Royal Canadian Mint commemorates Black history with silver coin recognizing the settlers of Amber Valley, Alberta

In the latest issue of its ongoing Commemorating Black History fine silver coin series, the Royal Canadian Mint honours the community of Amber Valley, Alberta, founded in 1910 by African American families from Oklahoma, Texas and other surrounding states.

Seeking a life away from segregationist laws, racial hostility and violence, they journeyed to Northern Alberta in response to the government of Canada’s offer of free land in the Canadian west.

By 1910, approximately 300 men, women and children endured and overcame new hardships as they tamed the Alberta wilderness to carve out a new life in a thriving community that was renamed Amber Valley in 1931. 

Released in conjunction with the annual observance of Black History Month, the 2024 $20 silver coin celebrates the legacy of a group men and women who built one of Western Canada’s earliest Black settlements.

“I appreciate the recognition this coin represents,” said Myrna Wisdom, Historian and Co-Founder of The Black Settlers of Alberta and Saskatchewan Historical Society.  “The Black Settlers of Amber Valley are indeed deserving of this recognition, which includes both my paternal and maternal grandparents, as well as my parents.”

The design, by artist Valentine De Landro, is centered on an imagined scene of a homesteader family arriving in Pine Creek, Alberta in 1909 and peering over the land that would become the thriving community of Amber Valley. It includes a map outline of the province of Alberta, enhanced by a bough of maple leaves. The lower portion of the reverse depicts a wagon train of settlers completing their long journey from the southern United States. The scene is framed by log cabins, which were the first houses built by the Black pioneers who made a new home in Northern Alberta. 

The coin retails for $104.95.

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