During Black History Month, I will be sharing resources from the National Film Board that can be used immediately in your classes. The first is Ice Breakers, a 15 minute documentary about a young Black hockey player who learns about the history of Black hockey in the Maritimes.

Ice Breakers could be incorporated into Canadian history classes in a variety of ways. For example, it could be used as a starting point for research into the Black hockey league that existed in the Maritimes between 1895 and the 1930s; this, in turn, could lead to an examination of the league in the context of organized sports of the era. The documentary could also be used to discuss Black stories that are so often left out of Canadian history; given that the film calls attention to the lack of representation of Black hockey players in the Maritime Sports Hall of Fame, perhaps students could propose a display to honour those players. Finally, it could be used as a starting point to have students investigate their own connections to Canada’s past.

Ice Breakers, Sandamini Rankaduwa, provided by the National Film Board of Canada


James Pedrech