Week 3 Profile-Notable Black Canadians in STEM fields

This week, Cupe 2195’s Racialized Workers Caucus is featuring a few Black Canadians who made a big difference in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) fields.

Elijah McCoy

Elijah McCoy was a Canadian-American inventor who transformed the locomotive industry. He was born in 1844 in Colchester, Ontario to former American slaves who escaped to Upper Canada via the Underground Railroad. Later living in the US, McCoy had difficulty gaining employment as an engineer due to racial discrimination. Yet, McCoy continued to engineer and invent mechanical devices- patenting over 50 inventions by the end of his lifetime. His most noteworthy invention, the “graphite lubricator,” allowed trains to run faster on less fuel. In 2001, McCoy was inducted in the National Inventors Hall of Fame (US) for his numerous contributions to the transportation sector.

Source: Smithsonian Magazine; The Canadian Encyclopedia

Alan Emtage

Before Google, there was Archie– the internet’s first search engine, developed by Canadian computer scientist Alan Emtage in 1989. A native of the Barbados, Emtage studied computer science at McGill University. Hoping to automate some work tasks as a systems’ administrator at the university, the then-student developed Archie. Emtage later co-founded the first company to aggregate information gathered from the internet. In recognition of his technological advancements, Emtage was inducted into the Internet Hall of Fame in 2017.

Source: HuffPost Canada;  Internet Hall of Fame

Dr. Eugenia Duodu Addy

Dr. Eugenia Duodu Addy is a prominent Canadian chemist and community worker. Growing up in a low-income region in the GTA, Addy loved science and math but faced obstacles during her studies as a result of systemic racism and implicit biases from grade school teachers. Despite these challenges, Addy pursued her post-secondary degrees in chemistry and biology at the University of Toronto, earning her PhD in chemistry in 2015. Addy is currently the CEO of Visions of Science Network for Learning, a non-profit organization that “empowers youth from low-income communities through meaningful engagement in STEM.”

Source: Toronto Life; Eugenia Duodo


  1. Who was the first registered Black Canadian doctor? 
  2. Who invented the Hubbard Portable- a portable baker’s oven?

***First two to respond correctly will get a gift card. The gift cards will be mailed out/dropped off at the end of the month. Send your answers to EMAIL LINK