As early as 2006-2008, local members of the Society of North American Hockey Historians and Researchers (SONAHHR), together with authors, George and Darril Fosty, Black Ice: The Lost History of the Colored Hockey League of the Maritimes, 1895-1925, were instrumental in hosting three (3) major Black Ice Hockey & Sports Conferences and Hall of Fame Inductions, in Dartmouth, NS. In addition, two commemorative Colored Hockey League (CHL) games have been played, show casing the talents of today’s senior black hockey players. The significance of our findings is not just about hockey, but rather about the significant loss of an important piece of African Canadian History that includes the American Underground Railroad and the leadership of the African United Baptist Churches. After the August 2008 conference, the original organizing group disbanded and a new not for profit group was formed. On May 27, 2009, the Black Ice Hockey & Sports Hall of Fame Society (BIS) was incorporated by the Province of Nova Scotia.
KEY STAKE HOLDERS
Our key stakeholders are the founding Board of Directors, who to this point, perform or find other volunteer assistance to carry out various tasks. Presently, we hold monthly meetings at our BOD workplaces. Our current funding has been secured through grant submissions. The roster for the commemorative Colored Hockey League games are skilled African Canadian players, who give of their time and talent, freely. All of the Instructors of the children’s Black Youth Hockey Initiative Program are required to complete the standards of Hockey Nova Scotia, including Speak out, Child Abuse Registry, and Criminal Records Checks. In addition, special guest coaches and community role models are invited to assist and participate. The focus is on having fun, learning to skate, and basic hockey skills. The BIS role is to identify black youths, and other visible minorities and their families to participate in this program. Our African Nova Scotian Board members will assist all parents with hockey issues related to costs, equipment, transportation, comfort, acceptance, etc.
FOUNDING BOARD OF DIRECTORS
WILFRED JACKSON, President (Retired Social Worker); LELAND (LEE) FRANCIS, Treasurer (Social Worker); OLIVE JACKSON, Secretary (Retired Civil Servant); BARBARA BORDEN, Communications/Internet (Dalhousie University Administration Clerk), and ANDREW TENCH, Vice-President (Photographer). In addition, some of our Board Members are direct descendants of Coloured Hockey League players, local hockey players, and Members of the Society of North American Hockey Historians and Researchers (SONAHHR) and have participated in leadership roles in past conferences.
As Founders of the independent Black Ice Hockey and Sports Hall of Fame Society (BIS), the Board of Directors have extended invitations to other interested parties, to become Members-at-large. All Members-at-large are expected to support the BIS mandate and to assist in the growth and development of the Black Ice Hockey and Sports Hall of Fame Society.