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Our Black Heritage:

Early Black Settlers of York-Sunbury Counties 1783-Present

We would like to acknowledge that the land on which this exhibit was created is the traditional unceded territory of the Wolastoqiyik (Maliseet) and Mi’kmaq Peoples. This territory is covered by the “Treaties of Peace and Friendship” which Wolastoqiyik (Maliseet) and Mi’kmaq Peoples first signed with the British crown in 1725. These treaties did not deal with surrender of lands and resources but in fact recognized Mi’kmaq and Wolastoqiyik (Maliseet) title and established the rules for what was to be an ongoing relationship between nations.

Since the arrival of Black Loyalists in 1783, there have been people of African descent who have contributed greatly to the development of New Brunswick. Working ever so silently, without recognition or applause, families and communities have banded together to contribute in significant ways to the social enfranchisement of themselves and their neighbours.

This Community Stories Exhibition tells the story of York-Sunbury Black settlers (1783 to the present) who have struggled against servitude and oppression. Through artefacts, archival documents, individual and family stories, extracts from oral histories, newspaper accounts, and photographs, we invite you to explore the historical roots of racism and oppression in Canada; learn about the ways in which individuals have responded with determination and perseverance. It has been a long journey of mixed feelings and emotions.

These are their stories—stories of hope denied and hope restored.

Start reading the story

Produced by the Fredericton Region Museum.