This year, the Saskatchewan African-Canadian Heritage Museum is commemorating the centennial of the arrival of several African-American families to Saskatchewan from Oklahoma. The families, according to the SACHM, settled in the Eldon district near North Battleford.

It’s not that they were the first African-Americans to set foot in Saskatchewan. Pictured to the left is Alfred Schmitz Shadd. Born in Raleigh Township in Ontario in 1870, Shadd studied medicine at the University of Toronto’s Trinity College. To cover the cost of his education he taught school for awhile. In that capacity, he moved to what was then the North-West Territories in 1896, and after graduating he returned to practice as a doctor in the Kinistino area. In addition to medicine, Shadd also operated a successful farm, dabbled in politics, and even owned the Carrot River Journal from 1908-12. Unfortunately, Shadd contracted appendicitis and passed away at age 45. He was subsequently buried in Melfort.

But 2010 has been designated as the centennial of African-American settlement in Saskatchewan. Tonight, the Saskatchewan African Canadian Heritage Museum  is hosting a special celebration at the Performing Arts Centre. The evening kicks off with a reception at 5 p.m., and includes an autograph session with members of the Saskatchewan Roughriders, plus performances by Mighty Popo and Matt Rapley. 

For more info call 545-8824 or visit:

Also on tap tonight at O’Hanlon’s Pub, there’s a rare Tuesday night gig by the Vancouver roots group Circus in Flames with an opening set by Tiny.