Recognizing and Celebrating Black Canadian Excellence
Scouting is a Movement that inspires understanding and underscores the power of community and friendship. February was officially designated by the Parliament of Canada as Black History Month following a 1995 motion championed by the Honourable Jean Augustine, the first Black Canadian elected to Parliament. This month provides a focused opportunity to recognize the contributions of Canadians of African descent.
Despite a presence in Canada that dates back farther than Samuel de Champlain’s first voyage down the St. Lawrence River, people of African descent are often absent from Canadian history books. Black History Month is an opportunity to learn about, honour and celebrate how Black Canadians have contributed to the growth and development of our country.
At Scouts Canada, we look at this month in 2021 not as our capstone but rather a milestone on our road to self-reflect as an organization. In order to provide an authentic and safe sense of belonging for our members and the communities we serve, we must look to transform in meaningful ways. For us, this month is an additional step on our journey to move beyond recognizing a single month and single group of people; it is a step toward becoming a Movement that embraces a holistic, tangible and actively anti-racist approach to inclusion. You can expect more of Scouts Canada as we work to understand more, listen more and act more to provide youth and Scouters with better tools, programming and support to better respect Black Canadian Excellence, 365 days of the year.
In 2021, we are midway through the International Decade for People of African Descent (IDPAD); however, the path to recognition, justice and development continues beyond 2024. By appropriately recognizing and honouring Black history and contemporary Black Canadian excellence, we continue to grow as individuals, as Canadians, and as Scouts within a global Scouting Movement.
We invite our Scouting community to explore the resources we will be sharing this month to support more involvement in the conversation.
Stories from Black Canadians on excellence
and experiencing outdoor culture
Celebrating family history with Gillian White
Being Canadian can be a very different experience from one person to the next, every day of the year. For #BlackHistoryMonth, we’re highlighting stories of inspiring Black Canadians.
Gillian’s great-great grandfather, Jordan Murphy, was recently recognized and celebrated on a Canada Post stamp. Fleeing discrimination and racial violence in 1900’s Oklahoma, Murphy co-led the settlement of an all-Black community in northern Alberta.
Outdoor education is a key part in us becoming better humans.
Toronto-based singer and songwriter, Duane Forrest, shares his thoughts on how nature and the outdoors enhance empathy, innovation and creativity.
It was kind of a unique experience. You didn’t see many Black people when I was growing up.
Toronto-raised actress and media personality, Linda Carter, shares her story as a Black Canadian growing up in Canada. As the daughter of a prominent Black Canadian judge and a family connection to John Newton—a slave ship captain who became an abolitionist—we appreciate Linda taking the time to share her unique family history.
Celebrating Black Canadian Excellence
Micah Nelson is an educator, artist, holistic health practitioner and author who shares her experience as a Black woman growing up in Canada and building success in her life. Catch her full video where she also shares the stories Black Canadians who have demonstrated outstanding excellence—including her grandfather, George E. Carter, who was the first Canadian-born Black judge.
Black Canadian Excellence
Expand your perception of the Black Canadian narrative and discover what Black leadership looks like. Learn about inspiring men and women who live excellence each day across Canada in various industries.
Supporting Black Enterprise and Entrepreneurs
“When you support Black owned businesses, you are part of the solution. […] It is one important step in creating economic security for marginalized groups.” – Barbara Yebuga (Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Consultant)