TORONTO, March 23, 2007 - The Canadian Race Relations Foundation (CRRF) joins with Canadians on the United Nations International Day for the Commemoration of the 200th Anniversary of the Abolition of the Transatlantic Slave Trade (March 25th) in honouring the memories of the millions of Africans who were kidnapped from Africa to be enslaved, those who resisted and their descendants who continue to experience the legacy of racism today.
In its statement of commemoration, the CRRF reminded Canadians that slavery existed in Canada, and that Canada benefited from slavery. "As Canadians, we have carefully suppressed the fact the slavery existed in Canada," notes the statement.
"In understanding and working against racism and racial discrimination, the Foundation believes that it is critical that we, as Canadians, acknowledge the racism of our past," says Dr. Ayman Al-Yassini, Senior Executive Vice President of the Foundation. "Our job must include ensuring that our history correctly reflects the truth. Throughout this year, we plan to contribute to this knowledge base and, in particular, demonstrating its relationship to the manifestations of anti-Black racism."
The CRRF plans to commission a number of scholarly papers examining Canada's development in relationship to the Transatlantic Slave Trade and which will form the core of an issue of DIRECTIONS, the Foundation's research journal. The Foundation will also contribute to community initiatives under the CRRF's Initiatives Against racism program.The Statement of Commemoration is attached, or may be accessed through our website at www.crr.ca.