February is Black History Month and we encourage you to continue your learning about Black History in Canada. Officially recognized in Canada since 1996, this is a time to honour the contributions and struggles of peoples of African descent.
The United Church of Canada has posted information about Black History Month and we encourage you to visit the UCC’s website to learn more about BHM. Start by watching this YouTube video featuring Adele Halliday from the General Conference Office: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ubWH9RSGGmE
Vignettes of Canadian Black History
Black people have been present in the land we call Canada since long before confederation. Multilinguist Mathieu da Costa, of partial African ancestry, is the first known Black person to arrive on this land. Da Costa is understood to have spoken Dutch, English, French, Portuguese, Mi’kmaq, and pidgin Basque, and because of his ability to learn new languages traveled with João Fernandes Lavrador, exploring Greenland and the north Atlantic coast of Canada as early as 1499. Additionally, da Costa would voyage with Pierre Dugua de Mons and Samuel de Champlain.
Today, as with all days, let us continue to reach out to our friends and neighbours of partial and full African Heritage and say thanks for being an integral part of the history of Canada and specifically for the Oakville and Halton region.
Rev. Kerry Stover (pronouns: he/him)
Lead Minister Maple Grove United Church