In 2022, on Emancipation Day (August 1st), the day designated by Canada’s House of Commons to commemorate the abolition of slavery in the British Empire, ONA’s Anti-Racism Member Advisory Team and ONA’s Anti-Racism and Anti-Oppression Working Group launched a series of resources to continue to bring awareness to current issues impacting those who are Indigenous, Black, Racialized and members of historically marginalized communities.
Please continue to visit this page as it will be continually updated with ONA’s ARAO events, education, and additional information.
ONA’s Position Statement on Anti-Racism
As the front line of health care in Ontario, ONA members understand that the intersection of race, income, housing, and other social determinants of health, place Indigenous, Black, Racialized and historically marginalized communities at greater risk.
ONA stands in solidarity with Indigenous, Black, Racialized and historically marginalized communities and allies in Canada and around the globe calling for justice. The equal treatment of our members, and the freedom from any forms of racism, discrimination and harassment in the workplace are core tenets of our union. ONA strongly supports achieving health equity in our system, and advocates for the examination of policy issues through a “social determinants of health” lens.
Anti-Racism and Anti-Oppression Action Plan
ONA Launches Anti-Racism and Anti-Oppression Action Plan
The Ontario Nurses’ Association has launched a four-year action plan that will help guide our union in addressing the ongoing racism and oppression that exists for so many of our members and staff, and within our communities.
The 2022-2026 Anti-Racism and Anti-Oppression (ARAO) Action Plan is the direct result of a call to action from our members, leaders and staff with lived experiences of intersectional forms of racism, including anti-Indigenous racism, anti-Black racism, discrimination and acts of exclusion. The Action Plan contains seven priority areas and 35 action items.
Download a PDF copy or read the online version.
ONA's HRE and ARAO Journey
Timelines illustrate changes over time, recognize important achievements and events, and acknowledge those who have contributed to change. Timelines bring together many elements of history: people, places, and events.
As we reflect on the past 50 years of ONA’s Human Rights and Equity and Anti-Racism and Anti-Oppression journeys, ONA has created a timeline to capture many of these accomplishments. Please take some time to review and reflect on each of the milestones on the timeline. As we look into the future of ONA, we see many more achievements and milestones in the future recognizing the work of ONA members, elected leaders, and Staff.
In the creation of this timeline, we recognize that it may not be an all encompassing document. If you have any suggested corrections or additions, please email us at [email protected] and we will connect with you.
Commemorative Dates and Events
On March 24, 2021, the House of Commons voted unanimously to officially designate August 1st Emancipation Day in Canada.
Emancipation Day is about learning Canada’s collective history — not rewriting that history, but telling a more complete history that includes the history of slavery. Therefore, each August 1, Canadians are invited to reflect, educate, and engage in the ongoing fight against intersectional forms of anti-Black racism and discrimination.
Toronto Caribbean Carnival
The Toronto Caribbean Carnival (August 3-7, 2023) is an annual spectacular display of costumes, music, and culture. In a first, this year, ONA will be part of the celebrations!
The Carnival was first gifted to Canada by the Caribbean Community during Canada’s centennial celebrations. While outsiders might see only scanty costumes, Carnival is rooted in historical rebellion. This Caribbean tradition of parading through the street was linked to the celebration of freedom and emancipation from slavery and in Toronto is celebrated on what has been recognized by the Canadian government as Emancipation Day weekend.
National Day for Truth and Reconciliation
September 30 is the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation in Canada. It is a time to recognize and commemorate the intergenerational harm that residential schools caused to Indigenous families and communities, and to honour those who have been affected by this injustice.
“Beyond Good Intentions: Understanding Anti-Racism and Anti-Oppression” eLearning Course
ONA is thrilled to announce the launch of Beyond Good Intentions: Understanding Anti-Racism and Anti-Oppression.
This e-course will provide our members with awareness about intersectional forms of racism through an anti-racism and anti-oppression lens, and encourage members to support, advocate and/or become an ally of Indigenous, Black, Racialized and historically marginalized communities to combat systemic racism in our union, workplaces, and in our communities.
This half-day e-course provides a certificate, and it is available on ONA’s eLearning Platform at elearning.ona.org.
According to Lindsay DuPré of the Metis Nation, “As we engage in processes of reconciliation it is critical that land acknowledgements don’t become a token gesture. They are not meant to be static, scripted statements that every person must recite in exactly the same way. They are expressions of relationship, acknowledging not just the territory someone is on, but that person’s connection to that land based on knowledge that has been shared with them.”
Indigenous Tourism Ontario also states, “Land Acknowledgements are an act of reconciliation, an act of compassion, and an act of mindfulness. By recognizing the traditional territories you stand on and what they mean to you, you take a small but important step towards recognizing and honouring the Indigenous Peoples who have lived on Turtle Island (aka: North America) since long before colonization.
For additional information about Land Acknowledgements, please visit the links below:
ONA’s ARAO Education Series – You may be prompted to set up an account on ONA’s eLearning platform, if you do not already have one.
ONA’s Anti-Racism and Anti-Oppression Journey
ONA: Black History/Black Futures Month