La Maison d’Haïti: Haitian Stories of Resistance and Black Diasporic Activism in Montréal, 1972–1986


  • Désirée Rochat University of Toronto


La Maison d’Haïti, a community-based organization in Montréal founded in 1972, was an important locus of Haitian diasporic activism during the era of Duvalier’s dictatorship (1957–1986). Part of this activism relied on mobilizing Haitian history in the Canadian context. Activists revived histories of Haitian resistance and transmitted them through a variety of educational, cultural, and advocacy activities. This historical transmission aimed to mobilize, politicize, and connect community members. It also served in the struggle against racism and discrimination and helped to value community members’ knowledge and experiences. Primary research into La Maison d’Haïti’s archives along with oral history interviews with nine activists involved in the organization demonstrate how their work of community-based historical transmission and activation is inscribed within a longer tradition of Black diasporic activism.

Author Biography

Désirée Rochat, University of Toronto

Désirée Rochat is a Post-doctoral fellow in the Department of History at the University of Toronto.