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17th century


Mathieu Da Costa, an African translator hired by Samuel de Champlain for his expedition from France to Port Royal, is the first Black person to arrive in Canada.


Slavery begins in North America with the arrival in Jamestown, Virginia of a Dutch slave trading ship carrying 20 Africans.


A six-year-old boy from Madagascar is the first Black person to appear in records as being brought directly from Africa and sold as a slave in New France for 50 crowns. He is later baptized and given the name Olivier Le Jeune.


King Louis XIV of France gives limited approval for the importation of slaves into New France in order to fill a shortage of available servants and agricultural workers.

17th century

18th century

19th century

20th century

21st century

Come to the cabin!

Come to the cabin!

Learn about Josiah Henson, recognized for his contributions to the abolition movement and for his work in the Underground Railroad, at Uncle Tom’s Cabin Historic Site in Dresden
Online exhibits

Online exhibits

Ontario’s stories are compelling and informative. Explore some of them through our online exhibits