement in Alberta, visit Peel’s Prairie Provinces.

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