Author / Historian / Sergeant, Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Halifax, NS. Born: Halifax, NS.
Craig Marshall Smith has been a member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) since 1997. He has served as the RCMP Diversity Policing Analyst for Nova Scotia, and was just recently been promoted to the rank of Sergeant-in-Charge of the Crime Prevention & Victim Services for the Halifax District. He is best known for his activities on behalf of youth and Black history.
Highlights: While Director of the YMCA, he served on the Diversity Workplace Committee, which created the YMCA’s first policy on race relations, multiculturalism and affirmative action in Atlantic Canada (1992). As the RCMP Diversity Policing Analyst for Nova Scotia, Craig developed and delivers the African Nova Scotian Cultural Competency Workshop for RCMP members & employees serving within the province. In 1993, he co-produced a poster featuring 28 outstanding Black Nova Scotians; and in 1996, co-produced, African Canadians of Achievement poster highlighting 8 African-Canadian “firsts”. As a library worker, he created programs which raised awareness about Black achievements and key historical figures; created a program which brought together Black male youth and members of the Halifax Police Department, to discuss issues of common concern and has continued this program since joining the RCMP, expanding it in order to reach a wider African Nova Scotia youth audience. In 2000, he produced an educational resource for students: “Journey: African Canadian History” and the instructional guide for educators. He lectured on Blacks in Canadian history locally and at the University of Florida & in Detroit (in 2003 and 2005, respectively). In 2006, Craig wrote & self-published You Had Better Be White By Six AM – The African Canadian Experience in the RCMP, and in 2008, he wrote The Ultimate African Heritage Quiz Book Maritime Edition. In March 2011, Craig will release his fourth book, The Journey Continues, a chronology of significant events in Atlantic Canadian Black history from Mathieu da Costa (1605), to the signing of the Free Pardon for Viola Desmond (2010).
Community: Member of Concerned Citizens Against Drugs; Police Multicultural Liaison Committee; Inner-City Education Advisory Committee; Urban Rural Mission; Racial Equity Committee – Nova Scotia Barrister’s Society.
Honours: Canadian Griot Award (2003); Dr. W. P. Oliver Wall of Honour, BCC/NS (1999); Certificate of Appreciation, RCMP (1998 & 2002).
Works: Including, The Journey Continues (2011); The Ultimate African Heritage Quiz Book Maritime Edition (2008); National Urban League Opportunity Journal Spring Edition Soul On Ice – The Coloured Hockey League of the Maritimes (2008); You Had Better Be White By Six AM – The African Canadian Experience in the RCMP (2006); Journey: African Canadian History (study & instructional guide, 2000); African Canadians of Achievement, poster (1996); Black Firsts, poster (1993).
Reviewed in: Halifax Daily News; Halifax Chronicle Herald; Yarmouth Vanguard; The Society Record – Nova Scotia Barrister’s Society (2009).
Education: Certificate, Community Development, Henson College, Halifax (1994).
Favourite book? Up Home by Shauntay Grant. This children’s book presents, in a positive light, the historic Black community of North Preston.
Favourite quote? “Own it, name it, and learn from it! Everyone has a history.”
Given the chance, what would you love to do that you haven’t done yet? Last year, I visited Virginia and walked the paths and routes that some of my African-American ancestors did prior to coming to Nova Scotia in 1783. Knowing that Black settlers also settled in Vancouver and on the Prairies, I would love to go visit where some of those early settlers contributed to making Canada the country it is today; Maidstone, Salt Springs, etc.
What inspires you? The quest to learn more about our story and, in turn, spread that history far and wide. That’s what inspires me.
Why do you do what you do? I research and write about African-Canadian accomplishments because it is my passion. I write about the history and legacy of Black RCMP members, because I believe it can make the biggest change by doing so.