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Le générique du Bulletin
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March/April 2003
Vol. 35, no. 2
ISSN 1492-4676

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The Mathieu Da Costa Challenge

Early in February, the Library and Archives of Canada hosted the winners of the Mathieu Da Costa Challenge, an annual program that invites students (ages 9-18) across Canada to submit an essay, short story, poem or artwork celebrating the contributions of people of Aboriginal and diverse ethno-cultural descent to the building and development of our country.

Administered by the Canadian Teachers’ Federation, the program was launched by the Department of Canadian Heritage in February 1996 to mark a double celebration: the official recognition by the Parliament of Canada of February as Black History Month and the 25th anniversary of the Multiculturalism Policy.

This prestigious award program, highlighting our Canadian historical diversity, was named in honour of Mathieu Da Costa, a freeman of African descent who worked with Pierre Dugua de Mons, a leader in the establishment of French settlements in Eastern Canada, and with Samuel de Champlain in the 1600s. Da Costa also played a key role in the founding of Port Royal.

National Archivist Ian Wilson and Mary Jane Starr, National Library, joined Damian Solomon, Assistant Director of Professional and Developmental Services and his assistant, Jo-Anne Gallant of the Canadian Teachers Federation, in welcoming the award recipients and their families.

The event was jointly planned by Brenda Campbell (NL) and Denise McCulloch (NA) and was termed by Mr. Solomon as "their most successful visit to our institution".

This Year’s Recipients:

Best Essay in English - Ages 9 to 11

Alana Poon, 10
Robert H. Smith School, Winnipeg, Manitoba
Subject: Sung Chi

Best Essay in French  -  Ages 9 to 11

Gérard De Francesco, 11
École Élisabeth-Bruyère, Kanata, Ontario
Subject: Les noirs sans pouvoir restent dans nos mémoires

Best Essay in English  -  Ages 12 to 14

Hannah Crump, 12
Park Lawn Junior Middle School, Toronto, Ontario
Subject: Marlene Eleanor Alison Green

Best Essay in French  -  Ages 12 to 14

Danny St-Jacques, 14
École Hillcrest High School, Ottawa, Ontario
Subject: Charles Caccia

Best Essay in English  -  Ages 15 to 18

Chloe Hamilton, 17
Elmira District Secondary School, Elmira, Ontario
Subject: Mary Ann Shadd Cary: A Woman of Inspiration to Canada

Best Essay in French  -  Ages 15 to 18

Sarah Beaupré, 17
École Hillcrest High School, Ottawa, Ontario
Subject: Mifflin Wistar Gibbs

Best Artistic Representation  -  Ages 9 to 11

Kara Chan, 10
W.A. Fraser Elementary School, Abbotsford, British Columbia
Title: My Yeh Yeh’s Restaurant: A Chinese Canadian Experience

Best Artistic Representation  -  Ages 12 to 14

Kristin Blackmore, 14
Leo Hayes School, Fredericton, New Brunswick
Title: Chinese Influences

Best Artistic Representation  -  Ages 15 to 18

Kylene Cachelin, 15
Sa-Hali Secondary School, Kamloops, British Columbia
Title: Mary Ann Shadd