McGuinty Government Marks Bicentenary Of The Abolition Of The Slave Trade



    Minister Of Citizenship And Immigration Name Members Of Bicentenary
    Committee

    QUEEN'S PARK, March 21 /CNW/ - The McGuinty government has named fifteen
individuals to a special committee that will advise on province-wide projects
to commemorate the bicentenary of the abolition of the slave trade, a
little-known and tragic period of Ontario's history, Minister of Citizenship
and Immigration Mike Colle announced today.
    "The bicentenary of the abolition of the slave trade is an opportunity
for Ontarians to gain a better understanding of this shameful part of
Ontario's history," said Colle. "This committee will provide leadership in a
province-wide effort to educate and remember this ugly part of Canadian
history."
    The Ontario Bicentenary Commemorative Committee on the Abolition of the
Slave Trade will advise the government and work with organizations and
communities across the province on activities that commemorate the Act that
was passed by the British Parliament on March 25, 1807. Committee members
represent academia, historical societies, archivists, the arts, and the
African-Canadian community from across the province.

    
    Members of the committee include:

    -   Dr. Jean Augustine, Chair, Toronto
    -   Ned Blair, Toronto
    -   Dr. Hazel Campayne, Toronto
    -   Debbie Douglas, Toronto
    -   Lesa Francis, Durham region
    -   Karolyn Smardz Frost, Collingwood
    -   Janice Gairey, Toronto
    -   June Girvan, Ottawa
    -   Kemi Jacobs, Toronto
    -   Francis Jeffers, Toronto
    -   U-sheak Koroma, Toronto
    -   Dr. Oluremi Ogundimu, Sudbury
    -   Bryan Prince, Buxton
    -   Rosemary Sadlier, Toronto
    -   Carolynn Wilson, Collingwood
    

    The government is investing up to $1 million in community-based
commemorative projects to remember, educate and commemorate the history of
slavery and its abolition in Ontario.
    The bicentenary of the legislation that banned British ships from
trafficking and transporting African slaves will also be recognized in the
Ontario legislature today with a resolution unanimously supported by all three
parties.
    Canada's early settlers brought African slaves to Upper Canada and
slavery expanded rapidly after 1783, as British Loyalists brought their slaves
with them. In 1793, under Lt.-Gov. John Graves Simcoe, Upper Canada, which is
now Southern Ontario, became the first jurisdiction in the British Empire to
limit slavery.
    The Abolition of the Slave Trade Act was passed by the British Parliament
in 1807. It outlawed the slave trade throughout the British Empire and made it
illegal for British ships to be involved in the trade and transportation of
slaves.
    "The Abolition of the Slave Trade Act is part of our identity as a
province and as individuals," said Colle.
    For information about funding for community projects, please contact Dr.
Afua Cooper, Project Coordinator at (416) 327-8012 or  afua.cooper@ontario.ca.

    Disponible en français

    
                          www.citizenship.gov.on.ca
                          www.OntarioImmigration.ca


    Backgrounder
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

                 ONTARIO BICENTENARY COMMEMORATIVE COMMITTEE
                     ON THE ABOLITION OF THE SLAVE TRADE

    The Ontario government's new Ontario Bicentenary Commemorative Committee
on the Abolition of the Slave Trade will work with organizations and
communities across the province to support activities that commemorate the
200th anniversary of the Abolition of the Slave Trade Act.
    Committee members are leaders in their field and are knowledgeable about
African-Canadian history in Ontario. They represent academia, historical
societies, archivists, the arts and the African-Canadian community across the
province.

    -   Dr. Jean Augustine, chair of the committee, the first African-
        Canadian woman to be elected to the Parliament of Canada and former
        federal Minister for Multiculturalism and the Status of Women in
        Canada
    -   Ned Blair, president of the Organization of Black Tradesmen and
        Tradeswoman of Ontario, instrumental in giving black youth
        opportunities to get apprentice training
    -   Dr. Hazel Campayne, educator and consultant, active in African-
        Canadian and faith-based communities and community organizations in
        Ontario
    -   Debbie Douglas, founding member of the Black Women's Collective, an
        advocate for black and other marginalized students within the
        education system, and advocate of race relations and social justice
        issues to improve the lives of women and girls and immigrants in
        Ontario
    -   Lesa Francis, co-director of the African-Canadian Children's Literacy
        Circle encouraging children to celebrate their culture through
        reading, creative writing, poetry and spoken word
    -   Karolyn Smardz Frost, historian, archaeologist, and author of a book
        about fugitive slaves, Thornton and Lucy Blackburn's, escape to
        Canada through the Underground Railroad
    -   Janice Gairey, president of the Ontario Chapter of the Coalition of
        Black Trade Unionists, and advocate of human rights and social
        justice issues
    -   June Girvan of Black History Ottawa and Volunteer-in-Chief of
        Ottawa's J'Nikira Dinqinesh Education Centre's 'history-in-the-
        street' celebration of pioneers of our 'North Star Legacy'
    -   Kemi Jacobs, leader in the immigrant and refugee serving sector, past
        president of the Canadian Council for Refugees
    -   Francis Jeffers, founder of the International African Inventors
        Museum exhibiting inventions of Africans worldwide and founder of the
        Visions of Science symposium showcasing presentations by
        international black scientists
    -   U-sheak Koroma, co-host of "Sounds of Africa" radio program and
        president of Concerned Citizens and Friends of Sierra Leone (Canada)
    -   Dr. Oluremi Ogundimu, paediatrician, active member of the African-
        Canadian community and president of the Afro-Heritage Association of
        Sudbury
    -   Bryan Prince, author and historian from the Buxton National Historic
        Site, and actively involved in many initiatives on black history and
        the Underground Railroad in Canada, the U.S. and Great Britain
    -   Rosemary Sadlier, president of the Ontario Black History Society,
        instrumental in making the celebration of Black History Month a
        national event in Canada
    -   Carolynn Wilson, curator of the Sheffield Park Black Cultural Museum
        which displays the history of black pioneers in Collingwood and
        surrounding region.

    Dr. Afua Cooper, published author and historian in African-Canadian
issues, will support the Ontario Bicentenary initiative as Project
Coordinator.
    For information about funding for community projects, please contact Dr.
Afua Cooper, Project Coordinator at (416) 327-8012 or  afua.cooper@ontario.ca.

    Disponible en français

                          www.citizenship.gov.on.ca
                          www.OntarioImmigration.ca
    





For further information:

For further information: Rick Byun, Minister's Office, (416) 325-3460;
Michel Payen-Dumont, Communications Branch, (416) 314-7010

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Ontario Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration

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