An ordinance issued by the Intendant Jacques Raudot in 1709 officially acknowledged the practice of slavery in the colony. The number of slaves who lived in Canada, mostly in the cities and towns, can be estimated at about 2,500 over the whole period. In contrast to the economies of Louisiana and the West Indies, which depended on intensive plantation farming, the colony's economy required relatively little labour, and almost all its slaves worked as domestic servants in the families of military officers, merchants and government officials, and even for members of the clergy. Only a third of the slaves were of African descent. The majority were Aboriginal people known as panis (so called after the Pawnee tribe, from the Missouri region). Slavery endured in Canada until the end of the 18th century, but was not abolished in the English colonies until 1833, and in the French colonies until 1848.

Ordonnance de Mr Raudot intendant de Canada qui ordonne que les panis et negres acheptez et qui le seront par la suitte appartiendront a ceux qui les auront acheptez [Ordinance from Monsieur Raudot, Intendant of Canada, ordering that the panis and negroes bought now and in the future shall belong to those who bought them], April 13, 1709
FR CAOM COL C11A 30 fol. 334-335