Canfield hosts commemoration for Emancipation Day

Canfield hosts commemoration for Emancipation Day
Local historian Sylvia Weaver and freedom seeker descendant Aileen Duncan on camera at the Emancipation Day event.

By Kimberly Stegemann

The Haldimand Press

      CANFIELD—While many enjoyed Monday off for the Civic Holiday, August 1 now also marks Emancipation Day in recognition of the day in 1834 when slavery was abolished in the British Empire, freeing over 800,000 people worldwide. The Canfield Community Centre paid tribute to this important date as residents and visitors gathered to share stories, discuss the future of the Street Cemetery, and walk to the Black Settlement Cairn in the Canfield Cemetery for prayer and song.

      Both the cairn and Street Cemetery are reminders of the 139 freedom seekers that escaped slavery in the United States and built a community in Canfield. As previously reported, Windecker Road Films has worked alongside local historians and Street family descendants to create Canfield Roots, a documentary about these freedom seekers and the need to restore the Street Cemetery, which was nearly forgotten by history. Filmmaker and Windecker owner Graeme Bachiu was in attendance and working on his next local documentary, which will include footage of Monday’s event.

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