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Alberta Online Encyclopedia

Affirmation of Identity

The Black Pioneer Descendants' Society of Western Canada was established as a unified organization dedicated to educating and commemorating the many contributions and achievements of Black pioneers in Western Canada. Located in Edmonton, the creation of the Black Pioneers Descendants' Society demonstrates an organizational commitment to preserving Alberta’s Black pioneer history. The surviving children and families of the Black pioneers of Alberta and Saskatchewan are the primary representatives of the Society.

In 2005, the Black Pioneer Descendants' Society hosted a Centennial Celebration honouring their pioneering grandparents who arrived from several American states, including Oklahoma, Texas, Kansas, and Ohio, to settle in northern Alberta and Saskatchewan. Food, music, and dance were featured during the three-day celebration. Three speakers shared their experience and knowledge with those in attendance, stressing, in particular, the importance of preserving and promoting Black pioneer heritage.

Finally, this online resource, created in partnership with the Black Pioneer Descendants' Society, represents an invaluable tool for Black pioneer descendants living throughout North America who are interested in learning about their heritage. it makes the history, culture, traditions, and achievements of Alberta’s Black pioneer community accessible to a global audience. Black pioneer descendants have experienced a significant socioeconomic transformation during the past few decades. No longer having to unite their efforts to combat the racism and discrimination once so prominent in this province, they have refocused their efforts on preserving and promoting Black pioneer heritage. The establishment of Black History Month, the Black Pioneers Descendants' Society, and the creation of this Web site have facilitated this process substantially. Through these various endeavours, Alberta’s Black pioneer descendants can collectively describe their recent efforts as an affirmation of identity.

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††††††††††† For more on Black settlement in Alberta, visit Peelís Prairie Provinces.

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