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Conclusion – Dr. Shadd

Photo of street signs in Melfort, including the sign for Shadd Drive, named for Dr. Shadd. Photo: Garry Forsyth. Click to enlarge.

Dr. Shadd was the first person of African ancestry recorded living in the territory that is now known as Saskatchewan. He came from an extraordinary family in Ontario, with notable family members such as his aunt, Mary Ann Shadd Cary, a prominent abolitionist and the first Black woman in North America to publish a newspaper. His family was involved in the Underground Railroad and were strong advocates of equal and desegregated education.

Having grown up in a family so dedicated to helping others and fighting injustice, it’s not surprising that Dr. Shadd was so dedicated to providing assistance to others.

Saskatchewan Centennial Leadership Award, posthumously awarded to Dr. Shadd in 2005. On display in the Melfort and District Museum. WDM photo. Click to enlarge.

Through practical matters such as medical care and providing work opportunities on his farm, to striving to create meaningful change through the publication of his newspaper and his runs for political office, Dr. Shadd dedicated his life to improving the lives of those around him.

Upon his arrival in the Northwest Territories, Dr. Shadd had to fight an uphill battle to gain acceptance. Despite this, he quickly earned the respect of his community, first as a teacher and later as a doctor, agriculturist and politician. By the time of his death in 1915, he had become a well-respected pillar of his community.

Today, Dr. Shadd’s legacy is preserved through various memorials around the Melfort/Kinistino area and across Saskatchewan. His legacy lives on.

Click on the links below to read previous sections:

  1. Introduction >>
  2. Biography >>
  3. Medicine >>
  4. Agriculture >>
  5. Education >>
  6. Politics >>
  7. Social/Personal >>

Teacher Resources

Looking for resources for your students in Grades 9 – 12? CLICK HERE to visit our Reflection Questions.

© 2022
Melfort and District Museum,
Saskatchewan African Canadian Heritage Museum and
Western Development Museum.
All Rights Reserved.

Further Reading

“Alfred Schmitz Shadd” Saskatchewan African Canadian Heritage Museum, 2021.

Armstrong, Jerrold. Kinistino: The Story of a Parkland Community in Central Saskatchewan, in Two Parts. Kinistino, Sask.: Kinistino and District Historical Organization, 1980.

Beyond Pioneer Ways to Modern Days: History of the Town of Carrot River and the Rural Municipality of Moose Range. Carrot River, Sask.: Carrot River History Book Committee, 2007.

Buxton Historical Society. “Buxton National Historic Site & Museum.” Buxton Museum. Accessed December 8, 2021.

“Buxton Settlement National Historic Site of Canada.” Parks Canada. Accessed December 8, 2021.

“Dr. A.S. Shadd.” Dr. A.S. Shadd | Provincial Archives of Saskatchewan. Accessed December 8, 2021.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada. “Government of Canada.” du Canada, September 23, 2020.

Forsyth, Garry. Shadd Drive, n.d.

Ito, Gail Arlene. “Abraham Doras Shadd (1801-1882)”, February 24, 2009.

McCartney, Duane. “Prairies’ First Black Doctor Left Lasting Legacy.” The Western Producer, July 8, 2021.

McLeod, Susanna. “Celebrating Black History Month.” The Kingston Whig Standard. February 28, 2018.

Memoirs of Vaughan and Melfort Pioneers, 1884-1949. Melfort: Vaughan Homemakers’ Club, 1949.

Prince, Shannon. “Elgin Settlement.” The Canadian Encyclopedia. Accessed December 8, 2021.

Reynolds, Graham. Viola Desmond’s Canada: A History of Blacks and Racial Segregation in the Promised Land. Halifax: Fernwood Publishing, 2016.

Robbins, Arlie C. Legacy to Buxton. North Buxton, Ont, Canada: A.C. Robbins, 1983.

Ryan, Timothy. Voices of the Past: A History of Melfort and District. Melfort, Sask.: Melfort and District Golden Jubilee Committee, 1955.

“Shadd, Abraham D.” Chatham-Kent. Accessed December 8, 2021.,-Abraham-D.aspx

Thomson, C A. “Saskatchewan’s Great Pioneer Black Doctor.” Canadian Medical Association Journal 116, no. 11 (June 4, 1977): 1317–19.

Thomson, Colin A. “Alfred Schmitz Shadd.” The Canadian Encyclopedia, January 20, 2008.

Thomson, Colin Argyle. “Biography – Shadd, Alfred Schmitz – Volume XIV (1911-1920) – Dictionary of Canadian Biography.” Dictionary of Canadian Biography. Accessed December 8, 2021.

Tobin, Jacqueline, and Hettie Jones. From Midnight to Dawn: The Story of the Underground Railroad and the Flight to Freedom. New York: Doubleday, 2006.

Vernon, Karina. The Black Prairie Archives. an Anthology. Waterloo: Wilfrid Laurier University Press, 2020.

Yarhi, Eli, and Clayton Ma. “Mary Ann Shadd.” The Canadian Encyclopedia. Accessed December 8, 2021.


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