Terms to know: Abolitionist

Jul 27, 2022

An abolitionist is a person who is opposed to any law or practice deemed harmful to society.

George Brown, the editor of the Globe and Mail, was a well-known white Canadian abolitionist, as was Ontario premier Oliver Mowat. Both were involved in the Anti-Slavery Society of Canada (as were members from some Christian denominations).

And you’ve no doubt heard of The Bryce Report. Dr. Peter Henderson Bryce was a Canadian public health official fighting to expose the atrocious conditions in Canada’s residential ‘schools.’ He eventually published his report, called The Story of a National Crime: An Appeal for Justice to the Indians of Canada, despite efforts to suppress it. 2022 marks 100 years since its publication.

Learn more about anti-slavery in Canada:

Learn more about Dr. Bryce:


Note: Painting is of Harriet Tubman (born Araminta Ross, c. March 1822 – March 10, 1913) who was an American abolitionist and social activist. Born into slavery, Tubman escaped and subsequently made some 13 missions to rescue approximately 70 enslaved people, including family and friends, using the network of antislavery activists and safe houses known as the Underground Railroad. During the American Civil War, she served as an armed scout and spy for the Union Army. In her later years, Tubman was an activist in the movement for women’s suffrage.