Freedom for the Oppressed: Niagara’s Early Black Settlements

February 9, 2021: 7:30 pm -

Rochelle Bush
Resident Historian of Salem Chapel, BME Church, National Historic Site

Rochelle Bush is a Trustee and the resident historian of the Salem Chapel, British Methodist Episcopal Church, Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad National Historic Site and the owner and operator of Tubman Tours Canada. Rochelle was born and raised in St. Catharines. Her maternal great-great grandfather was the minister-in-charge of the Salem Chapel for a period in the 1850s when Harriet Tubman was a member.

Over twenty years ago Rochelle began to preserve, promote, and protect Canada’s rich Black history. This included participating in the development of the early Black history narrative and government tourism initiatives in St. Catharines and the Niagara region. Concurrently, Rochelle began to offer step-on guide services to showcase Niagara's Freedom Trail, which includes the Salem Chapel, and enhance the visitor experience.  Almost ten years ago she created the “Harriet Tubman Tour” to highlight the heroic figure's time in St. Catharines.

Rochelle is an independent researcher and also a member of the Historical Society of St. Catharines, a past Board member of the St. Catharines Museum, a former Emancipation Day organizer, affiliated with the Central Ontario Network for Black History, associated with the Zion Baptist Church, a certified Niagara Tourism Ambassador and a licensed Niagara Parks tour guide.

In addition, Rochelle is a Social Service Worker and a Niagara College graduate.

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