The First Black Canadians - Viewed Canada As The Promised Land

One common element that Black Canadians have is; that they are in Canada because they or their ancestors ~using their own free will~ chose actively to settle here. Canada was viewed as the promised land and represented the light of freedom at the end of the Underground Railroad.

Mathieu de Costa was the first recorded black person to step foot on Canadian soil.  He was a free man. The event happened sometime between 1603 and 1608. He was travelling with Samuel de Champlain, the Father of New France and founder of  Quebec City, and two other explorer's as a translator. 

The first black person to set up a life, in what is known as Canada was a slave from Madagascar named Olivier Le Jeune.

Blacks then arrived in Canada in several waves. The first wave consisted of free black men serving in the French Army and Navy, who soon were enslaved by the whites or became their servants.

The Slavery Abolition Act came into effect on Aug. 1 1834 abolishing slavery throughout the British Empire, which included British North America. The Act made enslavement officially illegal in every province of Canada.

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