In the early 17th century, Olivier Le Jeune was the first documented person of African descent to live in Canada (New France) on a permanent basis and was the first person of African descent known to have been enslaved in the colony.
Today, the Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Minister responsible for Parks Canada, announced the designation of Olivier Le Jeune as a person of national historic significance under the National Program of Historical Commemoration, on the recommendation of the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada.
“I am honoured to commemorate the national historic significance Olivier Le Jeune, whose experiences as the first enslaved person of African descent in early Canada exemplify the struggles of Black Canadians. By sharing these stories, we hope to foster understanding and reflection on the diverse histories, cultures, legacies, and realities of Canada’s past and present and commit to do better in the future.
Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Minister responsible for Parks Canada
A commemorative $1 coin issued by the Royal Canadian Mint marks the 125th anniversary of the discovery of gold in the Klondike region of Yukon. The Mint consulted with some Yukon First Nations before settling on a design. (Royal Canadian Mint)
2021 marks the 125th anniversary of the Klondike Gold Rush, a critical event in our shared history. The 1896 gold discovery that triggered the gold rush in the Yukon is depicted on this year’s commemorative dollar.
The Royal Canadian Mint describes the design of the one-dollar 125th Anniversary of the Klondike Gold Rush Circulation Coin »
Designed by Canadian artist Jori van der Linde, the $1 coin’s reverse features the artist’s rendition of the gold discovery that set off the Klondike Gold Rush. Under the shining sun, Keish (“Skookum” Jim Mason), Shaaw Tlàa (Kate Carmack), Kàa Goox (Dawson Charlie), all of whom were of Lingít and Tagish descent, and George Carmack can be seen panning for gold at the edge of Gàh Dek (Rabbit Creek/Bonanza Creek). A powerful symbol of cultural revitalization, the pictorial symbol for Ëdhä Dädhëchą (Moosehide Slide) is highlighted in red and white on selectively coloured coins; it appears on the opposite side of the creek, and represents the Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in and their deep, abiding connection to the land. The obverse features the effigy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II by Susanna Blunt.
“It became apparent, you know, quickly apparent, that there was more to the story than we originally thought. And obviously, we had to talk to the Indigenous communities that were involved,” said Alex Reeves of the Royal Canadian Mint.
Climate change; it’s here. As a result, fire seasons are becoming longer and more severe. The good news is that there are ways we can adapt to our changing climate.
Parks Canada is working to create landscapes in Banff National Park that are more resilient to climate change through prescribed fire, fuel management and managing wildfire. By removing built up fuels (branches, logs, trees) and opening meadows for drought and fire tolerant species like Douglas fir and aspen, Parks Canada can help protect our local communities and the plants and animals that call Banff home.