Ministry of Public and Business Service Delivery
This online exhibit features Dr. Daniel G. Hill III, who was born in Independence, Missouri in 1923, left his country to commence graduate studies at the University of Toronto in 1950, and thereafter made Canada his home.
Daniel Hill became a prominent public figure in Canada. He was a lecturer at the University of Toronto, the first Director and later the Chair of the Ontario Human Rights Commission, a prominent writer and community activist with a sustained interest in the history of Blacks in Canada, a business person who created Canada’s first human rights consulting firm, and in the last five years of his working life, he served as Ombudsman of Ontario.
With his wife Donna Bender Hill, Daniel Hill raised three children - Dan, Lawrence and Karen - who went on to become involved in the arts in Canada. He died in 2003.
In the fall of 2006, the staff members of the Archives of Ontario decided to celebrate the life and achievements of Daniel Grafton Hill III, who donated his substantial collection of documents, letters, photos, films, tape recorded interviews and artifacts to the Archives in 1991. Given that Daniel Hill was a pioneer in the field of human rights in Canada, and that he served as the first director of the Ontario Human Rights Commission, the Archives staff believed that it would be a fitting tribute to his life to present a special online exhibit at a time that coincided with the 45th anniversary of the enactment in June, 1962 of the Ontario Human Rights Code-the law that empowered the Commission.
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Lawrence Hill (detail), 2006
Photo by Lisa Sakulensky
Courtesy of Lawrence Hill
However, as people of African heritage pressed for equal treatment in North American society in the 1960s and 1970s, they sought more satisfactory ways to define themselves and to have others speak of them. In recent decades, some Canadians of African ancestry identify themselves as “Black”, and others as “African-Canadians”. In this exhibit, terms are used as they appeared in speeches, newspaper articles, photo captions, media interviews and books over the course of Daniel Hill’s life.