SFU prof June Francis to lecture on how slavery in Canada continues to benefit institutions and corporations
North Shore, BC—The Slavery Abolition Act of 1833 officially ended slavery in Canada in 1834, but its ramifications are still felt throughout private institutions and corporations. June Francis, an associate professor and special adviser to the president at Simon Fraser University, will explore how contemporary society continues to benefit from slavery in this special, virtual lecture Wednesday, July 27 at 7 p.m. presented by North Vancouver City Library, North Vancouver District Public Library and West Vancouver Memorial Library.
Francis is a co-founder of the Co-Laboratorio at SFU and Chair of the Hogan’s Alley Society, an organization dedicated to advancing the economic and cultural wellbeing of Black people in Metro Vancouver through the delivery of housing, built spaces and programming.
The lecture comes in the wake of new research revealing the North Shore’s own sordid history with slavery. A February 2022 North Shore News article explained how fortunes amassed through the Atlantic slave trade laid the groundwork for much of the infrastructure namesakes in the area. Slave traders and brothers Arthur Heywood and Benjamin Heywood owned ships that transported slaves between Africa and North America until 1790. A handful of generations later, their collective wealth, inherited by Henry Heywood Lonsdale, helped establish Lonsdale Estates — part of the footprint of the City of North Vancouver.
Francis is also expected to discuss the City of Vancouver’s reparations for Hogan’s Alley, a historic Black neighbourhood destroyed in 1967 for construction of the Georgia and Dunsmuir viaducts and what individuals can do to create inclusive, equitable societies.
“I want to look at some of the structural problems seeded from wealth inequality and how we can address that through reparations and redress. We need to now invest deeply in the communities that were hurt, acknowledge and amend the historical record.” she said.
To register, please visit www.tinyurl.com/hidden-histories.