Black & Rural Saskatchewan

Black & Rural Saskatchewan

Early in 2021, Heritage Saskatchewan reached out to British Columbia-based artist and folklorist, Shayna Jones to collaborate on its latest living heritage project for her work and experience elevating the voices of rural-dwelling African Canadians. From there, “Black & Rural Saskatchewan,” was born in partnership with the Saskatchewan African Canadian Heritage Museum (SACHM) and the Provincial Archives of Saskatchewan.

Early in this collaboration, Jones conducted a series of interviews to understand the Saskatchewan “Black and rural” experience. She spoke with a range of individuals, including descendants of the first African Canadian settlers in Saskatchewan, who shared passed-down stories as well as their own personal accounts. She also spoke with recent immigrants who imparted their struggles and triumphs living as a dark-skinned person in rural Saskatchewan.

Inspired by these stories, Jones created a performance that interprets the words shared with her over the course of her conversations, as well as a book, that you can check out below. Performances took place in

You can see more of Jones' work at her website: we are STORYFOLK.

Image credit: original art by Marieke de Roos