Remembering August 1st
Racism is a global problem, and we in Canada are NOT immune.
Slavery existed in Canada too and it was abolished on August 1st 1834.
United Against Racism
Racism is a global problem. And we in Canada are NOT immune. Slavery existed in Canada too and it was abolished on August 1st 1834.
August 1st 1834 - The Abolition of Slavery in Canada
Slavery ended in Canada on August 1, 1834.
Many Canadians view slavery as something that happened in the United States of America from the arrival of the first slave ships in 1619 until the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863, but fail to understand that the buying, selling, and enslavement of Black and Indigenous people went on for about 200 years in our own country (beginning with the arrival of Olivier le Jeune in 1628 to New France and ending with the Slavery Abolition Act, August 1, 1834).
Canada’s slave trade was dramatically different than what one would find in the southern US, tropical European colonies, and South and Central America due to Canada having no large plantations.
Even though slavery was prohibited in France, King Louis XIV allowed for the importation of Black slaves to its colonies, including New France (modern-day Quebec), from West Africa. The main purpose in New France for these slaves was to clear land and construct buildings, while some were also servants in households. Marcel Trudel, historian, puts the number of slaves in New France at 4000 by 1759 – 2472 Aboriginal people and 1132 Black people.
After New France was conquered by the British in 1763, Black Africans began to replace Indigenous enslaved people as the norm.
On August 1, 1834, the Abolition of Slavery Act came into effect in the British Empire, which included British North America (as Canada was then known). It is estimated that on that day, 800,000 enslaved Black people were freed as it became illegal for anyone to be a slave in the British Empire.
August 1 is the anniversary of the abolition of slavery in Canada. It is a day for us to reflect and have honest dialogue about the deconstructing of racism in our country.
6 Reasons to
Remember August 1st
How can you help commemorate this date?
Other ways you can help
- If you are unable to print the T-shirt you can also share this website on your social media with the hashtags: #rememberaugust1st and #unitedagainstracism to show your support, educate those in your social circle and help make a bigger systemic change in Canada and the world.
- Invite your congregation to remember the significance of the day in your worship services during the week of August 1st.
- Talk about the importance of the day with your friends and family.
- Discuss: “How can we become an anti-racist church?” with your congregation.
- Consider ways that we can continue to remove racism from our country.