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Black History Ottawa (BHO) is a registered Canadian charity with a mandate to advance education by increasing the public’s knowledge and appreciation of, and carrying out research in the history, culture, traditions and achievements of Canadians of African descent. Through our initiatives, we serve the community by developing and offering  programs, open to the public, which focus on areas such as mentorship, youth leadership and health.

Prior to 1985, the Barbados (Ottawa) Association highlighted the achievements of peoples of African descent in with a week-long celebration. Later, 10 Black associations in the Ottawa area came together to create a committee called the Black History Month Committee. The Black History Month Committee was inaugurated in 1986 and later renamed Black History Ottawa.


Since then, Black History Ottawa has been coordinating and presenting activities celebrating Black History Month in the Nation's Capital. These activities honour the numerous achievements and contributions of peoples of African descent in fields such as sciences, medicine, literature, the arts, sports etc. They also serve to acknowledge the roles Blacks have played in the growth and development of Canadian society and culture.

Thus, we, peoples of African origin, will continue to promote our most prized possession: our heritage.

Vision :

To see peoples of African descent uplifted and united with pride and knowledge of their global heritage and legacy.

Mission :

To develop a community institution which increases consciousness about the African legacy, by delivering African-centred programming and resources.

Objectives :

  • Promote and support research; in particular primary research, in African history at all academic levels.

  • Establish an authoritative source of information on Black history and correct historical distortions of African peoples' contributions to the world.

  • Devote special effort toward encouraging our youth to value their legacy and to aspire to be leaders, pioneers and innovators.

  • Establish relationships with community organizations, businesses and public institutions to develop and present to the wider community of the National Capital Region, African-centred programs and cultural products.

  • Carry out programming year-round with a concentration on activities in February for the commemoration of Black History Month.

  • Work towards self-sufficiency of Black History Ottawa by developing Black History products and services.

  • Promote African unity to transcend existing divisions. 

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