October is Caribbean Heritage Month in Ontario, Canada.

Caribbean Women’s Society has declared the month of October as “Caribbean Heritage Month”; an innovative initiative to recognize, celebrate and educate the public on how Caribbeans made and continue to make significant contributions, across all fields and industries, to Canada, as early as the 1700’s.

Ontario’s Caribbean Heritage Month will be marked by a series of cultural events and activities throughout the month of October.

October is a significant month for the Caribbean-Canadian community. With the points system incorporated into the Immigration Regulations in October 1967, it meant that visitors, including Caribbeans, and their families were given the right to apply for immigrant status while in Canada.  By 1970, immigration from, in part, the Caribbean represented over 23% of the total; compared to 10% four years prior. (http://ccrweb.ca/en/hundred-years-immigration-canada-part-2)

In a statement to the House of Commons on October 8, 1971, Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau announced multiculturalism as an official government policy. Multiculturalism was intended to preserve the cultural freedom of all individuals and provide recognition of the cultural contributions of diverse ethnic groups to Canadian society. (https://pier21.ca/research/immigration-history/canadian-multiculturalism-policy-1971)

Caribbean Heritage Month will be an opportunity to remember, celebrate and educate future generations about Caribbean-Canadians and the important role that they have played and continue to play in communities across Ontario.