Premier Rachel Notley has proclaimed February as Black History Month, recognizing the contributions people of African and Caribbean descent have made to the province.
“Black History Month gives us the chance to learn more about the black experience in Alberta, to hear stories of struggle, of hope and of triumph. It’s an opportunity to reflect on our history and to inspire Albertans of all backgrounds to work towards a better Alberta for all of us. Our diversity is our strength and it should be celebrated now and for years to come.”
“We value multiculturalism and diversity in our province. The contributions of the black community are a part of Alberta’s greater story that add to our culture, economy and quality of life.”
Through the proclamation, Alberta joins British Columbia, Ontario and Quebec in officially recognizing Black History Month. The Government of Canada officially recognized Black History Month in 1995.
The United Nations proclaimed 2015-2024 the Decade for People of African Descent, with the theme “People of African descent: recognition, justice and development.”
Quick facts: Black History in Alberta
- Alberta has the third highest black population in Canada: 74,435 (2011 census).
- John Ware was Alberta’s first settler of African descent, arriving in the foothills in 1882, before Alberta was a province.
In 1954, Calgary-born Violet King Henry became the first black person to graduate law in Alberta and to be admitted to the Alberta Bar, and the first black female lawyer in Canada.