Submitted by Carmen Law, Director, Belonging, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion
In March 2021, the House of Commons designated August 1 Emancipation Day commemorating the Slavery Abolition Act of 1833, which came into effect across the British Empire in 1834.
The enslavement of Indigenous and African peoples is a tragic part of Canada’s history that we need to learn more about and acknowledge. According to The Canadian Encyclopedia, Indigenous slaves made up two-thirds of the slaves in Canada over the course of some 150 years, and thousands of African slaves were brought to Canada after the British took control of New France. Abolitionist movements did attempt to end slavery; however, it was not until 1834 when the abolition act came into effect that it became a reality.
Emancipation Day is an important day to reflect, educate yourself, and engage in the ongoing fight against anti-Black racism and discrimination in all its forms. Take time to learn about the history of enslavement in Canada. Join local community events to participate in this day of reflection. If you are able the City of Kingston has a listing of events taking place throughout the day.
Learn more at the Government of Canada website.