Shiloh Centre for Multicultural Roots Oral History Project

Recipient of the 2018 Governor General’s History Award for Excellence in Community Programming

November 8, 2018

Shiloh Centre for Multicultural Roots, Edmonton (Alberta)

Between 1905 and 1912, as many as 1,500 African Americans moved from the United States to Western Canada in hopes of finding a better life.

In 2017, the Shiloh Centre for Multicultural Roots interviewed nineteen descendants of these early settlers about their experiences of relocating and living in the Canadian prairies.

With funding from the Alberta Human Rights Commission, content from the oral history interviews was used to produce a documentary called We Are the Roots, which shared the histories of these families and focused on stories of discrimination and marginalization.

The film has been shown at community churches, libraries, and universities in Alberta, and is available online at By recording and sharing these stories, this project has contributed to the scholarly body of research and created an awareness of historic and contemporary discrimination towards this community.

Through continued education and dialogue with policy makers, stakeholders and the general public, the Shiloh Centre for Multicultural Roots Oral History Project is an important step towards removing barriers and discriminatory practices against Black Canadians.