Slave burial-ground remains unrecognized. BCQ pilgrimage on August 3.

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Almost every year the Black Coalition of Quebec leads a pilgrimage to the town of St. Armand, in the Eastern Township just outside the border with the United States of America.
It’s always a bitter-sweet journey that takes Montrealers to a place of reverence to visit the monument known as Nigger Rock, where history tells is the final resting place of slaves who once lived in he area.
Since it was determined to be a slave cemetery in the mid-1990s Nigger Rock has been a source of controversy, as the Black Coalition of Quebec became one of several groups advocating for the place to be formally recognized as a historical site.
So far, the Quebec government has baulked, citing a need for need for excavation and archaeological testing.
Furthermore, the family that owns the land have shown no interest to have the process carried out on their property.
The story of Nigger Rock goes back to the earliest days of slaves and slavery in Quebec. According to oral tradition, in the aftermath of the American Revolution, in 1784 several Loyalist families brought slaves with them when they settled near Saint-Armand, Que. One of them being Philip Luke, a Loyalist officer who also settled in the area, is documented as arriving with slaves he inherited from his mother.
In 1950, a farmer who bought the former Luke homestead was plowing a road through his land. He came up to the mound at the foot of Nigger Rock. As his bulldozer pushed away the earth, human remains came to the surface.
Experts believe at least some of the men and women buried in Saint-Armand died as they lived, in slavery.
Historic sites such as Nigger Rock shed light on an almost forgotten aspect of Quebec history, slavery. Between 1628-1833 they were close to 5000 slaves within the province, many of whom lived in Quebec City and worked in the homes of the founding wealthy French families. It is mostly assumed that Canada was a haven for slaves, which it was in the last two hundred years of slavery but before this slavery was legal and scores of Blacks and Natives were enslaved here.
On August 3, the Black Coalition will be making the pilgrimage to venerate the ancestors, with their annual trip to St. Armand, departure at 9 a.m. from 5201 Decarie Blvd return by 5pm. Contribution is $20. All are welcome. Info: 514 489 3830 ou info.ligue@videotron.ca