Skip to main content
Ontario Tech acknowledges the lands and people of the Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation.

We are thankful to be welcome on these lands in friendship. The lands we are situated on are covered by the Williams Treaties and are the traditional territory of the Mississaugas, a branch of the greater Anishinaabeg Nation, including Algonquin, Ojibway, Odawa and Pottawatomi. These lands remain home to many Indigenous nations and peoples.

We acknowledge this land out of respect for the Indigenous nations who have cared for Turtle Island, also called North America, from before the arrival of settler peoples until this day. Most importantly, we acknowledge that the history of these lands has been tainted by poor treatment and a lack of friendship with the First Nations who call them home.

This history is something we are all affected by because we are all treaty people in Canada. We all have a shared history to reflect on, and each of us is affected by this history in different ways. Our past defines our present, but if we move forward as friends and allies, then it does not have to define our future.

Learn more about Indigenous Education and Cultural Services

Exploring the history behind Black History Month

February 16, 2021

Written in collaboration with Sylvia Harnarain.

What is Black History Month?

In Canada, we celebrate Black History Month during the month of February to acknowledge and honour the history of the influential Black Canadians who have made impactful contributions to our society.  

How did Black History Month come to be in Canada?

Founders of the Ontario Black History Society (OBHS) Dr. Daniel G. Hill and Wilson O. Brooks created a petition for February to be named Black History Month in the City of Toronto. This was granted in 1979 [1]. February as Black History Month was made official in 1993 in Ontario and then Canada-wide in December 1995 [1]



Listen to this playlist as you read through the rest of this article as a celebration of Black history through music!

This would not be a Black History Month article without highlighting some Black Canadians who have had an immense influence in various fields. 

Elijah McCoy - STEM

McCoy used his knowledge and mechanical engineering background to invent and patent many things; he has more than 50 patents to his name. For example, he improved the lubricating process of coal-powered locomotives by developing a lubricating cup. 

Bruny Surin - Sports

Bruny Surin is a great athlete with many national and international titles. In the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games, he won a gold medal in the 4x 100-metre relay. 

The Honourable Jean Augustine - Politics 

The Honourable Jean Augustine was the first African-Canadian woman to be elected to the House of Commons and appointed to the federal Cabinet. Her activism has had positive impacts on minority and women’s rights. 

Dionne  Brand - Arts

Brand’s poetry and other writings explore themes such as gender, injustices, and feminism. Her work has not only earned her various awards but has also been used as a mode of activism. 


While we aim to celebrate and uplift African-American individuals through this article, we would also like to acknowledge the unjust oppression they have faced throughout history and continue to face. We see you, we support you, and we stand by you. 


Local Black-Owned Businesses 

Restaurants and Bakeries


View this post on Instagram

A post shared by @jannmariecollection

Gift Boxes, Decor, and more!

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Kaye's Kandy (@kayeskandy)


Branding and Web Design

Beauty and Skin Care


Health & Wellness

Check out these Instagram pages for informative content. 

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by BIPOC OTU (@otubipoc)

The BIPOC Club is an Ontario Tech club that supports students who identify as Black, Indigenous, and/or people of colour.

Check Your Privilege

Check Your Privilege is a page dedicated to posting informative content as a guide to anti-racism. 

Upcoming Black History Month Initiatives