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Black Loyalist Descendant Speaks to Students for Black History Month

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From her native Africville, Nova Scotia to a Toronto classroom, performer Shelley Hamilton brought her Black Loyalist heritage to Holy Cross School today as a Passages to Canada Speaker.

TORONTO — February 24, 2012—From her native Africville, Nova Scotia to a Toronto classroom, performer Shelley Hamilton brought her Black Loyalist heritage to Holy Cross School today as a Passages to Canada Speaker. Hamilton joined students in honour of Black History Month as an ambassador of The Historica-Dominion Institute’s flagship educational initiative. The Passages to Canada program seeks to pass our ancestors’ history on to the next generation while raising awareness about Canada’s defining diversity.

In a touching tribute to her family’s journey, Hamilton’s story and her one-woman play, A New Hope, offered students insight into the little-known story of Black Loyalists who migrated from New York to Nova Scotia in 1783 and were among the pioneers that settled the province.

This month, Hamilton helped students consider the important question of identity as she brought alive an essential chapter in Canadian history. Students learned from Hamilton that every Canadian owns a piece of history. Sharing our collective stories allows Canadians to understand our country’s rich roots.

The Passages to Canada Speakers Bureau is a national storytelling initiative through which Canadians like Hamilton share their diverse heritage. The Speakers’ Bureau brings together prominent local leaders who are actively engaged in promoting understanding and celebrating differences in their communities. For a decade, speakers have shared their stories of diversity and immigration with classrooms and community groups across Toronto. Passages to Canada is made possible with the generous support of TD Bank Group.

The Historica-Dominion Institute is the largest charitable organization dedicated to Canadian history, identity and citizenship. Its mandate is to build active and informed citizens through a greater knowledge and appreciation of the history, heritage and stories of Canada.

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For more information:
Davida Aronovitch, Communications Manager
t: 416.506.1553 / c: 416.460.3284
daronovitch@historica-dominion.ca