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09 March 2018, 07:57 | Justin Tyler
The act of courage of viola Desmond, of which the majority of Canadians knew nothing for many decades, on Thursday, March 8, was finally rewarded at a ceremony in Halifax assigns Desmond the status of prominent figures in the struggle for civil rights.
The bill is also the first vertical note ever issued by the Bank of Canada.
Desmond is the first black person - and the first non-royal woman - on a regularly circulating Canadian bank note.
Desmond is best known for protesting a segregated Nova Scotia movie theatre in 1946 by refusing to give up her seat in a whites-only section.
Canadian Finance Minister Bill Morneau officially unveiled the bill in Halifax with the assistance of Desmond's sister, Wanda Robson, who noted, "Our family will go down in history - in history, imagine that".
Canada is making history today on International Women's Day!
While her civil disobedience was remarkable, Grosse said racial segregation and systemic discrimination was once commonplace in Nova Scotia.
The back side features the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, meant to shine a light on "Canada's ongoing pursuit of rights and freedoms".
In 2017, there was a release of a commemorative bill celebrating the 150 anniversary of the confederation which showcased Agnes Macphail, the first woman elected to Canadian parliament.
After a trial initiated by the Roseland Film Theatre incident in which she lost the case, Desmond moved to Montreal and enrolled in business college. "She's just one of many of us who have suffered".
That's what makes the new $10 bill such a powerful act of acceptance, Grosse said. She was nominated and voted for by Canadians in 2016's Bank Note-able campaign. Her stand predates Rosa Parks' similar action on an Alabama bus by almost a decade.
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