The Americas

Woman described as Canada's Rosa Parks to appear on banknote

Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz, left, Minister of Status of Women Patricia Hajdu, Minister of Finance Bill Morneau, right, and Wanda Robson unveil an image of Viola Desmond who will be featured on the new Canadian ten dollar bill during a ceremony in Gatineau, Quebec, Canada  Thursday Dec.  8, 2016. Robson is Viola Desmond's sister. (Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press via AP)

Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz, left, Minister of Status of Women Patricia Hajdu, Minister of Finance Bill Morneau, right, and Wanda Robson unveil an image of Viola Desmond who will be featured on the new Canadian ten dollar bill during a ceremony in Gatineau, Quebec, Canada Thursday Dec. 8, 2016. Robson is Viola Desmond's sister. (Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press via AP)  (The Associated Press)

A black woman often described as Canada's Rosa Parks for her 1946 decision to sit in a whites-only section of a Nova Scotia movie theater will be the first woman to be celebrated on the face of a Canadian banknote.

Finance Minister Bill Morneau said Thursday that Viola Desmond will grace the front of the $10 bill when the next series goes into circulation in 2018.

A businesswoman turned civil libertarian, Desmond built a business as a beautician and mentored young black women in Nova Scotia.

It was in 1946 when she rejected racial discrimination by sitting in a whites-only section of a New Glasgow movie theatre. She was arrested and fined. Her actions inspired later generations of black people in Nova Scotia and the rest of Canada.