We, at the Vancouver City Planning Commission, would like to acknowledge that February is Black History Month.
We acknowledge that we all face the challenge of forgetting our history, including that the colonies that became colonial Canada did so through land speculation, colonialism, and more than 200 years of slavery that ended only 30 years before the United States of America wrote the 1863 Emancipation Proclamation.
This proclamation gave the legal basis to free enslaved people of African descent, many of whom would subsequently over years form multiple generations of Black freedom seekers to Canada including to the City of Vancouver, within the now displaced Hogan’s Alley community. It is within this context that we acknowledge the history of stolen lands and stolen peoples forced onto this land.
The Vancouver City Planning Commission, and its Commissioner’s heed the call to not forget Black History; the contributions of Black-African descended members of our nation, province, and city; and, the uncomfortable truths that this recognition creates within us all. We also finally commit to not forgetting this history, not only during the month of February, but into every day that we conduct our work, as knowing the past opens the door to our collective future.
We also recognize the United Nations declaration that we are in the International Decade for People of African Descent (2015-2024), a declaration that acknowledges that people of African descent represent a distinctly recognizable group around the world and here in Canada whose human rights must be promoted, protected and recognized.
– Commisisoner Amina Yasin