New Exhibit Profiles Ontario’s Early Black History

TORONTO and DRESDEN, ON, Dec. 13 /CNW/ – A traveling exhibit called Enslaved Africans in Upper Canada will leave a lasting legacy for the McGuinty government’s year-long commemoration of the 200th anniversary of the 1807 Abolition of the Slave Trade Act. Developed in collaboration with the Archives of Ontario, the exhibit introduces us to abolitionists and lawmakers, and tells the stories of the enslaved Africans who fought for freedom for all.

“This year has been an opportunity for Ontarians to learn about a little known part of our province’s history,” said Ontario’s Minister of Citizenship
and Immigration, Michael Chan. “This exhibit will help ensure this history is not lost to Ontarians today and in the future.” “I’d like to thank the Ontario government for supporting this important initiative,” said Dr. Jean Augustine, Chair of the Ontario Bicentenary Commemorative Committee on the Abolition of the Slave Trade Act. “This exhibit is an important legacy for the people of this province. It honours the courage and contributions of enslaved African Canadians and their descendants.”

The exhibit will be on display at Uncle Tom’s Cabin in Dresden from December 13 to February 29. It will then travel to historic sites across the
province, including stops at the Ontario Heritage Trust in Toronto in December and January, at a University of Ottawa conference in March, and at the Greater Sudbury Public Library from April to the end of May. The Ontario government has invested $1 million in community-based initiatives to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the 1807 Abolition of the Slave Trade Act. Highlights include:

– Providing Roots of Freedom grants to 33 community organizations to develop and implement projects that educate Ontarians about the
history of slavery in the province.

– Sponsoring the three-day Sankofa Youth Conference, which brought nearly 100 youth from across Ontario together to learn and discuss
the history of slavery and the abolition movement in Ontario – Establishing the Ontario Bicentenary Exhibit at 880 Bay Street in
Toronto, which includes displays and information on the transatlantic slave trade, slavery in Ontario and the steps taken to end slavery.

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