Canada’s Best Kept Secret: Slavery Existed in the Country for 200 years

1 Posted by - September 30, 2018 - LATEST POSTS, SLAVERY

Not too many people know it but existed in Canada. It is a time that most people do not like to think or talk about, but it indeed did occur. The truth is slavery existed in Canada for 200 years and was officially abolished 30 years before the Emancipation Proclamation. It is possible that the lapse in memory about the occurrence is due to the fact slavery ended in Canada long before it did in the United States. Historians believe the numbers could have been around 4,000 for slaves who were forcibly taken to Canada, or shipped through the trans-Atlantic slave trade from British colonies. slaves were introduced by the French as early as 1608.  The first slave was a six-year old boy named Olivier le Jeune.

Most people believe that slaves who escaped and made it to Canada had a wonderful life, but black slaves who escaped to Canada faced discrimination, violence and segregation. Unlike racist laws that were found in the U.S. such as Jim Crow, Canada had largely unwritten racist codes, that some say actually made it more difficult for black people in Canada. After slavery was abolished in Canada, many blacks arrived in the United States to escape complications in Canada. Many move stayed in the north with a large group moving to Detroit, Michigan. Entire generations of black Canadians were completely lost to Canadian history by moving to the U.S.

The people who owned most of the were those of the fishing societies, such as the Yurok, who lived along the Pacific coast from Alaska to California. Many of the indigenous people of the Pacific Northwest coast were fierce warriors and slave traders. Slavery was considered hereditary, the slaves were prisoners of war and their descendants were slaves. In Canada slaves generally worked as personal servants or on the wharves. A few settlers had many slaves, but more than 20 was considered unusual.




  • Sharon dukes October 1, 2017 - 2:15 pm Reply

    I guess no country can slip on their high horse shoes when it comes to Slavery! OH Canada my butt!

    • Mimsy November 30, 2017 - 7:32 am Reply

      Nope, no one is perfect. However, at least Canadians know the meaning of “I’m sorry” and reconciliation instead of dragging out and defending a legal/ political system that keeps people down.

      • anon December 4, 2017 - 3:52 pm Reply

        indigenous people might have something to say about “dragging out and defending a legal/ political system that keeps people down”

    Leave a reply