In 2017, Viola Desmond became the latest Canadian historical figure to have a portrait on a bank note. Some time in the next few years, her $10 bill will be joined by a new face on the $5 bill.
But who will it be?
Thanks to a list from the Bank of Canada, we just got closer to knowing. There are eight candidates for the new $5 bill. (Interestingly, the art on this bill will be vertical—most bills are horizontal.) These eight people represent a broad cross-section of Canadian history, covering many different eras, ethnicities, and parts of the country. Let's look at them now.
The new five's great eight
Pitseolak Ashoona (1904/1908–1983)
This self-taught Inuit artist's work has been shown in galleries across Canada and worldwide, helping to promote the Indigenous culture of the Eastern Arctic.
Robertine Barry, a.k.a. Françoise (1863–1910)
The first female French-Canadian journalist, she was a strong advocate for numerous social justice causes, including women's suffrage (the right to vote) and equality.
Binaaswi, a.k.a. Francis Pegahmagabow (1888–1952)
A World War I veteran who is the most highly awarded Indigenous soldier in Canadian history. He became an important leader and advocate for Indigenous rights.
Won Alexander Cumyow (1861–1955)
The first known Chinese-Canadian born in Canada, he acted as a police interpreter and helped to positively transform racialized attitudes of Chinese immigrants.
Terry Fox (1958–1981)
After losing his right leg to cancer, he ran across Canada to raise money for cancer awareness all on his prosthetic (artificial) leg—he ran over 40 kilometres a day and raised nearly 25 million dollars.
Lotta Hitschanova (1909–1990)
A Czech-born immigrant who founded the Unitarian Service Committee of Canada in 1945, helping children and people in need around the globe.
Isapo-muxika, a.k.a. Crowfoot (1830–1890)
Leader of the Blackfoot Confederacy and Indigenous diplomat who was a key to improving relations between several Indigenous nations and the Canadian government.
Onondeyoh, a.k.a. Frederick Ogilvie Loft (1861–1934)
A World War I veteran who founded the first cross-Canada Indigenous organization in December 1918. His work was crucial to improving and expanding Indigenous rights across the country.
Who will it be?
These eight candidates were selected from hundreds of submissions. Now it is up to Chrystia Freeland, the Minister of Finance, to make a final selection. We can't wait to see who she chooses from this exceptional group. Tell us who you would choose to join Viola Desmond on Canada's money in the comments below.