Black Heritage Network Meeting 

July 10, 2000 

Participants’ Output 

Meeting Participants: Marion Skeete, Alvin Duncan, Sheila Creighton, Brent Dysart, Donna Ford, Jackie Williams, Wilma Morrison, Lyn Roberts, Peter Meyler, Victoria Gaitskell, Jennifer Dunkerson, April Petrie 

Resource People: Eva Salter, Lorraine Hogan, Arlene White, Karen Daniels, Paul Samson 

Roundtable Updates 

Brent Dysart

  • Waterloo County & Area Quilt Festival is an umbrella group representing churches and organizations in the Waterloo-Wellington area. 
  • Quilt Show and Festival held the last 2 weeks of May that attracted over 20,000 visitors. The group brought to Canada 2 quilters and 40 quilts from South Africa. The exhibit is travelling to Dartmouth N.S., Ottawa and Toronto for the Royal Winter Fair in November. 
  • The group is interested in partnering with Black Heritage sites in southwest and central Ontario to examine the possibility of having an “underground railroad” theme next year. They would like to include other aspects of Black Heritage and the Harriet Tubman story such as having authors do readings, movies etc…. They are also working with the 2 school boards to develop an education du package for students. 
  • In 2002, the group will be taking a quilt exhibition to South Africa. Otterville is another Black Heritage site and we should look for a contact person. 

Wilma Morrison. 

While the church is no longer there, the cemetery remains. 

Note: I have contacted Gail Lewis, Chair & Tour Director of the South Norwich Historical Society which operates the Historic Otterville Station Museum. I have invited Gail to attend our August 15 meeting if she can. Gail has promised to send information about the Museum, its programs and information related to black heritage. Eva 

June 5th Meeting Minutes Approved with the Following Changes 

Updates Section 

It is the Niagara Parks Commission that is looking to plaque the property near the crossing not the Mayor of   

Fort Erie. Wilma Morrison is providing input into the wording. 

SWOT of the Durham Road Old Pioneer Cemetery Committee 

The Town listed under “strengths” should be Lucas not Lupin. 

SWOT of Griffin House 

The house was built in 1827 not 1884 and was owned by the Griffin family from 1883-1984. 

Roundtable Discussion 

  • Some of the sites represented are churches and therefore they must get permission from the governing body to be able to commit to the network and contribute funds. 
  • Long term goal of the Network is to have Black History incorporated into the history of Canada. The group does not want to limit itself to just the story of the underground 


  • College and University students could be a resource to the Network to assist with projects. May want to consider compiling a list of college and university programs that have student community placements/projects i.e. Tourism post-graduate program at Niagara College. 
  • Need to begin to compile a list of potential funding sources available to support the Network. 

Draft Letter of Intent Changes 

(See full, revised text attached) 

Core Members – Defined as having permanent and active programming 

Nathaniel Dett Chapel 

Norval Johnson Heritage Library 

Salem Chapel – St. Catharines BME Church 

St. Catharines Museum 

Bertie HallCote member 

Griffin House 

Museum Category Defined as museum having a black history component or marker sites with active committees 

Old Durham Road Pioneer Cemetery 

Welland Historical Museum 

BME churches 

Sheffield Museum – Collingwood 

Oakville Museum 

Wellington County Museum 

Guelph Civic Museum 

Simcoe County Museum Fieldcote Museum 

Brant County Museum Historic Otterville Station Museum & Cemetery 

Marker Members – Defined as having no physical structure and may or may not provide interpretation. There is no active committee. 

  • Forts 
  • Niagara-on-the-Lake
  • Cemetery – Ridgeway 

Associate Members 

Niagara Parks Commission 

Tourism bureaux – marketing 

Quilt Festival 

NET Corp. 


Receptive operators 

U.S. sites i.e. Detroit museum 

Black cultural museum – Halifax 

Suggested Names for the Network 

Niagara’s Freedom Trail (3-4 distinct geographic areas) 

i.e. Central Region Freedom Trail 

South Central Freedom Trail 

Niagara Escarpment Freedom Trail 

African Footsteps 

South Central Ontario Black Heritage Network 

ACTION – Core members to bring suggestions to next meeting