Recognizing the International Decade for People of African Descent
On January 30, 2018, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that the Government of Canada would officially recognize the International Decade for People of African Descent. The Decade was proclaimed in 2014 by the United Nations General Assembly. It provides a framework for state and non-state actors to join people of African descent and take measures towards the objectives of the International Decade, including promoting respect, protection of the human rights and fundamental freedoms of people of African descent, and encouraging a greater knowledge of and respect for the diverse heritage, culture, and contributions of these communities to society around the world.
Several Government of Canada initiatives contribute to these objectives:
- Budget 2018 committed $9 million over three years for the Department of Canadian Heritage to enhance local community supports for Black Canadian youth and $10 million over five years to the Public Health Agency of Canada to develop research in support of more culturally focused mental health programs in Black Canadian communities, for a total of $19 million.
- Budget 2019 provided $25 million over five years to Employment and Skills Development Canada for projects and capital assistance to celebrate, share knowledge and build capacity in Black Canadian communities.
- The Government of Canada honours Canadians of African descent and their role in Canadian history and society through its annual Black History Month campaign.
- Since 2017, in the context of Canada 150, and Canada's support for the International Decade for People of African Descent, the Multiculturalism Program at the Department of Canadian Heritage has worked with the Black Canadian organizations in Ontario and Nova Scotia to support their hosting of Canadian Heritage's "On the Road North" travelling exhibit during Emancipation Day Celebrations and Homecoming Festivities.
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