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Black Canadians facts for kids

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Black Canadians
Noirs canadiens (French)
Total population
3.5% of the total Canadian population (2016)
Regions with significant populations
Greater Toronto Area, Hamilton, Waterloo Region, Windsor, Shelburne (Ontario), Ottawa–Gatineau, Greater Montreal, Shelburne (Nova Scotia), Yarmouth, Halifax, Brooks, Calgary, Edmonton, Winnipeg
Ontario 627,715 (4.7%)
Quebec 319,230 (4.0%)
Alberta 129,395 (3.3%)
British Columbia 43,500 (1.0%)
Manitoba 30,335 (2.4%)
Nova Scotia 21,915 (2.4%)
Canadian English • Canadian French • African Nova Scotian English • Caribbean English • Haitian Creole • African languages
Predominantly Christianity; minority Islam, other faiths
Related ethnic groups
Afro-Caribbeans • African Americans

Black Canadians is a designation used for people of full or partial sub-Saharan African descent, who are citizens or permanent residents of Canada. The majority of "Black" Canadians are of Caribbean origin, though the population also consists of African-American immigrants and their descendants (including Black Nova Scotians), as well as many native African immigrants.

"Black" Canadians often draw a distinction between those of Afro-Caribbean ancestry and those of other African roots. The term African Canadian is occasionally used by some Black Canadians who trace their heritage to the enslaved peoples brought by British and French colonists to the North American mainland. Promised freedom by the British during the American Revolutionary War, thousands of Black Loyalists were resettled by the Crown in Canada afterward, such as Thomas Peters. In addition, an estimated 10 to 30 thousand fugitive slaves reached freedom in Canada from the Southern United States during the years before the Civil War with the Northern states, aided by people along the Underground Railroad.

Many Black people of Caribbean origin in Canada reject the term African Canadian as an elision of the uniquely Caribbean aspects of their heritage, and instead identify as Caribbean Canadian. Unlike in the United States, where African American has become a widely used term, in Canada, controversies associated with distinguishing African or Caribbean heritage have resulted in the term Black Canadian being widely accepted.

Black Canadians have contributed to many areas of Canadian culture. Many of the first visible minorities to hold high public offices have been Black, including Michaëlle Jean, Donald Oliver, Stanley G. Grizzle, Rosemary Brown, and Lincoln Alexander, in turn opening the door for other minorities. Black Canadians form the third-largest visible minority group in Canada, after South Asian and Chinese Canadians.

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