ITI Canada Blog Unveiling Black History

Unveiling of the BCBHAS Community Stories Wall Graphic

ITI Canada was excited to attend the unveiling of BC Black History Awareness Society Community Stories Wall Graphic on June 11th, 2022. This beautiful wall graphic was created by Susie Jones, graphic designer from the Greater Victoria Public Library. This was created in collaboration with the BC Black History Awareness Society (BCBHAS). Most importantly, the project pays tribute to British Columbia’s Black Pioneers.

Bilingual Community Stories Project with Digital Museum Canada

In 2019, BCBHAS completed a project to preserve the stories of BC’s Black Pioneers on the Digital Museums Canada website as a digital exhibit. The story collection is called “British Columbia’s Black Pioneers: Their Industry and Character Influenced the Vision of Canada“. The stories have been professionally translated from English to French for this project. It was from that project that sparked the creation of this historical wall mural.

Speeches in the sxʷeŋxʷəŋ təŋəxʷ James Bay Branch, Greater Victoria Public Library

This ceremony took place on June 11th 2022 at 2:00pm and featured speeches from members of the library and BCBHAS. The host of the event were: Rachael Otukol (BCBHAS) and Naomi Charaf (GVPL) and Maureen Sawa (CEO, Greater Victoria Public Library). They introduced the project to the audience and acknowledged the land of the Songhees and Esquimalt Nations. Fran Morrison went to the podium and spoke about the project and the development process with graphic designer Susie Jones. Fran also thanked many contributors to the project including Dr. John Lutz, Chair of the the University of Victoria History Department and author of “The Missing British Columbia Paintings of Grafton Tyler Brown“.

Rachael Otukol (BCBHAS) and Naomi Charaf (GVPL) standing at the podium. Rachel is wearing a pink dress and Naomi is wearing black pants and a red shirt.
Rachael Otukol (BCBHAS) and Naomi Charaf (GVPL)
Fran Morrison (BCBHAS) standing at the podium. Fran is wearing a grey jacket with capris and sandals.
Fran Morrison (BCBHAS)

Susie Jones then delivered a speech talking about the many things that she learned about Black History in British Columbia. One thing that she emphasized is that she had a difficult time choosing which pioneers and photos to choose for the mural. This was because she found many influential stories and photos about BC’s black pioneers and their history. The photos are from the Royal BC Museum and Archives and we are grateful to have lots of historical images to choose from.

Silvia Mangue Alene, the president of the BC Black History Awareness Society was next to speak about the project and how grateful she is for the dedication of the board members and the contributors to the project.

Susie Jones, Graphic Designer (GVPL) standing at the podium.
Susie Jones, Graphic Designer (GVPL)
Silvia Mangue Alene (President of the BC Black History Awareness Society) standing at the podium.
Silvia Mangue Alene (President of the BC Black History Awareness Society)

After the speeches, we all went to watch the ribbon cutting ceremony. Maureen Sawa and Silvia Mangue Alene did the honors and cut through the ribbon. After the speeches and ribbon was cut, we all went inside to take photos in front of the mural.

Wall Mural in the Mifflin Gibbs Study Room

The wall mural features Fort Street in the 1850’s and many Black Pioneers including: Mary Barnswell, Samuel Booth, Mifflin Wistar Gibbs and Fielding William Spots Jr. To learn more about these interesting pioneers visit the BC Black History Awareness Society’s website.

wall graphic with BC Black Pioneers and a plaque with sponsors named.
BCBHAS Community Stories Wall Graphic

The Importance of Canadian Black History

Firstly, celebrating and learning about Canadian black history is essential to understanding the experiences of past generations, and more importantly, it helps to create a more equitable future. From civil rights movements to electoral campaigns that have advanced individual freedoms for all people regardless of race, or ethnicity, recognizing black history can serve as a reminder of our collective progress over time. Moreover, gaining an appreciation for African-American culture promotes greater inclusivity and acceptance among diverse communities today.

ITI Canada Supports Non-Profit Development

ITI Canada assisted this project, providing web development for the main website of the nonprofit organization. As well as support with the Community Stories project. In addition to that, we are proud to have worked with BCBAHS on important projects that tells the stories of British Columbia’s Black Pioneers.

The grand opening of the Mifflin Gibbs Study Room wall mural was a huge success! Thank you to everyone who came out to celebrate. ITI Canada is grateful to have such a beautiful tribute to British Columbia’s Black Pioneers in our community. We are thankful to the Greater Victoria Public Library and BC Black History Awareness Society for making this project possible. Finally, we are proud to have played a part in this momentous project.

ITI Canada is a Web Developer for Non-Profit Organizations

ITI Canada is a web development and it consulting company that works with non-profit organizations. We are dedicated to helping non-profits achieve their goals and make a positive impact in their communities. Lastly, if you are a non-profit looking for web development services, please contact us, we would be happy to discuss your specific needs and see how we can help.

Scroll to Top