Keystone, The Centrepiece of the Breton Collection

Creator(s): Breton and District Historical Museum

This exhibit looks at the founding of the Breton area in south central Alberta circa 1909. The area was originally scouted and settled by William Allan, an African American who came to Canada trying to escape the institutionalized racism that was being woven into the fabric of the newly created state of Oklahoma. This was part of a larger black migration to Western Canada that the Canadian government took steps to stop. However, soon other black pioneers joined Mr. Allan, the Ramseys, the Kings, and the Hayes; and suddenly "Keystone" was born and for a time, would become the centerpiece of this small community.

We will trace and explain this black migration with letters, photos, county records and artefacts of these early pioneers. Keystone was an early example of the diversity that we now expect in Canada but the origin of the town of Breton is a little known part of our history.

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