Elise Harding-Davis

Elise Harding-Davis is an African Canadian Heritage Consultant and accomplished historian, advocate, author, speaker, and educator.

Photo of Elise Harding-Davis

Photo source: Ronfanfair.com

Harding-Davis is a seventh generation African Canadian from Windsor, Ontario. She spent 32 years as the Curator/Administrator of the North American Black Historical Museum and Cultural Centre (now known as the Amherstburg Freedom Museum) and the Nazrey African Methodist Episcopal Church National Historic Site. She led the restoration of the Nazrey African Methodist Episcopal Church, built in 1848 and designated as a National Historic Site in 1999. Additionally, her advocacy work in preserving African-Canadian cemeteries has resulted in heritage designations for several of these gravesites.

Harding-Davis has expressed in her writing and in interviews that she strives to uncover, promote, and celebrate the important accomplishments and contributions of Black Canadians throughout history. Her work centers, in her own words, “the Black thread in the Canadian tapestry.”

In 2021, Harding-Davis was announced as an Order of Ontario appointee; she received the prestigious Order of Ontario designation in 2022. Additionally, she was named a 100 Accomplished Black Canadian Women honouree in 2022. She has also received the Ontario Black History Society’s Daniel Hill Award, the Ontario Museum Association’s Award of Excellence (2000), the Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal (2002), the Multicultural Council of Windsor and Essex County’s Herb Gray Harmony Award (2006), the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal (2012), and the Ontario Historical Society’s Carnochan Award (2015).

Two of her publications about local African-Canadian history are available at Windsor Public Library:


100 Accomplished Black Canadian Women. 2022 Honourees.

Brown, Mark. Nov. 5, 2022. “Windsor-Essex Historian Named to Order of Ontario.” Blackburn News.

Harding-Davis, Elise. “About the Author” (p. 60-62). The Black Presence in the War of 1812: Unsung Military Volunteers of North America.

Harding-Davis, Elise. “About the Author” (p. 70). The Colours of Essex County: Historic African Canadian Cemeteries.

Ontario Historical Society. “Author and Curator Elise Harding-Davis Honoured with Provincial Heritage Award.”

Saylors, Kathleen. Nov. 24, 2022. “Local Historian Elise Harding-Davis Awarded Order of Ontario.The Windsor Star.