Keystone, Alberta

Originally called Breton, Keystone was settled in 1909 by Black families from Oklahoman who had first lived near Wabumun Lake, west of Edmonton. Like those who settled Amber Valley, they sought greater protection of their rights to live as full and equal citizens. They also realized that, because of racial perceptions of the time, this was only possible by developing their own communities and interacting with others only for specific purposes such as for seasonal employment. Additionally, natural disasters such as drought would remind them that farming was a precarious profession, encouraging them to consider other ways of earning a living. By the 1960s there were only six families left since educational and employment opportunities in Leduc and Edmonton pulled residents out, and there were no others motivated to join the relatively remote community.

Keeping the Keystone Legacy
Gwen Hooks talks about Black settlers who came to Alberta to escape repressive conditions in Oklahoma. From Alberta’s Heritage Community Foundation.