Forgotten, remembered, honoured — where does Black Canadian military history go from here? In the wake of the Canadian government’s official apology for the treatment of soldiers who served in No. 2 Construction Battalion, and to their family members and descendants, members of the Black community discuss what comes next.
Thursday, February 9, 2023
7 to 8:30 p.m. (EST)
Our distinguished panel to be moderated by Sarah Onyango:
- Kathy Grant
- Captain Kevin R. Junor MMM, CD
- Lieutenant-Colonel (Ret’d) Shelley Peters OMM, CD
- Dr. George Elliot Clarke, OC
- Major (Ret’d) John Redmon CD
Initially prevented from serving during the First World War, Black Canadians pushed for inclusion. Based in Nova Scotia, No. 2 Construction Battalion was created in 1916, providing them with an opportunity to serve. Although it was not a combat unit, many still lost their lives.
The Battalion was attached to the Canadian Forestry Corps and carried out crucial work, including the movement of supplies, the repair of roads and railroads, and other combat support. After the war, however, many Canadians forgot their service and sacrifice.
The community advocated on their behalf. In 2022, the Canadian government made an official apology to the men of No. 2 Construction Battalion and their descendants.
Their legacy is rooted in discipline and pride. Through their determination to serve, Black communities across Canada found a voice. Very little would be known of the Battalion’s legacy today, were it not for the efforts of their descendants, of determined historians, and of Black leaders.
In this live virtual event, members of the Black community will gather in the Canadian War Museum to discuss this legacy, as part of the Museum’s celebration and commemoration of Black History Month.
This event is presented in English with simultaneous French interpretation.
Register on Zoom
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