A Black soldier is shown fighting for the British during the American Revolution.

© 2008, Tate Gallery Art Resource. All Rights Reserved.


Try to imagine. There was a time – in Canada as in much of the world – when it was legal for one person to own another. There was a time when a man, woman or child could be taken to market and sold, like a car or a sack of potatoes. Those who were owned – we call them “slaves” – worked not to support themselves, but their owners. Many were abused. Few learned to read and write. None could choose how and where to live their lives. Most slaves in North America were Africans, or the descendants of Africans who had been kidnapped and sold into slavery.

Slavery ended in Canada in 1833. The people, places and events that won that victory are remembered today in Canada’s system of National Historic Persons, Sites and Events. The learning materials presented here are based on Canada’s national historic designations. Their purpose is to introduce you to the heroic persons, the honored places and momentous events in Canada that helped to end slavery.

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