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Petitioning Mayor of Toronto Mayor's Office, City of Toronto and 7 others

Change Hispanic Heritage Month to Latin-America History Month: Toronto, Ontario and Canada

In order to be inclusive of the multiple communities that make up Latin-America including but not limited to Indigenous people, Afro-Latinxs, gender non-conforming people etc. Latin-America History Month must be used instead of Hispanic Heritage Month within Toronto, Ontario and all of Canada.

 Firstly, using the term Latin-America which references a geographical location allows for the inclusivity of all/any identities instead of using the singular identity term Hispanic which still to this date continues to be problematic, debated and divisive within our own communities here in Toronto and abroad. Using Latin-America is a way to include the numerous communities and their multiple identities because it allows self-identification meanwhile celebrating a land and histories that connect us all.

Secondly, the term Hispanic which is defined as, of or relating to Spain or to Spanish-speaking countries[i] only allows the representation for the Spanish speaking communities while simultaneously ignoring and invalidating the Indigenous communities and languages currently spoken in the land known as Latin America.

Thirdly, the term Hispanic as previously defined represents a Euro-Centric identity (Spain) while at the same time perpetuates anti-blackness racism which is an attack on the very people that inhabit both Latin America and Canada. This is shown through historical and ongoing events whereby the idea of 'Hispanic' is used to preserve racism against both the Indigenous and black population.

Additionally, the term Hispanic invalidates those people in our community who are gender non-conforming due to the Spanish language focused term is gendered in binary forms; whereby using the term Latin-America allows inclusivity to those that identify within a wide-ranged spectrum of gender since it is not limited to binary notions of gender such as male and female. Instead, it includes all those in our communities who are gender non-binary, gender non-conforming, gender-queer, gender-fluid, agender etc.   

 Moreover, the Euro-centric term Hispanic inevitably erases history Pre-1492 and ignores the past and ongoing resistances by the Indigenous people, Afro-Latinxs and other communities in Latin America. As well, the usage of the term Heritage romanticizes Latin America’s history of colonization including the rapings, killings and the enslavement of the Indigenous and African people. These are part of the histories that must be voiced.

 In conclusion, it is important that when naming a month in celebration of a diverse people we understand that we cannot impose a singular identity term for a whole community. We must not further marginalize and ignore Indigenous people, Afro-Latinx's, gender non-conforming people and any/all other multiple forms of identities. Therefore, Latin-America is the only term at this time that is most inclusive and sensitive to the multiple communities within Latin America and those of Latin American origin who now call Canada home. For this reason, we ask for the name to be changed from Hispanic Heritage Month to Latin-America History Month in Toronto, Ontario and Canada.

Let the term be inclusive for all of us. Change it to Latin-America History Month.


[i] Merriam Webster Dictionary.

This petition was delivered to:
  • Mayor of Toronto
    Mayor's Office, City of Toronto
  • Toronto Councillor
    Cesar Palacio
  • Toronto Councillor
    Norm Kelly
  • Member of Provincial Parliament
    Cristina Martins
  • Senator
    Tobias C. Enverga Jr.
  • Member of the Canadian House of Commons
    Mark Adler
  • Premier of Ontario
    Kathleen Wynne
  • Prime Minister of Canada/Premier ministre du Canada
    Justin Trudeau

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