Guisborough – Folks in Guisborough County Municipality (MODG) celebrated Emancipation Day, a tribute to the anniversary of the British Parliament’s determination to abolish slavery all through its empire in 1834, on Tuesday, August 1 on Guisborough’s seafront.
The Emancipation Day Act designating August 1 as Emancipation Day was handed within the Nova Scotia Legislature in April of 2021. The Division of Protection for Human Rights declared August 1 annually to be Municipal Emancipation Day in July of 2021 and inspired everybody to “suppose acknowledging and holding open discussions about our shared historical past of enslaving folks of African descent right here in Canada.”
This yr the occasion in Guysborough has been succeeded by the RCMP Cst. Nathan Sparks and listen to from visitors together with MODG Warden Vernon Pitts; Guysborough Tracadie MLA Greg Morrow; Crystal States, Administrative Officer for the Northeast Regional Workplace for Nova Scotia African Affairs; and MODG Councilwoman Mary Desmond, who represents the Nova Scotia African communities of Sunnyvale, Lincolnville and Higher Huge Tracade.
Warden Bates spoke to these gathered on the occasion after a libation supplied by Nova Scotia African Group member Tonya Bailey. He mentioned, “We should acknowledge that slavery was a part of our province, and the horrific previous of our nation… We should work collectively to deal with anti-black racism, all types of racism, so that each one Nova Scotians can thrive, obtain their full potential and dwell as equal residents.”
MLA Greg Morrow mentioned, “The wealthy tapestry of our African Nova Scotia communities together with Sunnyvale, Lincolnville, and the Higher Huge Tracady, with their well-established historical past, heritage, (and) vibrant tradition has made an enormous contribution to the guts and soul of our province.”
Feedback from Crystal States reminded attendees that not solely did black Loyalists come to Nova Scotia, however in addition they introduced enslaved folks right here as nicely. She mentioned, “Over 15 million African males, ladies, and kids had been victims of the transatlantic slave commerce. It is necessary that the folks of Nova Scotia acknowledge the existence of the establishment of slavery on this province.”
Mary Desmond accomplished the feedback on the occasion with a robust and galvanizing message: “Nobody must be handled as object. No folks must be pushed from their homeland. Nobody must be stripped of their heritage or their tradition. We stand right here at the moment via resilience. We stand right here at the moment.” On the backs of our ancestors… We’re right here at the moment. We belong right here… I’m right here at the moment to rejoice their dream of freedom.”
Lois Ann Dort, Native Journalism Initiative correspondent, Guisborough Journal