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Autumn Peltier

Autumn Peltier, Anishinaabe water-rights advocate, Anishinabek Nation Chief Water Commissioner (born 27 September 2004 in Wiikwemikoong Unceded Territory, Manitoulin Island, ON). Autumn Peltier is a world-renowned water-rights advocate and a leading global youth environmental activist. In April 2019, Peltier was appointed Chief Water Commissioner by the Anishinabek Nation and has spoken about the issue of contaminated water on Indigenous reserves in Canada at the United Nations. For her activism, Peltier was nominated for the International Children’s Peace Prize in 2017, 2018 and 2019.

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Order-in-Council P.C. 1911-1324 — the Proposed Ban on Black Immigration to Canada

Order-in-Council P.C. 1324 was approved on 12 August 1911 by the Cabinet of Prime Minister Sir Wilfrid Laurier. The purpose of the order was to ban Black persons from entering Canada for a period of one year because, it read, “the Negro race…is deemed unsuitable to the climate and requirements of Canada.” The order-in-council was the culmination of what researcher R. Bruce Shepard has called Canada’s “campaign of diplomatic racism.” Though the order never became law, the actions of government officials made it clear that Black immigrants were not wanted in Canada (see Immigration).

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Black History in Canada: 1960 to Present

Black people have lived in Canada since the 17th century. Some of the earliest arrivals were enslaved persons brought from what we now call the United States of America and from the Caribbean. (See Black Canadians; Caribbean Canadians.) From the 18th century to the 1960s, most Black immigrants to Canada were fleeing enslavement and/or discrimination in the United States. Since then, changes to Canadian immigration policy have led to an influx of immigrants from the Caribbean and Africa. (See African Canadians.) In the 2016 Canadian census, 1.2 million people (3.5 per cent of the Canadian population) reported being Black.. Despite ongoing challenges, including discrimination and systemic racism, Black Canadians have excelled in sectors and industries across the country.

See also Black History in Canada until 1900 and Black History in Canada: 1900–1960.

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Hugh Burnett

Hugh Burnett, civil rights activist, carpenter (born 14 July 1918 in Dresden, ON; died 29 September 1991 in London, ON). Burnett was a key figure in the fight for anti-discrimination legislation in Ontario. Through the 1940s and early 1950s, he organized tirelessly against racial discrimination in public service in his hometown of Dresden, Ontario, rising to prominence as a leader and organizer of the National Unity Association (NUA), a coalition of Black community members pushing for equal rights in Dresden and the surrounding area. He was instrumental to in bringing about legislative and legal victories for civil rights at the provincial level related to the 1954 Fair Accommodation Practices Act, an early anti-discrimination law in Ontario.

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Onye Nnorom

Onyenyechukwu (Onye) Nnorom, family physician, specialist in public health and preventive medicine (born 27 February 1981 in Montreal, Quebec). Nnorom is the associate director of the residency program in public health and preventive medicine at the University of Toronto’s Dalla Lana School of Public Health. She also leads the Black health curriculum at the university’s medical school. Her work addresses the health inequities that racialized and immigrant communities face.

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Black Lives Matter-Canada

Black Lives Matter (BLM) is a decentralized movement to end anti-Black racism. It was founded as an online community in the United States in 2013 in response to the acquittal of the man who killed Black teenager Trayvon Martin. Its stated mission is to end white supremacy and state-sanctioned violence and to liberate Black people and communities. The Black Lives Matter hashtag (#BlackLivesMatter) has been used to bring attention to discrimination and violence faced by Black people. BLM has chapters in the United States and around the world. There are five chapters in Canada: Toronto (BLM-TO), Vancouver (BLM-VAN), Waterloo Region, Edmonton, and New Brunswick.

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Black Canadians

Black Canadians, or African Canadians, are people of African or Caribbean ancestry who live in Canada. According to the 2016 Canadian census, 1.2 million Canadians (3.5 per cent of the population) identified as being Black.

This is a summary of Black history in Canada. For more detailed information, please see our articles on Black History in Canada until 1900, Black History in Canada: 1900-1960 and Black History in Canada: 1960 to Present..

See also African Canadians and Caribbean Canadians.

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Ely Edmond Boeykens (Primary Source)

"The first thing we do most of the time is , “See that steeple on the church? Shoot it down.” Catholic church steeple, had to shoot the steeples down, because the Germans used to stand up there to look at you."

See below for Mr. Boeykens' entire testimony.


Please be advised that Memory Project primary sources may deal with personal testimony that reflect the speaker’s recollections and interpretations of events. Individual testimony does not necessarily reflect the views of the Memory Project and Historica Canada.

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Peter Lougheed

Edgar Peter Lougheed, businessman, lawyer, premier of Alberta (born at Calgary 26 July 1928, died there 13 Sept. 2012). In 1965, at the age of 36, Lougheed was elected leader of the small Alberta Progressive Conservative Party. A successful political career at the helm of such a marginal party seemed unlikely at the start. By the time Lougheed took charge, the party didn't hold a single seat.

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George Couture (Primary Source)

"Well, that’s where we had most of our casualties; on that third day at that time. And that’s when that German General let his troops kill [soldiers of the Royal] Winnipeg Rifles. "

See below for Mr. Couture's entire testimony.


Please be advised that Memory Project primary sources may deal with personal testimony that reflect the speaker’s recollections and interpretations of events. Individual testimony does not necessarily reflect the views of the Memory Project and Historica Canada.

Article

Quebec City Mosque Shooting

The Quebec City mosque shooting took place in 2017 at the Islamic Cultural Centre of Quebec City, located in the suburb of Sainte-Foy. The gunman pleaded guilty to six counts of first-degree murder and six counts of attempted murder. It was one of the deadliest mass shootings in Canadian history, described as an act of terrorism by both Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard. The event prompted widespread public debate around Islamophobia, racism and the rise of right-wing terrorism in Canada.

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William “Grumps” Britch (Primary Source)

"It’s odd that you meet a person and you knew that this person is someone you wanted to really get to know. It was the right thing. And 63 years later, I still think that that was a very good thing."

See below for Mr. Britch's entire testimony.


Please be advised that Memory Project primary sources may deal with personal testimony that reflect the speaker’s recollections and interpretations of events. Individual testimony does not necessarily reflect the views of the Memory Project and Historica Canada.

Article

Gordon Steinberg (Primary Source)

"Then they took me and sent me to a little company, Royal Canadian Engineers, that’s where I was for all the rest of the time in Italy."

See below for Mr. Steinberg's entire testimony.


Please be advised that Memory Project primary sources may deal with personal testimony that reflect the speaker’s recollections and interpretations of events. Individual testimony does not necessarily reflect the views of the Memory Project and Historica Canada.

Article

Harry Hurwitz (Primary Source)

"Being Jewish, you know, Hitler, he murdered six million Jews, and I felt it my duty to join up and fight the Axis Powers."

See below for Mr. Hurwitz's entire testimony.


Please be advised that Memory Project primary sources may deal with personal testimony that reflect the speaker’s recollections and interpretations of events. Individual testimony does not necessarily reflect the views of the Memory Project and Historica Canada.

Article

Adriana Ouborg (Primary Source)

"The Dutch people in Arnhem helped the Allied forces, and helped to save as many of the Allied forces as possible."

See below for Ms. Ouborg's entire testimony.


Please be advised that Memory Project primary sources may deal with personal testimony that reflect the speaker’s recollections and interpretations of events. Individual testimony does not necessarily reflect the views of the Memory Project and Historica Canada.

Article

Denny Christianson

Dennis Richard Christianson, trumpeter, flugelhornist, arranger, composer, bandleader, educator (born 12 September 1942 in Rockford, Illinois; died 10 February 2021). Denny Christianson was an important figure in the big band scene in Quebec. He formed the Denny Christianson Big Band in Montreal in 1981. It appeared annually at the Festival International de Jazz de Montréal (FIJM) and played internationally. Christianson also played and wrote for studio orchestras; recorded with such artists as Tony Bennett, Ray Charles and Stevie Wonder; and taught at the University of Montreal, Concordia University, and McGill University. From 2001 until 2018, he was director of music studies at Toronto’s Humber College, where he developed one of the best jazz programs in the country.

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John Everard MacLean (Primary Source)

"We got to be just a family of friends, which was very good but it’s hard to look back at."

See below for Mr. MacLean's entire testimony.


Please be advised that Memory Project primary sources may deal with personal testimony that reflect the speaker’s recollections and interpretations of events. Individual testimony does not necessarily reflect the views of the Memory Project and Historica Canada.

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Gerald Cowhey (Primary Source)

"You're twenty years old and you think of your own mortality and are you going to survive the next twenty-six trips. We did."

See below for Mr. Cowhey's entire testimony.


Please be advised that Memory Project primary sources may deal with personal testimony that reflect the speaker’s recollections and interpretations of events. Individual testimony does not necessarily reflect the views of the Memory Project and Historica Canada.

Article

Charles Snider (Primary Source)

"I'd been shelled the odd time, when they'd see vehicles moving. But we went in over what they call Camouflage Hill. And it was pretty well covered."

See below for Mr. Snider's entire testimony.


Please be advised that Memory Project primary sources may deal with personal testimony that reflect the speaker’s recollections and interpretations of events. Individual testimony does not necessarily reflect the views of the Memory Project and Historica Canada.