Canada 'A specific form of anti-Black racism:' Scholars want Canadian apology for slavery
Abortion rights must be line in the sand for WNBA, NWSL when considering expansion | Opinion
If a state doesn’t see women as having value for anything beyond breeding, that state doesn't deserve consideration for a WNBA or NWSL expansion team.Both leagues plan to add two expansion teams over the next three years, and at least a dozen cities have expressed interest. The WNBA and NWSL must make it clear, in no uncertain terms, that bidders from states hostile to women are not welcome.
More than a year after Canada proclaimed Aug. 1 as Emancipation Day, Black leaders and scholars are renewing their calls for Ottawa to make a formal apology for the country's history of slavery and its intergenerational harms.
Author Elise Harding-Davis said Sunday that the federal government’s vote last March to recognize Emancipation Day shows Canadian leaders know that the country’s history of slavery has caused generations of harm to Black people.
To ignore years of calls for a proper apology is “shameful,” she said.
“An apology would mean recognition of the fact that we were enslaved in this country,” Harding-Davis said in an interview. “It would also be an amelioration of the harsh treatment Black people have received and the validation that we have honestly contributed not only to this country, but to the making of this country.”
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Emancipation Day recognizes the day in 1834 that the Slavery Abolition Act came into force, thus ending slavery in most British colonies including Canada, and freeing over 800,000 people. Thousands of slaves from Africa were brought against their will to Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland, as well as to Lower Canada and Upper Canada, which is now Ontario.
In the colony of New France — which became British territory in the 1760s — the majority of slaves were Indigenous, historians say.
The Slavery Abolition Act freed all enslaved people, including Indigenous people, Harding-Davis said, adding: "A determination to free Black people helped free all people, and that's huge."
She said she doesn't feel most Canadians are even aware of the country's history of slavery.
Pope apologizes for 'catastrophic' school policy in Canada
MASKWACIS, Alberta (AP) — Pope Francis issued a historic apology Monday for the Catholic Church’s cooperation with Canada’s “catastrophic” policy of Indigenous residential schools, saying the forced assimilation of Native peoples into Christian society destroyed their cultures, severed families and marginalized generations. “I am deeply sorry,” Francis said to applause from school survivors and Indigenous community members gathered at a former residential school south of Edmonton, Alberta. He called the school policy a “disastrous error” that was incompatible with the Gospel and said further investigation and healing is needed.
"It's just been sidelined and brushed under the rug as much as possible," she said. "This anti-racism movement that has happened … in the last10 years, but more focused since George Floyd's death in the United States, has only highlighted that there's a small awareness that there's anything wrong with the treatment of Black people in Canada."
Dalhousie University history professor Afua Cooper said Sunday that she first asked Ottawa in 2007 to apologize for slavery and its harms. The principal investigator for the Black People's History of Canada project noted that in the meantime, other groups have received apologies for historical harms.
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"There can't be any other explanation except that this is a specific form of anti-Black racism," Cooper said in an interview. "Black people are not seen as fully-fledged citizens and it's the federal government's way of saying, 'Too bad.'"
Pope Francis apologizes for forced assimilation of Indigenous children at residential schools
The first day of Pope Francis's "penitential pilgrimage" began with a heartfelt apology delivered at the site of one of Canada's largest residential schools and ended eight hours later with blessings and songs at an intimate service in the only designated Indigenous church in Canada. In a morning event in a First Nation community in central Alberta, Pope Francis apologized for members of the Catholic Church who co-operated with Canada's "devastating" policy of Indigenous residential schools.
Some will argue that an apology isn't warranted, she said, since Canada was formed in 1867, more than three decades after slavery ended. But Cooper said that reasoning doesn't hold up, adding that the country formed in 1867 was built from what it was in the years before.
"And OK, how about apologizing to the Black community for things that happened after 1967?" she asked, pointing to examples including segregation, and a 1911 proposal in government that sought to ban Black immigrants from entering the country.
The last segregated school in Canada — in Lincolnville, N.S. — didn't close until 1983.
Harding-Davis also doesn't buy that argument. Black people have been subject to marginalization because of laws and practices that allowed and came from slavery, she said.
"The mindset, the beliefs have been left in place," she said. "We continue to face prejudice and discrimination and longtime disparities, and the government has really done little to nothing to change that."
Nova Scotia Sen. Wanda Thomas Bernard said Sunday that it is "absolutely" time for a federal apology for the country's practice of enslaving Black people and its lasting harms, but she said an apology is empty without action.
The question she is asking Canada after last year's recognition of Emancipation Day is, "What's next?"
"There's such a significant need for education, there is such a significant need for us to create greater awareness, but there's also a need for us to engage in actions," she said in an interview.
"We really need more engagement from everyone to move forward to walk this path in a more positive way. We need allies to be more impactful, more committed as they go forward, and not just performing allyship."
The federal Department of Housing, Diversity and Inclusion did not immediately provide a comment upon request.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 31, 2022.
The Canadian Press
After apology in Alberta, First Nations want Pope to say sorry on Quebec soil .
MONTREAL — As Pope Francis's visit to Canada shifts east, Indigenous leaders say their communities deserve to hear him on Quebec soil beg forgiveness for the sins of the Catholic Church in that province. An apology from the pope in front of an audience in Quebec would be a meaningful gesture after the pontiff apologized Monday on the grounds of the former Ermineskin Indian Residential School at Maskwacis, Alta., said Mandy Gull-Masty, grand chief of the Cree Nation.