Thomas Mapp and family, a group of Black settlers from Amber Valley, Alberta (courtesy Glenbow Archives/NA-316.1). On August 12, 1911 the Laurier government drafted and approved a remarkable document. The proposed Order in Council read: For a period of one year from and after the date hereof the landing in Canada shall be [sic] and the same is prohibited of any immigrants belonging to the Negro race, which race is deemed unsuitable to the climate and requirements of Canada.
George Elliott Clarke was born in Windsor, Nova Scotia, near the Black Loyalist community of Three Mile Plains, in 1960. A graduate of the University of Waterloo (B.A., Hons., 1984), Dalhousie University (M.A., 1989), and Queen's University (Ph.D., 1993), he is now the inaugural E.J. Pratt Professor of Canadian Literature at the University of Toronto.