Since the 1970s, Canada has designated February as Black History Month, during which we recognize the significant contributions that Black Canadians have made to our society. As early as the 1600s, we can find examples of explorers such as Mathieu Da Costa, who helped to establish the beginnings of modern-day Canada. Whether through their military contributions in Canadian wars, their artistic and musical prowess, or the significant impact on the political and public spheres of Canadian life, Canadians owe a great debt of gratitude to the Black Canadian community.
Furthermore, Black Canadians have taught us resiliency and the importance of deep-seeded faith in one of North America’s darkest periods during which slavery was rampant in both Canada and the United States. While Canada eventually became a beacon of hope during the 1850s for enslaved individuals travelling the Underground Railroad to Canada with Harriet Tubman, there still remained many racial barriers to overcome, some of which are still present today.
Some may wonder why this is so significant to our community today or why we should celebrate another cultural background, if it is not our own. As an organization that represents Christ in our world, it is foundational that we care for and honour all of the members of our community. Furthermore, we must look for ways to bridge the differences that so often divide our society if we are to be agents of change that bring reconciliation and peace to our broken world.
While these few paragraphs in no way do justice to the countless great Black Canadians that have left such a legacy on our Canadian culture, I hope that it serves as a springboard to recognize more of their positive impact on Canada, and awakens our students’ curiosity on a chapter that is so often left out of our History books. We desire Trinity to be a place of belonging and growth for each of our students and this is one more way that we can work towards this.