The Old Durham Road Black Pioneer Settlement: Contested Place as an Invitation to Curriculum

Naomi Norquay, Pariss Garramone


Using Lippard’s (1997) conceptual framings of place (the physical, ideological and imaginary), we consider how the dominant White Pioneer Narrative shapes stories told about a historic Black pioneer settlement in Grey County, Ontario. The contested history of this community demonstrates the importance of place to people’s stories and it also points to new imaginings that might restore this forgotten community to its rightful place in local history. An oral history project with community elders and an engagement with children in the local school are used to explore the tensions and a hopeful way forward.


Canadian pioneer narrative, contested history, curriculum of place, ideological place, Lippard

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