Canada officially recognizes International Decade for People of African Descent

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau addresses gathering in Ottawa

OTTAWA – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced on Tuesday  that the Government of Canada will officially recognize the International Decade for People of African Descent.

“Our commitment to the International Decade will help us better address the very real and unique challenges that Black Canadians face, and bring us closer to a more just and inclusive country,” said Trudeau.
A news release from the Office of the Prime Minister  notes that the Decade, which spans from 2015 to 2024, is ” an opportunity to highlight and celebrate the important contributions people of African descent have made to Canadian society.

“The Decade also provides a framework for recognition, justice, and development to fight racism, discrimination, and the ongoing inequalities that Canadians of African descent face.”

The release states that the Government of Canada has heard from concerned citizens and organizations from across Canada, including the Federation of Black Canadians, ” that we need to do more to work with and support Canadians of African descent.

” In recognizing the International Decade, the Government of Canada commits to a better future for Black Canadians. This means learning more about the issues that affect Black Canadians, including improving research and data collection, so we can better understand the particular challenges they face.

“Mental health challenges and overrepresentation in the corrections system have been raised in particular by community leaders as barriers to Black Canadians experiencing full and equal participation across society.”

The  release also states that over the past two years, the Government of Canada has taken concrete measures ” to fight inequality and improve the lives of all Canadians, including those of African descent. ”

“The Government of Canada will continue to build on these efforts, and create a country where more Canadians have a real and fair chance at success,” it said.