“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Central Saanich in Capital, British Columbia — Canada’s West Coast

Black Pioneers in British Columbia

Les Pionniers Noirs de la Colombie-Britannique

Black Pioneers in British Columbia Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Andrew Lester, August 22, 2013
1. Black Pioneers in British Columbia Marker
Inscription.  In 1858, nearly 800 free Blacks left the oppressive racial conditions of San Francisco for a new life on Vancouver Island. Governor James Douglas had invited them here as promising settlers. Though still faced with intense discrimination, these pioneers enriched the political, religious and economic life of the colony. For example, Mifflin Gibbs became a prominent politician; Charles and Nancy Alexander initiated the Shady Creek Methodist Church; John Deas established a salmon cannery; and the group formed one of the earliest colonial militia units, the Victoria Pioneer Rifle Corps.

En 1858, près de 800 Noirs libres fuirent l'oppression raciale de San Francisco pour l'île de Vancouver où le gouverneur James Douglas les avait invités comme colons prometteurs. Malgré la discrimination dont ils furent l'objet, ces pionniers marquèrent la vie politique, religieuse et économique de la colonie. En témoignent le rôle de Mifflin Gibbs en politique, l'église Shady Creek Methodist érigée à l'instigation de Charles et de Nancy Alexander, la conserverie de saumon de John Deas et l'établissement de l'une des premières unités de milice coloniale:
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le Victoria Pioneer Rifle Corps.
Erected 1999 by Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: African AmericansSettlements & Settlers. In addition, it is included in the Canada, Historic Sites and Monuments Board series list. A significant historical year for this entry is 1858.
Location. 48° 34.63′ N, 123° 24.42′ W. Marker is in Central Saanich, British Columbia, in Capital. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 7180 East Saanich Road, Central Saanich BC V8M 1Y4, Canada. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 5 kilometers of this marker, measured as the crow flies. The Butchart Boar (approx. 4.7 kilometers away); The Italian Garden (approx. 4.7 kilometers away); Star Pond (approx. 4.7 kilometers away); The Sunken Garden (approx. 4.8 kilometers away); The Japanese Garden (approx. 4.8 kilometers away); Fountain of the Three Sturgeons (approx. 4.8 kilometers away); Sunken Garden Lake Sit-in (approx. 4.8 kilometers away); The Butchart Gardens / Les Jardins Butchart (approx. 4.8 kilometers away).
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. It was originally submitted on December 22, 2013, by Andrew Lester of Victoria, BC, Canada. This page has been viewed 1,168 times since then and 59 times this year. Last updated on April 7, 2014, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California. Photo   1. submitted on December 22, 2013, by Andrew Lester of Victoria, BC, Canada. • Syd Whittle was the editor who published this page.
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Dec. 5, 2022