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Black on the Prairies

This project does not position the Prairies as Black ancestral territory or homelands. To be Black on the Prairies is to be part of a colonial legacy that begins on the ancestral lands of the First Nations and Métis people of this region. We aim to recognize Black and Indigenous peoples’ shared histories and affirm our ongoing relationships.

Through five themes — Migration, Putting in Work, Black and Indigenous Relations, Politics and Resistance, and Black to the Future — this project places Black people’s experiences at the centre of the Prairie narrative.

Pink clouds in a prairie sky
Land of the Living Skies, 2021 (Omayra Issa)

These stories explore the richness, complexity, depth and multiplicity of Black Prairie life — past, present and future. They highlight achievements and histories that affirm the influence of Black life on the Prairies and challenge assumptions about its newness.

Bringing this project to life involved contributions from a 10-person community advisory board. They shared insights, curiosities and perspectives, ensuring that Black on the Prairies authentically represents a diversity of experiences and histories. To them, we are incredibly grateful.

In this project, you will find personal essays, articles, audio stories, images and more. We invite you to enter through any door.

Welcome to Black on the Prairies.

signatures of Omayra Issa & Ify Chiwetelu

Omayra Issa & Ify Chiwetelu
Black On The Prairies creators and project leads

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