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Petition to the Government of Canada

  • People of African descent have lived in Canada since the beginning of the transatlantic slave trade;
  • Slavery of trafficked Africans was introduced by colonists into the territories of what came to be known as Canada in the 1600s;
  • The practice of slavery, also inflicted on Indigenous Peoples, continued until it was abolished in the British Empire on August 1, 1834;
  • Canada’s history of enslavement, racial segregation and marginalization has had a devastating impact on people of African descent;
  • The existence of systemic anti-Black racism in education, housing, employment, health, criminal justice, politics and other areas can be directly traced to the history of slavery in Canada;
  • Canada has neither recognized nor educated the public adequately about the historical facts related to slavery and the anti-Black racism it has produced;
  • Despite this, Black Canadians have made outstanding contributions to Canada in every field, which is all the more remarkable given the legacy of slavery;
  • It is necessary to recognize the history of Black Canadians in order to build a more just society, free from discrimination;
  • The United Nations recommended the Government of Canada take steps to recognize the history of enslavement and the contributions of Black Canadians; and
  • The International Decade for People of African Descent provides an opportunity to permanently acknowledge the legacy of slavery and the achievements of Black Canadians.
We, the undersigned, citizens and residents of Canada, call upon the Government of Canada to proclaim August 1 as Emancipation Day, and to celebrate it on that day each year.

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