Mathieu de Costa -The first recorded instance of a black presence in Canada was that of Mathieu de Costa. He arrived in Nova Scotia sometime between 1603 and 1608 as a translator for the French explorer Pierre Dugua, Sieur de Monts. The first known black person to live in Canada was a slave from Madagascar named Olivier Le Jeune (who may also have been of partial Malay ancestry).
James Robinson Johnston (1876 -1915) Born in Halifax, Nova Scotia, James Robinson Johnston graduated from Dalhousie University and became the first Black Canadian in Nova Scotia to become a lawyer. The James Robinson Johnston chair in Black Canadian studies at Dalhousie is the first chair and program dedicated to the study of Black Canadian perspectives.