We Are The Roots: Black Settlers and Their Experiences of Discrimination on the Canadian Prairies

The following announcement is from the Genealogy à la carte blog by Gail Dever at http://genealogyalacarte.ca/?p=27135:

Winner of the 2018 Alberta Historical Resources Foundation 2018 Heritage Awareness award, We Are The Roots is a documentary that tells the stories of African American immigrants who settled in Alberta and Saskatchewan in the early 1900s.

Thousands of advertisements were distributed by the Canadian Government via posters, pamphlets, and in American newspapers, encouraging Americans to move to the “Last Best West” where 160 acres of land could be purchased for a registration fee of $10.

From 1905 to 1912, between 1,000 and 1,500 African Americans came to Canada in the hopes of finding a better life.

In the film, 19 descendants of original settlers tell stories about how their ancestors’ move north to escape slavery, persecution and racism in America. Once in Canada, these families would then experience more discrimination, both in Edmonton and in rural communities they settled.

The one-hour documentary is available online.

My thanks to newsletter reader Terry Mulcahy for telling me about this video.

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