issues and experts

Emancipation Day in Canada – SFU expert available

July 30, 2021

Canada observes its first official Emancipation Day this Sunday. 

B.C. has proclaimed August 1 as Emancipation Day. August 1 was officially designated as Emancipation Day following a unanimous vote earlier this year (March 23) by MPs in the House of Commons. In doing so, notes SFU Beedie School of Business professor June Francis, Canada acknowledges the historic reality of enslavement of Africans on the land that is now Canada. 

August 1 also marks the day in 1834 that the Slavery Abolition Act came into effect and saw the partial liberation of both Black and Indigenous Peoples enslaved in Canada and other countries within the British colonial empire.

Francis says the day commemorates the enslaved people whose own resistance led to the end of chattel slavery, one of the greatest atrocities in history, the legacies of which are still evident to today.  

Emancipation Day is intended to be a day for Canadians to reflect, educate and engage in the ongoing fight against anti-Black and anti-Indigenous racism and discrimination. It also celebrates the strength, perseverance and contributions of Black and Indigenous communities in Canada.  


JUNE FRANCIS, associate professor, marketing Beedie School of Business; co-director, the Co-Laboratorio Project; director, Institute for Diaspora Research and Engagement, Chair of the board of Hogan's Alley Society whose mission is to advance the social, political, economic, and cultural well-being of people of African Descent and recently appointed as special advisor to the SFU president on anti-racism; 

Expertise: race, racism, and diversity including the history of Emancipation Day and current anti-Black racism in education, business, and local, national and international Black diaspora communities.


MELISSA SHAW, SFU  Communications & Marketing 
236.880.3297 | 

Simon Fraser University
Communications & Marketing |  SFU Media Experts Directory


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