HomeQuebecOlivier Le Jeune, the first Black in Canada

Olivier Le Jeune, the first Black in Canada

Contrary to popular belief, slavery is a very real part of our Canadian history.In 1628, the first black person known to have lived in Canada was a native of Madagascar.  He was bought at the age of 7 by the British Commander David Kirke during his invasion of New France and sold to Olivier Le Tardiff, head clerk of the French Colony.  When Quebec was handed back to the French in 1632, Le Tardiff, who had often collaborated with the British, was forced to flee.  He sold his slave to a Quebec resident.  The boy was educated in a school established by the Jesuit priest, Father Le Jeune.  He was later baptised as Olivier Le Jeune, taking the first name of the French clerk and the surname of the Jesuit priest.

First Black Canadian Oliver Le Jeune

Oliver Le Jeune

He died on May 10, 1654.  It is believed that by the time of his death his official status was changed from that of “domestic servant” to freeman.

Written by

Author of Mysteries of Canada

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2 Responses to “Olivier Le Jeune, the first Black in Canada”

By anonymous - 12 April 2015 Reply

do the math. if he was brought there in 1628 at about 7 then he was born around 1621

By angelaà - 11 February 2015 Reply

when was he born