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Canada’s race problem? It’s even worse than America’s.

For a country so self-satisfied with its image of progressive tolerance, how is this not a national crisis?


 
BERNARD WEIL/TORONTO STAR/CP

BERNARD WEIL/TORONTO STAR/CP

The racial mess in the United States looks pretty grim and is painful to watch. We can be forgiven for being quietly thankful for Canada’s more inclusive society, which has avoided dramas like that in Ferguson, Mo. We are not the only ones to think this. In the recently released Social Progress Index, Canada is ranked second amongst all nations for its tolerance and inclusion.

Unfortunately, the truth is we have a far worse race problem than the United States. We just can’t see it very easily.

Terry Glavin, recently writing in the Ottawa Citizen, mocked the idea that the United States could learn from Canada’s example when it comes to racial harmony. To illustrate his point, he compared the conditions of the African-American community to Canada’s First Nations. If you judge a society by how it treats its most disadvantaged, Glavin found us wanting. Consider the accompanying table. By almost every measurable indicator, the Aboriginal population in Canada is treated worse and lives with more hardship than the African-American population. All these facts tell us one thing: Canada has a race problem, too.

How are we not choking on these numbers? For a country so self-satisfied with its image of progressive tolerance, how is this not a national crisis? Why are governments not falling on this issue?

RELATED: Welcome to Winnipeg: Where Canada’s racism problem is at its worst

Possibly it is because our Fergusons are hidden deep in the bush, accessible only by chartered float plane: 49 per cent of First Nations members live on remote reserves. Those who do live in urban centres are mostly confined to a few cities in the Prairies. Fewer than 40,000 live in Toronto, not even one per cent of the total population of the Greater Toronto Area. Our racial problems are literally over the horizon, out of sight and out of mind.

CHARTS_MAC04 Gilmore

Or it could be because we simply do not see the forest for trees. We are distracted by the stories of corrupt band councils, or flooded reserves, or another missing Aboriginal woman. Some of us wring our hands, and a handful of activists protest. There are a couple of unread op-eds, and maybe a Twitter hashtag will skip around for a few days. But nothing changes. Yes, we admit there is a governance problem on the reserves. We might agree that “something” should be done about the missing and murdered women. In Ottawa a few policy wonks write fretful memos on land claims and pipelines. But collectively, we don’t say it out loud: “Canada has a race problem.”

If we don’t have a race problem then what do we blame? Our justice system, unable to even convene Aboriginal juries? Band administrators, like those in Attawapiskat, who defraud their own people? Our health care system that fails to provide Aboriginal communities with health outcomes on par with El Salvador? Politicians too craven to admit the reserve system has failed? Elders like Chief Ava Hill, cynically willing to let a child die this week from treatable cancer in order to promote Aboriginal rights? Aboriginal people themselves for not throwing out the leaders who serve them so poorly? Police forces too timid to grasp the nettle and confront unbridled criminality like the organized drug-smuggling gangs in Akwesasne? Federal bureaucrats for constructing a $7-billion welfare system that doesn’t work? The school system for only graduating 42 per cent of reserve students? Aboriginal men, who have pushed their community’s murder rate past Somalia’s? The media for not sufficiently or persistently reporting on these facts?

Or: us? For not paying attention. For believing our own hype about inclusion. For looking down our noses at America and ignorantly thinking, “That would never happen here.” For not acknowledging Canada has a race problem.

We do and it is bad. And it is not just with the Aboriginal peoples. For new immigrants and the black community the numbers are not as stark, but they tell a depressingly similar story.

If we want to fix this, the first step is to admit something is wrong. Start by saying it to yourself, but say it out loud: “Canada has a race problem.”



 

Canada’s race problem? It’s even worse than America’s.

  1. Canada definitely has a race problem

    We don’t like to think of ourselves as colonial oppressors, but we are.

    We have a GDP of $1.8T….and yet we ignore the Third…even Fourth… World in our midst.

    • the problem isn’t one of race, it’s one of geography in many cases.

      If you take ANY group of people and stick them up in the middle of nowhere, with no jobs, no hope, and no means to make a living, then you get exactly what we see today. compound this by giving them money for NOT WORKING…and it just makes matters worse.

      People need to have a sense of accomplishment, and hope for the future to thrive. Some remote reserves have neither.

      If you want to stop the problems, you need to eliminate the reserve system entirely. You need to get rid of the “indian industry” in Canada which only exists to enrich lawyers, beaurocrats, and select chiefs (hello Thersa spence!!). It is not a coincidence that those voices raised the loudest about the conditions on reserves are also those making the most money off the misery.

      do you really think these folks want real change?

      • Stop sending them money. Then they will have to find jobs. What a sense of accomplishment they would have.

      • the money is not for not working. the money comes out of the indian trust fund that is paid into by those who are using the land for logging, mining, and farming. its “rent”. get your facts straight before you make statements about things you do not know about, let alone understand.

        • I used to work in a store close to a reserve…funny thing if it’s “rent” money why does the whole check go to lottery tickets cigerettes and liqueur?

    • But you don’t talk about the difference is a single mother with 3 children roughly 56 dollars a day.
      but a single Syrian gets 71 dollars for food a day.
      The person who lived here there whole life paying taxes receives less from government then a immigrant does so how is that fair?
      The lower class and middle class suffer from immigrants it makes it harder for them such as cost of food,rent,utility’s and jobs will pay less and minimum wage will take longer to go up based on supply and demand.
      But government and upper class benefit from immigrants because they pay more taxes on food,rent,utility’s. {PERFECT EXAMPLE VANCOUVER}

      There also is numerous negative side effects such as abuse of the services of Canada,illegal immigration,trafficking drugs,identity and financial fraud,corruption of the government.

      Especially the Asians they should be any true Canadians enemy.They are coming to Vancouver with fraudulent money,bringing heroin,take student loans get degree and just leave and never pay them back,have illegal immigrants brought over,financial bearings,extreme corruption in(VPD,government,and social services),slumlords, and they gangbang 17 year old girls(seen with my own eyes)and with all of these facts why the fuck do they have there own month in Vancouver……where is aboriginal,English,french,Italian ,Ukraine,Indian,black month WTF is this favoritism……….welcome to japanada……i been told numerous times Canada doesn’t believe in there own people but i think its the people who don’t believe a future treachery country.

      WHEN SOMEONE TAKES FOOD OUT OF MY CHILDREN’S MOUTH I M SUPPOSE TO BE HAPPY!!!!!
      ACTION HAVE REACTION PEOPLE HAVE GOOD REASONS TO DISLIKE MIGRANTS TO CANADA.

      THE DIFFERENCE IS PRINCIPLES I GIVE EVERYDAY TO CANADA THROUGH WAR OR POVERTY I WOULD STAY EVEN TO DIE OR STARVE.

      THEY TRAVEL HALFWAY AROUND THE WORLD TO CHASING GREED OR THERE COWARDS AND THEN WHEN THERE AIN’T SHIT THERE GONE…….THANKYOU COME AGAIN…..

    • But you don’t talk about the difference is a single mother with 3 children roughly 56 dollars a day.
      but a single Syrian gets 71 dollars for food a day.
      The person who lived here there whole life paying taxes receives less from government then a immigrant does so how is that fair?
      The lower class and middle class suffer from immigrants it makes it harder for them such as cost of food,rent,utility’s and jobs will pay less and minimum wage will take longer to go up based on supply and demand.
      But government and upper class benefit from immigrants because they pay more taxes on food,rent,utility’s. {PERFECT EXAMPLE VANCOUVER}

      There also is numerous negative side effects such as abuse of the services of Canada,illegal immigration,trafficking drugs,identity and financial fraud,corruption of the government.

      Especially the Asians they should be any true Canadians enemy.They are coming to Vancouver with fraudulent money,bringing heroin,take student loans get degree and just leave and never pay them back,have illegal immigrants brought over,financial bearings,extreme corruption in(VPD,government,and social services),slumlords, and they gangbang 17 year old girls(seen with my own eyes)and with all of these facts why the fuck do they have there own month in Vancouver……where is aboriginal,English,french,Italian ,Ukraine,Indian,black month WTF is this favoritism……….welcome to japanada……i been told numerous times Canada doesn’t believe in there own people but i think its the people who don’t believe a future treachery country.

      WHEN SOMEONE TAKES FOOD OUT OF MY CHILDREN’S MOUTH I M SUPPOSE TO BE HAPPY!!!!!
      ACTION HAVE REACTION PEOPLE HAVE GOOD REASONS TO DISLIKE MIGRANTS TO CANADA.

      THE DIFFERENCE IS PRINCIPLES I GIVE EVERYDAY TO CANADA THROUGH WAR OR POVERTY I WOULD STAY EVEN TO DIE OR STARVE.

      THEY TRAVEL HALFWAY AROUND THE WORLD TO CHASING GREED OR THERE COWARDS AND THEN WHEN THERE AIN’T SHIT THERE GONE…….THANKYOU COME AGAIN…..

      there sould be no money for immigrants till we fix disability,old age pension,orphans,welfare,disasters

    • I’d like to say that there are a lot of good people and bad people irregardless of their race. Dysfunction doesn’t have a color. Neither does ignorance. I don’t expect anybody to walk in my shoes as a Cree woman. Many never will and, to be honest, few can. I’m employed. I have no children. I’ve worked my entire life in First Nation Government. Both my Mosoms were Chiefs. My mother worked in Lands (ie: TLE) her entire life. I fight because if I don’t people will have more reason than they already do to talk about my people in past tense. I’m here and proud and I’ll fight until the day I die to make sure there are those few that, at the very least still acknowledge my Nation is built on their country. I’m still here.

  2. $13B a year and they still whine………..

    • Whining is what the white people are doing, actually….we owe them for the land.

      • Treaty lands were ceded and now they claim no. We owe them nothing.

        • Explain what is owed. The people back in the 16th and 17th century are those that were owed. Aboriginals often lived a nomadic life style. Tribes fought and killed to gain more land. No amount of money could ever pay off with what is owed due to there ancestors lost. I would rather integrate the population as everyone else, instead of see and hear poor self governance due to greed and other factors.

          • Are you daft to ask for claim? Take some history classes, and find the answers yourself. Life is not a cake walk that everyone gives everything to you on a platter upon which those can take advantage of that and distort the act. There is no dictation. Treating people fairly and justly is being a “dictator”. I don’t see a reason to distinguish between races when we’re all Canadians. It’s that type of division that causes complex problems which offer solutions that are complex.

        • If you compare canadian Indians to American Indians ours are the richest in the world. Some countries don’t gross 13 billion and they don’t even have to work for it .
          That’s why they appreciate nothing.
          The comparison to African Americans is gross
          Manipulated comparison
          Most chiefs are millionaires
          Chief spence has millions off shore
          Stolen from her people
          Should go to jail
          All chiefs seem to do this
          Normal I guess

          • Your post is a perfect example of why we have a race problem. You appear to have little knowledge of history & get your information from Sun News headlines.

          • Im sorry but you dont know what your talking about. The so called chiefs on the reserve work for the Canadian government and they are not our traditional sovereign chiefs. There are two systems one government and one confederacy traditional chiefs and they dont get one red cent. Any money that comes into our reserve is spent in surrounding non native communities and as we know thats a recipe for economic disaster as it was meant to be, and people sure dont have any gratitude or thanks for all our money spent in their communites but ya sure can squeal about how we get money to spend there.. On my reserve the money we get is interest on a trust fund n if its not it should be because we are owed trillions. All provable.

          • When you claim: “We are owed trillions.” What are you referring to? Why are journalists not shining a light on the fact that the money is being spent on non native communities (which is outstanding)? Why do many reserves suffer due to poor infrastructure? We continually run in circles as people are observing one thing happening, others are claiming the opposite? The facts may not be 100% right, but they’re not 100% wrong or else why would auditing be done? Because if you give a child money to buy milk and bread and all they come back with is candy, you know that’s not healthy.

          • did you know the Canadian Dollar was worth more then the american up till 1978 then we had bad politicians our Canadian dollar was $.68cents USD then it went up in the last decade, now we returning to .75cents USD ….. complain about bad government look at ours:) Im a fellow tax payer and a native

      • Sorry, but the aboriginals have been conquered; the white man had the bigger boom stick.

    • Prince George has a band close by the city seems to keep it down. I have seen native segregation communities do very well as long as it is not affecting the major town. and I have seen native segregation communities in a major town do very well.

      off reserve 3 generation native. i pay taxes so did my mother and grand mother. but racism still hurts remember natives forged the Canadian border with the states, you could be with OUT HEATHCARE if we didnt war of 1812 read about it before you whine and complain

    • over 16 trillion and counting in resources and land revenue. And you still whine. Recycled European.
      Kanata. Our land.

  3. This article is a glaring example of why Macleans is at the bottom of the reading list.
    Just like in America the media talking points are directed to adults with a reading level of grade 2. Race problem? Last time I checked in Vancouver we have every single country on the planet represented in this city. Some communities more than others but nevertheless that’s what has made Vancouver special. I am quite sure that representation is equally true in most Canadian cities.
    I have never met a South Asian Jesse Jackson equivalent or a Chinese Al Sharpton nor have I heard one speak in public. Its a good thing because I don’t think Canadians would put up the poor me bull that gets spewed from their foul mouths about equality. Besides, thats what our federal NDP represents and oh how they do well in the polls every four years.
    Come to think of it… The US also represents a similar amount of ethnic groups and last time I checked they don’t whine about equality either.
    The issue in the US is the media’s portrayal of the black community and their so called black leaders. Its easier to point a finger in the wind than look in the mirror. Fact is the black community is leaderless mess with cultural problems stemming from lack of role models, fatherless relationships, drug / alcohol addictions which feeds an endless cycle of poverty that no one has the guts to point out in fear of being labelled ‘racist’. The only solutions dredged up from the liberal left is more welfare, more handouts, free phones, food stamps and some housing projects. Basically a whole community being spoon fed losing their ability to adapt, change, become something more than their parents. Taking away the basic necessity of life…. motivation, drive, endurance and leaving them little spirit. Sound familiar yet?
    There are examples of native communities across Canada finding success. The Osoyoos band in BC is one them. Creating jobs and opportunities for young natives to discover what it means to thrive and be alive. This breeds success in life. Shoving populations in the middle of no where as if they were still hunter gatherers from the 1800’s is ridiculous and quite frankly a spirit killer. I would be an alcoholic drug using wife beater too living like that. Racism this is not. Ignorance it is.
    The first thing Canadians have to do is get rid of the white guilt syndrome perpetuated on them as if its all your fault these hunter gatherers from centuries ago lost their land. If it wasn’t white Europeans it would have been Chinese. History has shown for thousands of years those with the means and technologies to acquire will do so and unfortunately the Native peoples of Canada never stood a chance. Once you eliminate the idea that Canada belongs to the Native peoples you can actually get around to fixing the issue. Put an end to the reserves. They serve no purpose. There are no hunter gatherers left in this day and age. If people want to live off the land and make their own clothes and huts, fine but don’t hold the taxpayer responsible for their well being.
    Integrate the communities into places where opportunities exist and don’t spoon feed them. They are Canadians! Respect and honour the identity of your ancestors but don’t expect special treatment.
    Unfortunately the liberal left of this country would make this very hard to do. You can almost hear the cries of racism screaming from tree hugging jobless idiots protesting the poor tragedy of the Native peoples. Just like Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson , they didn’t realize that they and their endless race hustling ideals were the real problem.

    • Not sure what qualifications you have to speak on behalf of AMERICAN black people? Have you lived as an African-AMERICAN? Did you get your talking points from faux news? Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton? Got any other “hustlers?” If you are canadian, I doubt you have any true understanding of the race problem in AMERICA. You are entitled to your opinion, but you can’t change the historical and present day facts of institutionalized racism in the U.S. I’ll dumb it down for you- if two groups are in a 100 YARD race, and one group is given a 90 yard lead, then it is not realistic of you to expect the group that started behind to catch up to the group with the lead? Comprende? Jim Crow- government sanctioned racism well into the 1960’s. Wealth (housing and economic wealth) accumulated not through merit, but through the government. This wealth has been passed down when black americans were not able to obtain the same benefits. Keep your ignorant comments in the proper context, because unless you have walked in my shoes, you are no authority on anything fella.

    • We have been feeding Indians since we arrived we not even an ackknowledgment

      • Go learn some history Larry. If it wasn’t for First Nations people, the 1st Europeans who arrived here would have starved.

        • The first Europeans that arrived here did starve.

      • 3rd generation off reserve I pay taxes so di my mother so did my grandmother. but I also pay for hunting trips for my prim-minister and even when my government employees steal out of my pocket, count the last decade of government employes stealing from us the tax payer then complain about the native thing

        • And we all pay when the Chiefs steal the money that was to go to the people on the reserves. Or the tribe members go to Vegas for the week and bill the bands for thousands of dollars at strip clubs. We all need to stand up and say enough is enough and have complete accountability and transparency on the reserves

    • More genocide talk from an ignorant racist You would rather end whole nations of sovereign people then end racism. What a fuckin moron. Theres no use for them. Im going back to the reserve to be a hunter gatherer this spring. Its because you guys are making such a mess of society with your Monsanto and your corrupt governments and racism. I just want to live in peace and Im tired of all this racist baloney. Why cant you just put a sock in it and leave us alone. So sick of this constant frickin whining from a bunch of a holes whos ancestors stole squatted and killed to get where you are today..You make me sick… literally

      • I do agree. I live in Prince George BC but avoid interaction with most Canadians. I own home off reserve I pay taxes

      • Your ignorance makes me sick…. my relatives had nothing to do with taking this country from your ancestors… if you you dont like how this country is being run you got two choices put up and shut up or kick us all out…. guess we all know which way you cowards are going to run….

    • are you a idiot or did you not read right? the subject is racism

    • Today I was at my daughter’s soccer practice and I met a father and his two young sons, ages 5 and 13. We had such a wonderful conversation, I decided to see about racism in Canada.
      I was raised in Detroit with two working parents. My mom does not smoke or drink and my stepfather, who is the biological father to my four younger brothers, was not physically abusive.
      I agree with most of your assessment of the United States and especially the Al Sharpton comments. Yes, I am American African. I am divorced with four boys and my daughter is the youngest. Yes, they all have the same father and he works at a large communications company and makes a good income. Anyway, I don’t believe money or education is the issue with most of the urban cities in the USA. I think it has a lot to do with the mentality of the people. I can’t blame it on Christianity either because if people actually read the Bible and believed what was written. They would know there is no superior race of people.
      Not going into history. I really hate being lumped into a group because if my ethnicity. No two think alike and the people of the African diaspora are very diverse.
      I have visited Canada and spent an extended amount of time in Brazil traveling from the south, Rio, Sao Paulo to the northern parts, Manaus, Salvador. Honestly, out of all the places I have been, I have never been treated better than in Brazil.
      This is my first time visiting this page.

  4. QUITE SOME INCONGRUITY HERE. Why are you comparing American Blacks to Canadian Natives? Why not black Canadians vs. Black Americans?
    American have their own natives; and they call them American-Indians. Ours; on average; compare favourable with the American natives; though our plains “Indians” do have a larger problem; not only in Manitoba; but also Saskatchewan.

    MacLean’s is still trying hard to be relevant and to create controversy and public attention. After predicting the housing market crash year after year for three years; and falling on our sword; you gave it up a couple of years ago. While you had a few good muckraking stories a few yeas ago; you again faded into irrelevance; and I gave up my subscription.

    • Oh get real. Theres a frickin problem here and your blinders are part of it. Natives are here. Natives are human beings. Were not invisible.

  5. As an American, I only have a passing familiarity with the First Nations situation in Canada. Wouldn’t the better analogy be to our Native Americans, not black Americans?

    • If the author was trying to make a coherent point, yes. But the author was only trying to express some outrage to get some progressive points.

      • The point that the article puts forward is that most people, including myself, an “Indian”, were not previously aware that Canada has a race problem *worse than* the US. I don’t know if I would connect these dots so quickly, as the US seems to have some sort of unique puritan complex that includes all of the above – which they also seem to have trouble admitting to, or even seeing. I see Harper’s cons have done well to further the divide between the left & right, and the red & white – probably to reverse stereotypes that America has for Canada… and attract investors to Alberta.

        But back to the point, the article counters the perception of mainstream Canadian culture that says we are so much more inclusive and harmonious than our southern brothers. Notice that I said “we” and “our”… words that I always notice when people talk about race relations, from both sides. To say that “we” pay taxes and “they” don’t — like it’s so black & white, or black vs. white so to speak. Many successful natives had to leave their $hithole reserves (and begin paying taxes) in order to be so. Those who find success at home (leaving the questionable Chief’s role and the designated Indian Act administrators out of it), they don’t find it “riding on the backs of taxpayers” – that doesn’t actually happen; they ride on the backs of those (if any) who fought not the white man, but those who fought to secure and leverage actual resources (if any) for the community they dream will one day let go of the past and have some actual pride – pride that isn’t tainted with tones of racism. This success at home, at some point, requires engagement in commerce (wow). So with the above now beginning to happen on more and more reserves as time goes on, “they” often find either money-grubbing scavengers as business partners or get brick-walled by the ignorant all along the way. There’s only so much overt racism that one can take before starting to feel hopeless, and the pile of bullshit collected stacks up; it doesn’t just wash away so easily. Some racism is even perpetrated by those who disown racism – that is how ingrained this is.

        The further west from Manitoba you get, the better the situation looks for native people. The same goes for US. the further you get from the Deep South and the old 13 colonies – where many tribes were completely wiped out long ago. What seems to be the common thread here? The geography seems to say alot, but actually – it’s the progression of time. The USA was settled and populated further and long before Canada was. The west and the Oregon Trail were explored quite late in the game, as attitudes progressed through time and through the hardship of migration – which was made far easier by making friends with the natives, rather than trying to kill them off.

        I’ll finish this by saying that I’m not actually an “Indian”. By definition, yes I have status *under* the Indian Act — which will be annulled once treaty is signed and true self-government is ready to go forward, for better or worse — after which, citizenship will be determined by the respective nation. Actually, I’m split right down the middle. That means throughout my life, when I think of “we”, I would look around and find few standing with me, due to the divisiveness of “we” vs. “they”. So now, in this context, ignoring ignorance, when I say “we”, I choose to think of all Canadians, and sometimes more broadly, all citizens of the world.

        This is the part where I’ll shut up and let you blow me off for any reason you can manage to cherry-pick, as the custom goes.

    • Yes. But I think that the so-called leaders of Canadian Indian tribes (I do not accept the First Nations designation) have found a good thing to get there hands on monies that should be shared and administered among their people. Using the call of their circumstances and their shameless accusations of racism, they have found a way to get more money from the taxpayer. Would there was an accurate picture of what is done with the $7 B they do get! It is good that the gov’t is demanding an accounting.

      The situation varies across the country where some Indians have been successful in their occupations (Mohawk iron riggers, Osoyoos entrepreneurs ). Others have been dumped at their own choice (to live fishing and hunting?) on impossible northern reserves that would challenge anyone. I lived once near a reserve where every once in a while a family would burn their home down in order to get a new one.Usually it was during a great drunken whoop-up. I notice when the media focussed on the shacks the Indians lived in on the Attawapiskat Reserve no attention was paid to the very sound buildings that had been moved onto the rez and appeared unoccupied..

      All of my ancestors centuries ago had to fight the Indians to stay alive in what are now the New England states, and in what is now Quebec and Ontario Unfortunately, here in BC, James Douglas did not obey the direction of the Colonial Office to extinguish land claims by treaty in BC and the resulting overlapping claims which take up more square miles than there are in BC are the result. So they took lands? That was par for the course then.

      The term racism simply works for them even better.Anything to make the non-Indians feel guilty!

      A few years ago when I registered on business in the Four Seasons in Ottawa there in the lobby was the then leader of Canada’s Indians. He was dressed richly in beautiful white bucksin clothes, had an entourage of four or five beautiful Indian girls and expensive baggage. He was obviously on the public dollar. And that is part of the problem – abuse of position. The flip side of that is the waste of resources on questionable objectives. What good is an education of native culture and legends going to do in this modern world. What they need is better education and training to fit them for participation in today’s world, Hardly typical of his people!

      Another contrasting incident in a northern Ontario reserve: the Indians were complaining that their water supply was contaminated with e coli. When I looked it was obvious that the outflow of raw sewage into the small river was UPSTREAM of the drinking water intake. A very simple solution would have been the application of a few shovels and elbowgrease to relocate the sewage outflow to BELOW the drinking water intake. But no, first someone had to approve an engineer to have a look at it and then let a contract to fly in a work party (white) to do essentially the same thing as the Indians stood by and looked.

      The scene is not all bad. The Osoyoos tribe in BC has a good leader who has done a great job to create an income centre – a resort, golf course, RV Park, destination resort hotel and boat launch. Not only are all his band employed, but I hear that other bands have their members employed there. Anyone Indian who comes to work with booze on his breathe or late for work is canned on the spot.

      Is it a question of education? Is it a question of getting off one’s butt off the ground and not feeling sorry for themselves. Is it a question drink? of drugs? Are the women first abused by their own kind?

      I think that the reserves should be closed down – it is foolish to expect a reservation of land to provide a life for a growing population. The money received could be used as a Trust fun d to backstop the Indians for credit etc. All Indians of an appropriate age should be offered sound education or vocational training programs so they are fitted to take advantage of more advanced education or training opportunities downstream.

      . Earlier educational programs in residential schools were accompanied by serious problems of some sexual abuse, Why did the government of the day abnegate their responsibility by contracting with CHURCHES to do the education?? But I don’t think you can say they were abused by being directed to speak French or English or being otherwise treated as white kids were then treated. . I have heard some Indians who benefited from the schools and who went on to higher levels. Possibly the problem was that the parents didn’t identify with the purposes of education. At any rate I think the Indians should get off the reserves and compete with everybody else.

  6. Seems like a bit of a false analogy. How about you compare stats for Canadian and American aboriginals? That would be more of an apples to apples comparison.

    • Because that would ruin the narrative that we are all racist.

  7. What progressive guilty white liberal trash clap trap nonsense. Aboriginals in Canada receive $7B in financial assistance and $5B in human resources assistance from Canadian taxpayers every year – for 600,000 people.
    Aboriginal leadership need look no further than a mirror to see the source of 90% of their problems. The rank and file native population are getting scr3wed by their leader because the status quo is their gravy train. They all should be very well off and prosperous. But they play the race card and decry past wrong doings and guilty white liberals like the author run around in circles looking for “root causes”.
    My God what a waste.

    • tax paying 3rd generation off reserve. the post is about racism kid

      do your history studies and imagine it was your sister being raped when she was preteen by the priest. oh wait… the priests in Italy are still doing that it is normal. but not forced.

      do your history, stealing the best land in Canada from the natives, Nazi Germany killing Jews, etc we all pay for what our ancestors did.

      I pay taxes since I was 12 and read our Canadian History on the Canadian Dollar kid you will learn alot about leaders and how they spend money my fellow Canadian

      • The natives did not make this land, they came over from Asia and for years the tribes fought each other, the victors took the land and raped the women and made them their slaves. When the natives raped and conquered land it was ok, by why aren’t the Sarcee demanding the the Blackfeet pay them billions of dollars for something that happens a hundred and twenty years ago

        • natives are the most gentle of all races. name the race that nuked japan twice white savage!!

  8. Congratulations on making minimum based connections with statistics Mr. S. Gilmore. I’m do not mean to say that aboriginals do not face challenges whether it is racism, access to necessities, and integration. Now the statistics do no look “good” that is true, but you’re making a mutually exclusive argument claiming that racism is the cause of all the poor statistics. There are many immigrants/refugees that come in to this country that face racism problems as well! If the goal is to look at racism, do not stop at aboriginal peoples, weather ALL races included. The people (government) have allowed the aboriginals to govern themselves, and as soon as there is intervention by the government (aka the white man), there are claims we are ruining what they have due to poor circumstances whatever they maybe. We are living in the 21st century where the fact that “we owe them” is not working to well. We are creating different classes: People who owe them and people who are owed. This is segregating the people as opposed to bringing them together. What is upsetting is that you claim all those poor statistics are because of racism. That is not true! There are 10,000 other factors involved with those statistics, racism being one of them. Be fair and equal, show racism amongst all people in Canada. This situation with indigenous people and the treaties is a complex problem therefore there is no SIMPLE solution.

    • STK, you make a lot of sense. Call those “classes” categories instead, just to avoid confusion, that’s all. So it would read:
      “We are creating different categories: People who owe them and people who are owed.”

      Everything else is right on! I don’t know what I would add to it because I don’t know what the solution would be. One thing – give credit where credit’s due – treat them as members of our society, not just as members of “theirs”. eg In this piece in the National Post, it is suggested Harper may not always be doing that. See

      The man who pointed the way to the Erebus: Louie Kamookak on searching for the Franklin expedition
      Jen Gerson | January 23, 2015

  9. The main race problem is among the first nations people. Not the white population. I have worked with first nations people and they hate the white people, very racist. They need to move off the reserves and become part of society. Take responsibility for themselves instead of putting their hands out. If they are going to live on these remote reserves then they should fend for themselves as hunter gatherers that they like to be seen as. To live like white people where there is no employment is not feasible.

    • There might be some significant problems with the First nations reserves and their lifestyles. However, there needs to be an attitude change from the while population. The history and the problems have to be examined more closely. Initially the British colonists depended on the First Nations to help with the various aspects of the fur trade. Then more British generals and leaders came and started to impose their strict rules on the First Nations. After the treaties, the Indians could not move freely within the land. They needed permission for everything including buying or selling anything. They had bad agricultural land that was not very fertile. Their children were taken from them and put into abusive residential schools. They were shunned and denied employment and participation with British Europeans. Their numbers dwindled. They were killed in the United States and they were oppressed in Canada. etc. ….
      The Europeans are oppressive and supremacist in their very nature and every white person needs to examine himself /herself closely because their is a lot of abuse and discrimination that continues to this day.

      • I don’t know where your getting your history from. The very first white settlers in Canada were the Acadians and they came in 1635 to eastern Canada. They lived and worked with 4 different native tribes, the main one being the Micmacs. They made the most prosperous colony in the Americas at that time (it took 200 years) and England found out and came over and murdered half the Acadians and drove the rest out on boats to the 13 colonies. The natives hid a lot of Acadians. A beaver hat was worth 2 years salary, and they were sending thousands to Europe, plus they started the salted fish trade and timber trade. A lot of the men swapped women so many micmaq has a white wife. Most Acadians are half native but it has never been acknowledged. It was the English who came and stirred things up otherwise the natives and Acadians lived in peace for 200 years. Canada was called ACADIA and it included N.B, Nova scotia, PEI and eastern Maine…

  10. The two countries would be more similar if blacks lived on reservations in America.

    • But they don’t, do they? The reserve system we have is the most racist system mankind could ever devise. It’s created multiple generations of aboriginals who are completely dependent on government to survive. Not because they’re somehow incapable, but because they’ve been brought up to be taken care of cradle to grave. The only way out is for them to integrate into the rest of our society. If they want to live off the land in the bush, that’s fine, and they absolutely should have that right. But they can’t demand to live in a modern society with all of it’s benefits and still require 24/7 financial assistance.

      • off reserve native 3 generations. I think we should put welfare people to work for society. semi communist. you work for Us tax payers we will put a gold star on your resume all equal white native etc. I think we need to stop paying out money for welfare.

        native tax payer, I own a house an a car an a truck. work for a living. did I say TAX PAYER.

        WELFARE people could shovel side walks in winter, make our parks green, all the stuff municipal people do for outrageous wages. now as a tax payer I get it 2 fold. free worker and less taxes for making my city nice to live in. and afterthought put the idiots in jail to work to make the country better we give them a gym, TV, warm place to sleep(most Canadians, winter heating bill is over $100. a month) work the inmates like slaves! make them do the stuff welfare people don’t want to do! make them both service society. make my tax dollars work for me not against me.

        native tax payer.

  11. It’s pretty clear what Canada’s “native problem” is. American Indians don’t have these problems, and it’s because their government’s don’t try to solve all the problems by cutting a check. Every so-called “progressive” government in this country’s history has had only one solution to aboriginal issues: more money. When we find out their chiefs are corrupt, the answer is to give them more money to somehow improve governance, and then our same politicians pat themselves on the back, even though they’ve made the problem worse, not better. It is, quite frankly, bizarre. Until people stop buying into the garbage being sold by leftist politicians, nothing will change.

  12. Look I can do jurnalizzm too:

    Much racist. Waaah. Outrage. Awareness. Minorities, united nations, Canada progressive.

  13. I live in Southern Alberta – I am Australian by birth – but married to a First Nations member and have been for 15 years. There is such a issue here with racism – I found it hard to believe that Canadian’s treat their First Nations people so poorly (Australia is identical with their treatment of Aboriginals too). I see if everyday and the way my husband and daughter are looked down on – people here have to look inside to find their hate – and stop thinking they are above it this! Thank you for the article – it made me cry and makes me want to step up.

  14. Seems that we really have a “stupid” problem. ‘way too much stupidity throughout the ranks of ALL the stakeholders – communities, politicians, ‘leaders’, government. Lots of people making bad decisions and blaming others for the outcomes, both white and native.
    The good news is that there is a small but growing community of smart FN/Aboriginal leaders who embrace sustainable economic development over languishing in self pity.

  15. They should add an addendum at the end of the article that says “If you need further proof of Canada’s race problem, read the comments section”.

    Some people need a lesson in history and context. Is it that hard to grasp that what happened yesterday has on effect on today?

    • Or any article related to First Nations. The depth of ignorance I see is appalling.

  16. of all the places i have work and live in the last 40 years i found kamloops bc to be the most discriminating in the country,its not just winnipeg,

    • Prince George is racist, not just to natives

  17. This article is horribly irresponsible, and completely neglects the horrific treatment that American Indians/Alaska Natives receive. When compared to the US statistics, Aboriginal Canadians have it marginally better than their American counterparts. But only marginally. The struggles faced by Native Peoples on both sides of the border are very different from the struggles of African Americans. You’re attempting to compare two incredibly different populations, and this is not an accurate representation of either!

    • The US exterminated natives to the best of their abilities. Canada offered them refuge.

      according to Ward Churchill, a professor of ethnic studies at the University of Colorado, the reduction of the North American Indian population from an estimated 12 million in 1500 to barely 237,000 in 1900 represents a “vast genocide . . . , the most sustained on record.”

      So, really, the only thing this article does is create controversy. The natives in Canada remind me of the teenager who wants everything paid for, but won’t consider being self sufficient. Yes, they were nomadic hunters when Europeans invaded hundreds of years ago. What have they done to adapt, or preserve their lifestyle? Billions handed to chiefs, while kids die in poverty. Seriously, what can I do about that?

  18. Thank you. Now will someone please tell me how I can help?

  19. I am all the bad things – white in colour – I receive a pay cheque that does not have a government stamp on it – so I actually produce tax dollars rather than sucking the tax tit and falsely claiming I pay taxes – I paid for my own education – I have never received government welfare – I have always moved to follow the work – I raised my kids in a drug free and abuse free house and more…….

    Unfortunately there is a one way street blame game here in this article.

    There are no demands for personal responsibility. And just WHERE does ALL that tax payer money going to the reservations ACTUALLY go?

    Ever think that race problem might have started on the reservation? Nope! Of course not!

    If we have a race problem it is because the indian does not get his act together and join society and do not blame me for that! If they come off the reservation and want to join my society we welcome them – just as we welcomed others from around the world.

    Look around you – there is every colour of the rainbow and every culture known to mankind working in Canada – and even in my own office – some came here with NOTHING and built their lives.

    According to this article what I read hidden between the lines is this:

    “In Canada – to be racist – you MUST be white – after all – all other races, colours and creeds can claim victim status and rely upon the media to tell Canada how we owe everyone else a living.”

    So, just send me a bigger tax bill – I will pay it – eventually I will quit and go on the dole as well – might as well have the same return on my effort – after all I support hundreds or may be more with my taxes and get no damned thanks for it but this tripe!

    All lefty insults and complaints about my attitude can be stuffed firmly in the buttocks of those who do not like me complaining about how we are being called bad people by this media idiot.

    • Im a native never lived on a reserve. I agree on some points. I pay taxes, but sit in front of a welfare office and watch how many whites enter compared to any other nationality, usually only whites and natives. every one else came to work the crappy min. wage jobs. I feel racism, just deal with it. I own a average home just middle class. I pay taxes on a $243,500.00 home and a fair job I don’t agree on alot of government spending. so count me in on

      “So, just send me a bigger tax bill – I will pay it – eventually I will quit and go on the dole as well – might as well have the same return on my effort – after all I support hundreds or may be more with my taxes and get no damned thanks for it but this trip”
      and on that note bring back the death penalty! kill them dont keep the idiots alive in prisons! if a career criminal is going to do it again just kill it!

      cheers! just deal with it, I do. Tax payer and a native(off reserve)

    • First of all, white is not a color and “Tax Dollars” are just Resource Dollars of OUR LAND AND OUR RESOURCES and obviously the country in which you originated from suffered from lack of, they had to forcefully take our land and kill off our people, which numbered in the millions before European contact. If you had allowed us to utilize our land and our resources, we would not have to live off your “Welfare” and your “Money”, whatever that means.

      Allow us to use our resources, give us our country back and we wont have to live off your “money” beaten off the hands of my ancestors.

  20. The stats don’t lie. We have a problem and children are paying for it.

    • I’d argue that, as far as the comparison bit goes, these stats DO lie. The comparison should be Canadian aboriginals to American aboriginals, if the author’s intent is to make a truly meaningful comparison. The two sets of stats used here really don’t make sense for comparison when there are more directly comparable groups available – unless the intent is to mislead.

  21. Call me naïve, But I don’t see the problem as racist. However there is a significant problem. My husband has native in him and appears to have native physical characteristics. we employ a great guy who is native. They are both wonderful, hardworking, smart, compassionate humans. My brother is white, Norwegian, and a drug addict, living off AISH, in a dump, begging, always trying to get money from others, dirty, no self-worth left, not willing to get help. We live and die by the choices we make. Take this up with God who graciously gives us many chances. I know there a tons of programs and people in Canada to help, if people want to be helped. But you can’t make them want it….That part is all them… Am I racist against gangs? Murderers? Thieves? People who abuse social systems? Molesters? Child porn rings? Abusing husbands and fathers? Prostitution? People do stupid things. If my daughter started doing drugs and selling sex, I would be very worried for the day someone would find her dead. Bad things give bad results. Seems simple. Canada is here to help with more social programs for this type of thing than for health issues or elderly or many other things that one cannot change. Get your butt into one and get help if you are an alcoholic, drug addict, or just have low self worth. Make a life for yourself. We all have bad crap in our childhoods, ancestry, and genes. Stop blaming and start fighting for what you want.
    People from every nationality have done it, and gained respect, acceptance and love from communities. Respect is earned not demanded.
    I think, like myself, Canadians are tired of giving their hard-earned money to people who use and abuse it and are unwilling to change their lives no matter how much we try to help.
    If being tired of it is racist, then I guess I’m racists, although you would have a hard time convincing many of my differing ethnic neighbors of this. We all like and esteem each other, working together for better community.

    • I like your thoughts, we are all responsible for our own lives, if your want to live in paradise or in a cesspool, it is your choice and you have to make that choice..

  22. I’m not sure the situation described falls into the category of racism at all but something much different.
    When you have a group of people who live in many areas where there is no opportunity for employment and who are well funded by the government, the normal ills of the idle surface-drug and alcohol dependency, familial abuse, high crime rates, etc. I toured every area of Canada with The National Defence College and when we visited reserves it was appalling to see a half dozen snow mobiles in front of many homes-mostly broken down but merely replaced with a new one rather than repaired. And when we stayed overnight in nearby towns it was quite usual for several police wagons to be outside the bars when they closed at midnight to take those away who engaged in fights-often men who beat up women rather than other men.
    I saw an interesting analyses when “Idle No More” was newsworthy. It proposed offering all those who wished to leave the reservations to an area where employment existed the opportunity to do so. The government would buy each family choosing to relocate: a free house in the new location; fund the cost of the move; provide training for all those in the family over 18; provide free university education for those who wished it and provide each family $100,000 for incidentals. For those who elected to stay on the reserve for cultural reasons, they would be granted land ownership (not available today) but government financial support would cease in one year. If 80% of the families on the reserves elected to move, the total one time cost to the government would be equal to only 1.5 years of the current yearly government funding. This to me would be a win-win. And I’m confident all those stats shown would start to look in a short period of time just like the general population.

  23. I’m not surprised.
    As a child of 11 or 12 (almost 40 yrs ago), I was witness (lipread!) to a conversation during a summer family dinner party. A distant cousin shared some of her family history in south western Manitoba. She mentioned to my parents that the small townspeople and the surrounding Native tribespeople were always odds. However her mother “made friends with an Indian woman who gave her a beaded band.” It supposedly had belonged to this woman’s husband. Why she was given this was never stated.
    This elderly distant cousin continued, “Unfortunately, not all the settlers had friends among the Indians. One day, some ‘——–‘ settlers took a large wagon full of smallpox infected blankets outside the town and left it there for the Indians to take. Of course, you know what happened to them all.”
    Horrified, my father asked “Why?”
    “Because they weren’t Christian, Paul,” she retorted.
    My father stared at her dumbfounded as my mother did.
    Finally my father gathered his courage and asked, “What became of your mother’s Indian friend?”
    Shrugging her shoulders, she smiled thinly, “She died.”
    And this elderly distant cousin was the daughter of an Anglican minister. To this day some members of the family ‘hush-hush’ this. Shame!
    For almost 6 years, my husband and I lived in a mobile home on the Songhees First Nations in Victoria. We found the Native children friendly, polite and respectful. Our Mail Carrier was Native. She and I had the most wonderful conversations — in fact, I missed her when she retired.
    I was born hearing impaired, wear hearing aids, and I tend to speak louder than most. I, too, am treated differently by the larger population. I’ve been out of a job for almost one whole year after working for 14 years in healthcare. Why, do you ask? Check out the stats of unemployment among the disabled community. My husband and I watched a news documentary recently in which a young lawyer in a wheelchair revealed that it took him 4 years before he landed a job. I refuse to go on Permanent Disability like so many who have caved in to Canada’s smug, bigoted society out of necessity. 5 hearing impaired friends and acquaintances were forced to go on Disability in the past 3 years — yes, they lost their jobs, too. Suspicious? I’d rather starve as I did when I got my BA from Carleton University many years ago when I shouldn’t have — I was informed that they had no records of any hearing impaired person having been educated there, so I was denied financial support and I submitted to 2 psychology/IQ tests before I was allowed! (Above average to genius? Really? And I still wasn’t given any financial support, but I was allowed entrance.) Prejudice is so subtle in Canada. Government authorities are giving less and less to Human Rights advocacy with the excuse that Canada doesn’t need it anymore. If it’s difficult for an educated mixed Canadian like myself and that lawyer in the wheelchair, think how much more difficult it is for our Disabled Native people and people of colour. To this day, stats like those in this article, still don’t surprise me.

    • Sarah. I am sorry to read of your work issues, here in Manitoba the majority of the ads for Government jobs state that women, aboriginal, minorities and disabled should apply for position. I am a white male who was looking for a job and I was told I was that I was the best qualified candidate for the position but I wasn’t one of the above mentioned so I didn’t get the jobs that applied for. Here in Manitoba we have reverse discrimination

  24. So what’s the answer here. 49% of natives live on reserves and who has the right to go there and straighten things up? Would any gov’t agency be allowed to go in and try? How would the reserves respond if the government stepped in to make sure each person on the reserve gets their piece of the pie, rather than giving them a pie and let them deal with it. What would happen if they were forced to stay in school by our government like the rest of the population? People point out the issues, but what’s the corrective measures to deal with these issues? Rather than call the rest of the country racist let’s have some suggestions on where to start. What’s reasonable that the reserves would like to see happen? African Americans don’t live in the bush and have their own government leaders and policing. Is that what makes the difference? This author should have suggestions on what should be done, rather than just make light that there is a problem. But that’s the hard part.

    • Maybe you could address your questions to some First Nations people. That would be a good start.

    • well read Canadian history. and it will answer your question. now we have to fix it.

      • The thiefs (sorry Chiefs) won’t allow it

  25. Stop blaming white people and put a magnifying glass on Native sins.

    “Dirty Indian” doesn’t translate very well into white English, no matter how inflammatory it is in Native English. Only Natives use the term “Dirty Indian”. White people don’t use that term. One Aboriginal calling another a “Dirty indian” isn’t racism of white power, which we are expected to be ashamed of (hence the sole purpose of MacLean’s story). Blaming white people when Native men rape and murder Native women allows the perpetrators off the hook by diverting the effect from the cause Their race is their defence, but being white is not my conviction. White people are perfectly capable of inventing better insults than that old canard of racist anti white stereotyping. “Dirty Indian” is the same as Ni**er”. the ones who use it the most are the ones who claim they are most offended by it.

    Rejection of native accusations is not racism. Until natives admit they are part of the problem, it is a lost cause.

    • native sins? name one serial killer who is native and I can name 10 white serial killers and 10 serial rapists to boot kid

  26. Why is there a comparison to Aboriginal Canadian and African Americans? Shouldn’t the comparison be Aboriginal Canadians and the Native Americans? The USA doesn’t treat their natives any better than Canada treats theirs. Instead of all this giving to other countries maybe we should be taking care of our own people in need in this country.

  27. comparing Canadian native peoples to American black peoples is like comparing apples and oranges. why are you not comparing Canadian and American native peoples?

  28. I would propose that the problem isn’t racism as much as racism is a result of the problem. The problem is legalized inequality and nationalism. We define FN as separate groups with special status and privileges with constitutional differences. How can equality exist when we legally set boundaries between us and them? As long as we continue to preserve nations within nations, inequality will continue… And that will continue to manifest into racism.

  29. FINALLY Canada’s lamestream media is talking about our dirty little secret – and in Macleans Magazine of all places. Any notion that Canada and Canadians are better than the US, is delusional. The fact that there are over 1,000 Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women is our nation’s SHAME. Compound that with a Prime Minister and government who refuse to acknowledge, let alone deal with this issue and you have what comes close to a Canadian genocide – the very white, very sanitzed and polite version.

    Am ashamed to be a Canadian in this very troubled time.

    • Miss Myrtle – I would suggest that you look in the mirror and decide if you want to continue your entitled life – or leave Canada

      Your comments do nothing but make the rest of us realize that people like you are part of the problem. In fact a HUGE part of the problem.

      Let me see – billions go to the indian nations on an annual basis – no responsibility is demanded and the corruption is rampant – and – more important – of those 1,000 missing women you cry about – I would bet you a Timmies that most of them knew their attackers and those attackers lived on the same reservation or in the same community.

      Perhaps the indian nations should have their own investigation? Heaven knows they can affors it – provided people like Chief Theresa “Spends-a-lot” sells her fancy Cadillac.

      So – keep blaming the white guy – who has welcomed all other races, colours and creeds from around the world to world along side us white crackers here in Canada – and yet the noble native seems unable to join society – perhaps they are being kept down by their own people?

      (Or am I not allowed to say that?)

      So, what are YOU going to do about this – or are you simply going to continue to be an ashamed Canucklehead wringing your hands in angst and writing pretty words to a media outlet?

  30. I work on a well managed First Nations Territory. There is a large history of trauma for most individuals. Wide range in education as the ability to access and succeed in any level of education was different among individuals. If you look back 10-20 years, SOME people were in University studying, mostly women. Men more in logging camps and more exposure to alcohol and other substances.

    There are a lot of blanket statements about mismanagement in Band leadership. There aren’t many references to examples. The author of this article claims mismanagemnt in Attawapiskat, but I believe they actually have shown they’re booksand defended themselves well against that claim by Harper.

    It surely has happened, but refering to “them”,”they”, “natives” is wholly too general for the actual facts. Many First Nations communities are under 1000 people. in a village. With infrastructure. In Attawapiskat, they Nation is given the equivelant of rent, for each member on reserve. When their members must live in the cities, for whatever reasons, the Nation must work with the budget they have. Rent on reserves, amountsa to upkeep and major repairs, on simple old houses. They would like to build houses not just repair and condemn occasionally. These are old houses, never upkept at some points, now needing repairs. Just because Harper deflected with a claim of mismanagement, doesn’t mean that is what happened, they defended against that by showing their books.

    This idea is thrown around like a regular and constant accepted fact. Since First Nations have had to disclose salaries across Canada, 98% have complied. There have been a few changes in leadership. That’s afew… not to be confused with the good new gossip of ‘rampant’ abuse of leadership in pay scales.

    Also, location and availability of wild food is a factor in the differences between Nations. Not to mention diverse and unique cultures, across Canada or each Province. But the Coastal peoples probably have more year round access to abundant food sources. I imagine in alberta near calgary, the deer may not be as bountiful as the salmon are. Saskatchewan mid to south? Prob not as wealthy or grounded in wild harvest of traditional food.

    These are some of the factors and differences between Nations trying to coolectively manage their small communities, hopefully to a standard similar to in the cities, but as far as roads, houses, health services buildings and schools, we know that the difference in funding per capita is massively different over many years, between Indigenous peoples and Non indigenous Canadians.

    • there are many generalities stated about First Nations people or groups that are simply not true simply based on the diversity and number of Nations in Canada, by many Canadians and even in this article. The ignorance on a national scale, or simply unknowing by non idigenous Canadians should be embarassing to those Canadians and theGovernment. Oh ya, that’s the Governments best strategy.

    • I’m not sure what is meant by the term “funding per capita” for health services. But it would be the amount that the Ontario gov’t, for instance, pays for health care per capita. And what they pay for us non-native Canadians is more than what they pay for natives. Does it have anything to do with how often natives attend health services? Does it have anything to do with the employment health plans many non-natives have? If not, why is this happening?

  31. We cannot discount the fact that we’ve certainly earned some bragging rights in being a model for minority integration, but we still have far to go. The first step here, as it should be in France, is admitting that there certainly is a race problem. Interestingly enough, we could not do the same statistical comparison in France as shown here, which helped us dissect the problem to begin with. Due to the well-intentioned but misplaced application of ‘egalite’, race is not something that is allowed to be measured officially en France. Anyways..Canada, what gives? This is disappointing and totally cramps my modest and polite cultural superiority I harness abroad.

  32. The only reason there is a problem with Natives in this country is that they have been pampered for far too long by our government. And like a spoilt child, they expect more and more and more. They hide behind the guise of oppressed people, as guardians of the land, and pretty well be whatever it takes to get more money. The money represents the second highest slice out of taxpayers money and it is handed over to a small group of people who claim to be first nations. They in turn look down their noses at the hand that feeds them and demand more and then have the audacity to call the rest of Canada….”Newcomers”…
    The money is mishandled by their own people, but somehow that ends up being the fault of the government.
    If they don’t get what they want, they in effect stamp their feet and rattle the government as they feel threatened.
    No government is going to ever take a stand and say enough is enough because they would be committing political suicide. So what do they do?
    Wring their hands and come up with all kinds of excuses to appease the Canadian taxpayer to fork over more money.
    Just like a parent who puts up with a spoilt child. Instead of being firm, they cower!
    Is this racism? No!
    It is people who are sick and tired of watching a minority getting special treatment. Money thrown at them.Excuses made for their actions that any other Canadian would end up in prison for.
    Canadians are just sick of the whining and stamping of the feet from the natives….nothing to do with racism.
    It does not help when the media, or the government and others who want 15 minutes of fame, pander to them because deep down it comes to being afraid to hurt their feelings, or because seems to be politically correct to coddle them.

    • money mishandled? sounds like our current government did you know that the Canadian Dollar was worth more then the american dollar in 1975 and american banks refused to exchange it for a canadian tourist. for the longest time after we had a .68c USD then we were above the usd for a bit now we are returning to .75c USD tell me you know politics an mismanagement of funds and you are happy with all of canada’s spending

  33. Not that I would dispute for a second that Canada has a problem with respect to how it treats First Nations people but I think some of these “head to head” comparisons.miss something. First Nations people in Canada receive significantly better benefits from the state in terms of health care, education, housing and social services than African-Americans. Some of these indicators (like life expectancy and infant mortality) also reflect the fact that Canada’s First Nations while African-Americans are much more urbanized.

  34. The treatment of Aboriginal Canadians versus African Americans is a sloppy comparison. I would recommend comparing Aboriginal Canadians with Aboriginal Americans, African Canadians with African Americans, or Asian Canadians with Asian Americans for a more accurate picture. The unprofessional mixing of apples with oranges reflects poorly on MacLean’s image.

  35. First nation is a debatable term because while they were the most recent nations in place here when Europeans and Asians (the eastern Russians had nearly wiped out sea otters on the west coast before England and Spain arrived), they may or may not have been the first in the land or in the area they then occupied. That is irrelevant to the conversation. The problem is what to do now.

    I have worked extensively for over 35 years on reserves in British Columbia. During my youth I lived next to a reserve in Ontario and spent my elementary school life in class, travelling on the bus with, and playing with aboriginal Canadians. As kids we really didn’t notice a a difference.
    The most bullied kids in school were not the kids from the reserve, they were the kids who were poorest and worst dressed and cared for. Most of the reserve kids didn’t fit that category. That reserve was very near a major center and those kids and their families had access to all the same things as everyone else and those children did just fine.

    As an adult I spent about half of my work time on reserves and a large part of my private life again either on or near reserves. The majority were very isolated on the west coast of Canada. A place without a road at the head of an inlet and no access to any other community but their own is equally isolated whether it is 20 kilometers or 2000 kilometers from that contact. Especially if you are a child.
    There are two things that need to be done to address this problem.
    The first is the reserves.
    Aboriginal people are a minority in this country as are many other nationalities. Have you ever seen a Polish, Iranian, Australian, Vietnamese, Chinese, Spanish or Russian reserve in Canada? The only time we came close was the internment camps for Japanese during the Second World War. That sure turned out to be a great idea!
    Get rid of them. They serve no useful purpose except to keep these people down. Let families live in the world and don’t penalize them for living off the reserve. Reward them for joining society. When I often visited reserves during school hours I would find children all over the place. When I asked them why they weren’t at school, they would say my Mum/Dad says I don’t have to go if I don’t want to. When you ask them what they want to be when they grow up they look at you like you are from another planet, which of course to them, you are. The sad fact is, they don’t have any idea what to be because they don’t know what there is TO be. They don’t know what they don’t know because all they do know is what they see. Fishing, hunting, drinking, physically and sexually abusing each other, and playing video games, most of which feature violence as a major theme. Just like their lives. I investigated many crimes related to this abuse but found that these crimes were almost never reported. This is in part because one doesn’t turn in their Uncle or grandfather or other relative. I am probably going to get shot for saying this but when the only people you know growing up are members of the same original three families you are going to end up with a partner so closely related to you that the gene pool is not healthy. These people need to get out and find more potential partners to raise families with. But, if they leave the reserve, they are cut off.

    Which brings us to the children.
    If you really want to change the way things are you need to start with someone who can change. Children. The residential schools were a pretty good idea with a terrible execution. They took children away from families and placed them alone with strangers who on occasion sexually abused them, and often physically abused them. Instead, move the families into neighbourhoods all over the country and then send the children to school with other children and ensure all the supports are there to protect them and support them in their education. Let them live where they really are in fact a minority so they know it and can learn to join society instead of being unaware of society as they are now. I know many people who went to the residential schools and they had, and loved, clean clothes, medical care, good food, and a warm, clean, safe place to live and sleep. The residential schools were however, only mandated to educate the kids until they were 16 years old even if they wanted to continue. That was the second and even more terrible mistake. The residential school students I have met almost unanimously wanted to keep going in school but they were sent back to the reserve where they no longer fit in. Yes, there were abuses in those schools. Guess what, there is still physical and sexual abuse of students by teachers in our modern “white” society. I know of several children who were sexually abused by a teacher. Don’t get rid of the school, get rid of the teacher.
    Our present laws, policies, and methods have created a separate class of people who therefore should be light years ahead of everyone else because of the extra privileges and rights they enjoy. Instead they live in these isolated places where they can’t afford milk for the kids at 12-14 dollars a jug and where the number one product line in the store is junk food creating an epidemic of diabetes in a location where there is almost never a resident Doctor.

    • Regularguy has the most thoughtful and applicable discourse on this whole thread. That thinking was behind my earlier comments but RG expresses them 100 times better!!!

    • “The residential schools were a pretty good idea with a terrible execution. They took children away from families and placed them alone with strangers who on occasion sexually abused them, and often physically abused them.”

      third generation off reserve, but those horror stories were my bed time stories. and I seen it continue. me and my siblings refused to have kids for the longest time. and the ones that did moved very far away from family. we don’t get any benefits for being natives, we all pay taxes, I was the first in 3 generations to own a home, car and truck. a lot of hard work. a lot of racism and still get it today at rics grill. I think because there down town and homeless hang out behind there restaurant. but when I payed my $140.00 dinner bill I explained I will never come back for bad service. and no tip. wasn’t the first time I was at the restaurant, if they want to sue me I have over $600. in receipts on 3 visits and they will make the papers on racism. my bank record would show I been there before a few times and by myself I spent over $100.00 I’m not a superstar or high class, just middle class. I stick too 3 restaurants in Prince George that are not racist to any nationality.

      cheers! Tax paying Native…. some times life sucks I live with it.

    • Your own scientists say, that our people have roamed this land for 14,000 to 20,000 years, if that does not qualify for First Nation status, then what does?

      China and India are a population that outnumbers whites in the billions, maybe you too should adopt their culture and way of living?

      Only whites have dropped nukes on civilian targets, everyone else is peaceful, why cant you people get along with everyone else instead of changing everyone around you to suit your own needs? Its almost uncanny that you people cant get along with cultures you encounter and are as so rude to ignore our needs to the point of genocide.

  36. While the story’s comparison is entirely contrived to draw attention, the situation is entirely valid as a cause for concern.

    The root is a double standard – treating “classes” of humans differently based on ethnic origin. This will always create at least the appearance of – and maybe in fact – winners, losers, victims, oppressors, etc.

    I have no doubt of the appalling conditions on some reserves. It likely speaks to the economic realities of trying to live in modern times expecting modern conveniences in places with no financial viability. Simply does not work. But if “the system” forces you to live there, what are you to do? Abandon family, friends, culture, the only place you know – even though it might be hell, but then you may know nothing else…

    Canada has dug itself a hole. And both Canada and First Nations need to work together to get out. Enough of the racist rhetoric, whining about past “deals” and such, complaints of non-natives subsidizing natives, not having to pay taxes, etc. Do I begrudge someone living in squalor who gets a free pass with the CRA? How could I? This free pass and many others like it is part of the problem we have created. And it cuts both ways. Think of the waste of human capital … but I think most just prefer to denigrate a segment of the Canadian population that has so much to give but has even bigger obstacles to overcome.

    And remoteness is a large part of the problem – both keeping the problem out of sight from the public eye as well preventing inroads to more effective self-sustenance.

  37. I can just imagine how many of you came to the comments section to categorically deny any and all of the above, with no intention of broadening your narrow viewpoint. Your racism is showing. Jeez.. tuck it in and do up your fly already lol.

    • Nigel Your comments clearly demonstrate your stereotyping of the problem and other people based on your own racism.

  38. Conservatives like myself have been saying for decades that the solution to our “native problem” comes from dealing with with all the things listed in the fourth paragraph from the bottom. Rampant organized criminality must be tackled head on, not soft-pedalled. The gangsterism that was Caledonia needs to be confronted and defeated. The fraudsters of Attawapiskat, et al, need to be tried and jailed. The list goes on.
    Most importantly, though, is we need to simply encourage natives to abandon the reserves and the welfare ghettoes that they are, and move on out to the broader society. One cannot honestly claim that a society that has become a good home to Sikh’s, Hindu’s, a broad spectrum of Asians, and Africans is somehow so racist as to be a barrier to their long-term integration and success. I’m not buying it.
    Most of the reserves have no economy beyond the monthly welfare stipend. There are a thousand prairie towns that no longer exist because they had no economic impetus to exist. We accept that without a second thought, yet fail to see the irony in using the federal treasury to prop up communities that have no real reason to exist anymore except for the fact that “they’ve always been there.” The problem is that places with no economic future don’t exactly fill their young people with a lot of hope, now do they?

    • actually I like that word welfare ghetto. as a native person who is a bit of a business minded person I would pick a ghetto or derelict property for pennies and turn it in to tax free income. the natives in most reserves are idiots anyways give them a shiny object. is the world that retarded that if a business pays no taxes it goes in your pocket.
      ps im a tax paying native off reserve call me if you need me. as a executive. for formal purposes

  39. How many writers at Maclean’s are aboriginal?

    (Hint – the answer is less than one)

    • I am native west coast full blooded. own a house off reserve. work off reserve… pay taxes. ad still ridiculed for my culture.

  40. Here we go again…with limited understanding of the roots of the large social problems. Reacting only to the disturbing images of the portion of this social iceberg that has now become visible and unavoidable.

    To boldly assert that ‘Canada has a race problem’
    What does that even mean?

    From a frontline perspective and from a woman’s perspective, the visible (small) portion of the social iceberg that is now permanently above water until we do something about it can be labelled or otherwise blamed as anything we want it to be really ‘racism’ ‘a Manitoba problem’ ‘inequality problem’ ‘substance abuse or mental health problem’…
    But are we interested or half prepared to learn the potential of the source of the tip of this iceberg? It’s very good of us to tackle the visible part and make the waters smooth again. But careful not to swim too deep.
    From the viewpoint of where I stand…under the water, I have observed in working within and between systems of social nature -long standing comfortable roots of oppression maintenance.

    The greatest risk to the most comfortable, those perhaps being the ones benefiting from multigenerational socially systemic privilege; where past present and future are filled with opportunity, consistent support to adversity, need fulfillment and economic privilege – are the oppressed ‘minority’ whom survive.
    The least risk to the most comfortable are the oppressed trauma survivors ‘minority’ whom believe and otherwise account their success to the privileged-born social systems that so exclusively saved them.

    So why would we from our comfortable places foster opportunity for the survivor to adopt an independent, resilient and capable identity when this could pose risk and threat to us here? What benefit could this motivation provide? I can’t understand, compete with, be educated on nor buy the tools of the interdependent survivor who has risen from an intergenerational path of suffering.

    Let us form collaboration and raise fists at racism! We can increase budgets in social systems to provide greater equal opportunity to all races, and raise taxes to do so (which will not be problematic because we as Canadians need to do something about our reputation). And it’s a win-win! We will keep the system as it, further setting the stage for giver-receiver…the recipe for the maintenance of social oppression, while keeping the most powerful demographic (equipped with tools of survival) pacified and small through the continuation of systemic dependency.

    Food for thought…before addressing solutions we need to have collective awareness of the whole problem. Thanks for listening to one supposition.

  41. While I agree there is an issue with racism towards natives in Canada, this article has a serious flaw. The problem with this article is it compares US blacks and Canadian Indians – apples and oranges. Compare how US Indians fare compared to Canadian Indians and you’ll be comparing apples to apples and you’ll see that the US marginalizes their black population AND their Indian population (as well as Mexicans if you want to go there) and our racism problem pales in comparison. Sorry Scott, you get a “C” on this article.

  42. Thanks for starting a discussion on a vital social issue in Canada. However, I’m concerned that the article shares a negative portrayal of Aboriginal peoples which could contribute to harmful stereotypes, especially given the article’s large readership. While social issues exist and need to be addressed, it is equally important to recognize that Aboriginals have contributed, and continue to contribute, a great deal to Canadian society above and beyond the ground we are standing on. Canada’s indigenous peoples are vibrant, diverse, and remarkably resilient. Not long ago I worked alongside a warm, patient, intelligent, and compassionate Mi’kmaq man at the local public library; he volunteered his time teaching English to new immigrants because he wanted to welcome and give a hand to new Canadians. There are folks like him all over the country, but I don’t really see that reflected in this article.
    Moving forward, it is essential to hear Aboriginal voices on these issues: they are the best situated to tell us if, when, and how we can help. European Canadians have, regrettably, unilaterally carried out a number of interventions that actually caused a great deal of harm (e.g., residential schools, forced settlement), so it’s important to have a little humility.

  43. I would start with the Ministry of Aboriginal Affairs and then move on over to the Tribal Chiefs. I can only imagine the amount of monies that flow into the hands who have control and it just stops there. There would appear to be very little in the way of accountability and I fear the politics tied to this portfolio are making a mockery of the entire matter. Those in desparate need still live in hovels with no running water, no means of finding work living in some god forsaken pit of a landscape and somehow we all think this is ok. Like the movie says “Where’s the money??””

  44. I am a Native and find racism in Prince George. I will never go to Rics grill there very rude to natives. every time I have been in there. as for the rest of the town I hear racist remarks toward all nationalities. I avoid down town I just shop cosco, wallmart, superstore. and stay away from town. I’m 41 single, own a $243,500. house 3 blocks from the west end of town and 2 vehicles, was not easy but I worked hard to get where I am, mortgage just over half paid off and car and truck paid off. work for a great company, had some racist remarks I told the boss and he asked me if I wanted to have the man fired. I said no just explain to him it isn’t 1970’s anymore and it isn’t allowed anymore. after that the person changed and respected me. my boss is fair but will fire people on the spot. I could of had him fired. But other then that, he was a good worker, little gruff but got his gob done. any one racist should sit outside a welfare office and count how many white people walk in compared to East Indians. I have worked since I was 12 different jobs, longest was home care for 12 years. I have a paramedic level first aid. ever get a good native worker? watch how they work. and then watch a white person work. I agree a lot of natives are not worth investing in, but the same goes for any race. lots of jobs out there, East Indians are working at fast food places whites prefer the welfare line. as for the natives not worth investing in, there are so many programs to get them employed! I’m guessing as much as us tax payers are paying for politicians to screw us for fraud year after year. like the politician who has hunting trips at our expense etc. but for real, there is so many programs us tax payers spend to have natives work. there is no excuse. I have been to Mexico 5 times(2 weeks each time) Cuba 2 times(2 weeks each time), Dominican Republic 2 weeks. Growing up poor in Canada, I looked at there programs they have to serve the government 4 years(army and any public service) and they get full schooling, its watered down Communism but to get into university to be a doctor Id put in 4 years for the government. Canadian natives have so many programs they just have to (like the Nike commercial says) JUST DO IT! Cuba is Communist, it isn’t as much fun but every one works. you get university for a Dr. you get the same wage as the pool cleaner. I have walked into a job interview, the boss holding a stack of resumes and a lot of potentials. with in 15 minutes I was told I had the job. the boss just had to let every other interview that was scheduled know the job was filled. so a tip, not just to natives, but any one wanting a job: come prepared and be willing to do the boring crappy jobs. if your boss watches you move up fast. some times not as fast as you want. but if your work is consistent, (very good/very bad) your boss could be a reference on your resume to a better job. anyways racism hurts. I feel it alot when I have to go to town to buy parts for my Truck or car, I do my own work as much as I can, but if you ever felt belittled it is a awful feeling. Ive made it to middle class ins a small racist town, I own house with a double garage, car and a truck in my name. every year I try and update my house. In my working class neighborhood I have the nicest 1/4acre yard. inside my house is in my facebook. Im not well off but tastefully decorated. solid wood(not plywood, not veneer particle board) Teak table from danish interiors. old school wood work not the fall apart crap you find anywhere in every store.

    I read quickly a few comments on indians and reserves and history. I suggest reading history and how natives helped keep Canada’s borders(war 1812) and how natives helped in wars over seas. and how they still get shit on every day and some really cool movies and stuff but still no respect.

    German soldiers during World War I had been befuddled by Indians who transmitted messages over field phones in the Choctaw language. The 32d Infantry Division, Third Ammy, used Indians from Michigan and Wisconsin to work with microphones and to transmit messages in the Louisiana Maneuvers of 1940. During World War II, the U.S. Marine Corps recruited Navajo Indians for the same purpose. Navajo marines used their language as a battlefield code that the Japanese never broke. The Navajo Code Talkers became the most celebrated and publicized of the radio units.

    Next time you see a person of different race or color, smile. some times they had a hard life and barely hanging on, enough of the poor little white kids hanging them selves over bullying I lived it all my life.

    Cheers ‘eh! life sucks deal with it.

  45. Another tedious poorly researched article from Scot Gilmore who this time, not surprisingly, compares data of Aboriginal Canadians with not data of Aboriginal Americans but instead African Americans? Why not compare apples to apples? Oh here’s why; on every single measure in that same Social Progress Index Canada fairs better which doesn’t support his thesis. How about African Canadians vs. African Americans? You guessed it, another tick in the win column for Canada. What’s really troubling about Mr. Gilmore and his piousness is the fact that he works for a profit-driven magazine that has an open neo-conservative bias and works daily to create the capitalist “tax-cut” conditions that are the primary contributing factor to sustaining this disgraceful state of affairs but in his mind he’s the good guy.

  46. Too bad the stats posted are biased. First Nations are handed every opportunity but choose not to take them. They’re not interested in working, just partying on the taxpayer’s dime and bitching about inequality. As far as “owing them for the land” that’s a load of BS. By that way of thinking, no one should ever have left their country of origin. Wake up Canada, you’re being suckered on all sides.

  47. I don’t disagree racism by non-aboriginals against first nations, & lingering effects of historical of racism (e.g. residential schools, & cultural, spiritual, & territorial suppression) are problems needing addressing.
    But first nations groups & communities themselves could & should do FAR more to improve dangerous conditions/behaviours within their own communities. For one thing, there’s far too much tolerance for rampant alcohol abuse within many first nations communities, much more common there than in the general Canadian population. (Forget crack, meth, “E”, heroin, or LSD), it’s ALCOHOL that’s by far the most dangerously impairing popular drug there is (think accidents & violence). Stats show homicide & assault rates are extra high among aboriginals, not so much ’cause racist & psychopathic whites are attacking them, but mainly due to attacks by parents, siblings, spouses, friends, neighbors, & acquaintances. Attacks often fueled by alcohol. Alcohol also causes deadly heart & liver disease, cancer, & diabetes.Why aren’t first nations communities declaring cultural war on alcohol as a scourge damaging their communities with dysfunction, violence, illness, & shortened lives?

    The most deadly popular drug of all is tobacco which still kills a staggering 40K – 50K Canadians each year. Tobacco abuse too is far higher among aboriginals than the national average, partly ’cause it’s traditionally viewed a sacred plant. So, how about replacing habitual use with ceremonial use instead, then? Also, obesity rates are higher than average in first nations communities partly due to food/junk food abuse. Deadly obesity related diseases (heart disease, cancer, diabetes) kill as many people in Canada each year as does smoking.

    So, with the three most dangerous popular substances there are, alcohol, tobacco, & junk food being abused at far higher rates than average in first nations communities, is it any wonder life expectancy rates are lower, & assault & homicide rates are much higher than average? How much of this is due to “racism” (no doubt some), & how much is due to first nations communities themselves tolerating damaging & dangerous behaviours, instead of declaring cultural war on them as communities, & focusing on community-based measures to reduce such behaviours?

  48. No matter what the article is about, if it refers to THE FIRST PEOPLES, AKA FIRST NATIONS PEOPLES, the comments never change. Even with all the information online, all the teach-ins, all the conversations, it’s truly amazing how IGNORANT (lacking knowledge or awareness in general; uneducated or unsophisticated) people still are! They talk about things they know ABSOLUTELY NOTHING ABOUT and act as if they are the authority on the subject. This is why Canada is the most RACIST COUNTRY IN THE WORLD. Please EDUCATE YOURSELVES before you speak of things and base your comments on the mythical world you live in!!

  49. “Or: us? For not paying attention. For believing our own hype about inclusion. For looking down our noses at America and ignorantly thinking, “That would never happen here.” For not acknowledging Canada has a race problem.”

    Unsupported assumptions.

    I, and many many others, are paying attention and helping to alleviate poverty and the social ills that affect fellow Canadians, the “hype” doesn’t exist in our minds and we are not looking down our noses on America.

    Not sure who you’re hanging out with, or how you came to think like you do, but your perspective is skewed.

  50. I am an immigrant to Canada from North Africa. I have lived in Canada more years than I have lived in any other country. I have lived nearly 20 years i Canada. I know about Canada more than other countries. When I immigrated to Canada, I was initially really excited to go to Canada and have the Canadian experience. Most Canadians know how to put a nice smile on their faces and be polite, but underneath the nice surface is a different story. Only now I realize that I have just begun to understand the white racist mentality and understand the white supremacist attitude. I see more than ever how most white Canadians prefer to make close friendships only with other whites from European descent. Most white employers generally prefer or tend to hire other white candidates from European descent who have little or no accent in English and have mainly a European culture. Most first nations are less than second class citizens. Many of them are immediately shunned and denied employment and accommodation. Many recent immigrants are also denied employment in areas where they have substantial experience. Many white people from European descent regard other coloured people with suspicion and disdain. Unfortunately many Canadians have kept the supremacist and critical attitudes of their British and German forefathers and ancestors. The British have occupied many countries on every single continent on the planet. They have dominated over the nations and oppressed the citizens of dozens of countries. They have killed, displaced, oppressed, and alienated the Native Indians and aborigines of North America and Australia. The Americans from British descent have enslaved the Africans in the United States for a very long time. White supremacy has damaged the world and its various nations. I have also felt the racism from white colleagues and employers at school and at work. Canadians are also critical of many religions including Christianity and they shun talking about politics or anything that might seem somewhat controversial. They are mostly arrogant cold people with the relentless pursuit of money and self pleasure.

    • Please read my notes (dated May 07, ~ mid-night): you sir, as an immigrants, will always win within a generation or so. Keep up the good spirits, the complaining like you have done above is OK.
      Do you notice your complains are different from a typical native’s complain! Yours give you the drives.

  51. thank you macleans and scott gilmore for having the gumption to address this issue in such a public forum. canada is, indeed racist, and it is a racism of a particularly pernicious, vicious kind (as if there is any other).

    this is how the discourse happens (and not necessarily in this order; these are just the major discursive components):

    1.) someone talks/writes about or names racism in canada
    2.) someone else seconds, thirds, fourths, echoes the fact
    3.) racist backlash ensues

    the racist backlash takes the following form:

    –ridicule
    -hostility
    -denial
    -projection
    -misplaced outrage (product of an overwhelming sense of white entitlement/privilege)
    -(rarely) a patronizing tone (you know yes there was racism in the past but not anymore we are all canadians now)

    all of these elements can occur in a single post, or a single post can keep repeating only one or two of them.

    the primary narrative of racist backlashes (all are represented here in one form or another) contains the following core memes:

    -indians are lazy
    -indians are irresponsible
    -indians are whiners (because thats what genocide is, right? a trifle to be whined about)
    -indians are liars
    -indians are freeloaders (because thats what a fiduciary treaty responsibility is right? a special right to freeload?)
    -indians are drunks
    -indians are welfare bums
    -indians are the only reason why their problems exist (this is called “whitewashing”)
    -indians are (____________) etc

    essentially the racist backlash narrative is designed to:

    –deflect from white responsibility
    –project & protect white insecurities
    –privilege white offenders & perpetrators
    –delegitimize indigenous experiences of racism
    –perpetuate racist cultural norms in canada

    you can see all of this playing out in the comments below. it hasnt changed much since the 1800s and there is a very real reason why it hasnt.

    but even so, i wouldnt say that canada’s racism problem is worse than america’s for the reasons the author outlines. i would say its because at least in the USA there are:

    –actual checks & balances with teeth that work to address systemic racism

    –a citizenry with a spectrum of working knowledge on the issues. in canada the average person has no clue what racism actually is or how it works. which is intentional on the part of canadian media & education

    –a visible public conversation around issues of racism

    canada isnt even where the usa was 50 years ago & has a long hard road to walk to get marginally closer to where the usa is in terms of legal & social sanctions against racism.

  52. These numbers are appalling. However, would it not make sense to include a comparison with “Native Americans”? I can’t find a good single source for the same stats but here are some I’ve pieced together from various sites.

    Unemployment rate: 6.7% (as high as 70% in some locations)
    Median income: $19,900
    Incarceration rate (per 100,000 population): unavailable (recent data includes black/white/hispanic only)
    Homicide rate (per 100,000 population): 3.6
    Infant mortality rate (per 1,000 live births): 8.47
    Life expectancy (in years): 71
    Dropout rate: 59%

    Plus a stat not included in the Maclean’s list.
    Rate of “violent victimizations” compared to national average: 2x

  53. Mr. Gilmore’s opinion reads too simplistic.
    The Afro-Americans are like the immigrants; whereas the Canadian Aboriginals are indeed the natives, who, as a group, tend to settle at the bottom throughout the human history wherever you’d care to examine vs. their immigrant counterpart.
    Don’t blame Canada. It’s the way as it has always been.
    Sorry, the natives, everywhere.

  54. There is absolutely a racism problem in Canada. There is no questioning that fact in any way, shape, or form. We have had generations of colonial oppression that is only just starting to be talked about. Many people go so far as to argue that we in fact treat out First Nations worse than the U.S. does its minorities.
    I disagree with that last statement. I think all Western democracies have a racism problem that extends beyond our borders and minorities into the world at large. In that, I think the U.S. is the worst of us, though we are not far behind now…
    The U.S. government has overthrown other legitimate governments out of fear of different religions or ideologies (citing Philippines, Nicaragua, Afghanistan). They have started ‘wars against terror’ on peoples that have nothing to do with any attacks on the U.S. The government prevents people from entering the country. The government and media currently and actively foster a culture of hatred and fear towards ethnic groups (citing the hatred towards Middle Eastern religions). I concede that Canada is not far behind with it’s culture of apathy, but it’s no longer actively teaching citizens who to hate through the government and media (in most parts anyways). So I’ll defend my country a little bit in saying that we are not AS bad as the United States in all regards. But again, this in not in any way saying that we do not have a racism problem… We absolutely do thanks to our colonial roots. I just wanted to keep the international scale in the picture, because it also contributes to the problem.

  55. “Tolerating” doesn’t mean including, and the latter is what society (our Canadian society) needs. Tolerating only means “putting up with”. Just because we tolerate with a polite smile on our faces doesn’t mean we accept and respect. It’s time for us to reflect on our attitude towards other human beings.

  56. I grew up feeling ashamed of being Indian, the only word I heard in that decade. I learned about log houses and the brief Canadian history that we as First Nations were discovered. Canadian First Nations peoples were here and we are still here. We have a rich culture that is waiting to be rediscovered and claimed. It’s a shame that we are waiting for confirmation and funding to accept that we as First Nations need to be held accountable for funds received. The transparency factor is a joke. The fact that band council can selectively choose to accept or reject band members based on their lineage family members is a joke. Bands throughout Canada need to be held accountable to any funds distributed by the federal government including elections that seem to benefit family relatives.

  57. Stop blaming white people and put a magnifying glass on native sins. What exactly are the native sins.? Obviously someone like you has all the answers.

  58. These Indians have lived up north for a thousand years. They are doing the same thing they always did except they are getting free assets from Canada that they would not otherwise have. Not bad if you can pull it off. If they stopped giving them anything it would be the same as if they never had. Everyone on the face of the earth does their own thing. Are they supposed to do better up there? Why? If they knew how to make things way better up there they would. If they wanted it better it would be because they would do something to make it better but they don’t. So what’s the problem?

  59. The author mistakes evidence of poor performance for evidence of poor treatment. Yes, Aboriginal people are outperformed by non-Aboriginals and they commit more crimes than non-Aboriginals. This is not evidence of poor treatment. In fact, Canadians have been trying for decades, usually fruitlessly, to improve the conditions and standard of living of Aboriginal people, with massive government monies, land claims negotiations, special programs for Aboriginal students, and more. If Aboriginal peoples are generally oppressed, why is it the case that band chiefs collect such huge salaries, in some cases higher than the Prime Minister of Canada? Perhaps the first step in dealing with the so-called “race problem” in Canada is to stop pretending that it does not rest largely with Aboriginal people themselves.

  60. It really bothers me when apples are compared to oranges. Why compare Canadian Natives to African-Americans when they should be compare to US natives. In 2012, there were over 2.5 million US Native Americans with about 1 million living on reservations.( Wikipedia [10]) We also have a large population of African-Canadians. So like I said, compare apples with apples and oranges with oranges.

  61. We need a Canadian version of Rule of Law to protect Canadians from Government over-reach.

    Rule of Law

    Derived from internationally accepted standards, the World Justice Project’s definition of the rule of law is a system in which the following four universal principles are upheld:
    1, The government and its officials and agents as well as individuals and private entities are accountable under the law.
    2, The laws are clear, publicized, stable, and just; are applied evenly; and protect fundamental rights, including the security of persons and property.
    3, The process by which the laws are enacted, administered, and enforced is accessible, fair, and efficient.
    4, Justice is delivered timely by competent, ethical, and independent representatives and neutrals who are of sufficient number, have adequate resources, and reflect the makeup of the communities they serve
    Stop listening to a bunch of paid activists and why don’t the First Nations have to share with each other?

  62. On the positive side, the comments section proves beyond any doubt that racism is alive and well among Canadians. It’s good to have Canadian racism demonstrated for all to see. That settles that issue. Now that it can’t be denied, what are Canadians going to do about it? Probably not much more than Americans do and maybe even less. That is the problem.

  63. I think McCleans mistitled the article.

    It should read “Canada’s problem race? Even worse than America’s”

    There that fixes it.

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  65. When I was asked to help write a report on finding alternatives to residential schools, I did and within three years they were closed in the NWT. I submitted a recommendation to establish a National Crime Prevention Institute. They started the National Crime Prevention Council, what have they done to help the most vulnerable? When asked to write a report on the abuses of the Ontario Teachers College I was hounded out of teaching even though I was internationally recognized even by thiis magazine. The treatment of First Nation Teachers in Ontario is well known,ask the Premiere of Ontario she help hound me out teaching with the help of a Ontario College of Teachers Council member who helped write Child Porn. Do some research about what teachers Unions and their representatives on the Ontario College of Teachers do to teachers who protest what happens to repeat sex offenders and ignored First Nation victims.

  66. Definitely a race problem. A superiority issue. If anything it should be Canadians paying all their taxes and rent to north american Indian. This is not the case though. As it well advertised Treaty is a nation to nation process. Think about that “nation to nation” . So, foreign nation(s) claim rights to ownership because of law called Rights of Discovery and preach about equality, freedoms and justice? Hmmm, well this is quite a double standard when there are no “disadvantaged”, only oppressed. Yet Canada operates under the assumption of jurisdiction being a trustee to north American Indian using Crown Law that stems from roman law and it cannot be denied looking at various law dictionaries. Since treaty can be based on peace and only peace, any act other than peaceful acts cannot accord a Treaty. Many occurrences substantiate no peace is anywhere in sight. So ultimately by law Canada and even the United States must surrender and live by a treaty dictated by the American Indian in order to make sure there is no more unpeaceful acts and is the responsibly of all and not just a few called leaders. In order to cure racism it has to surrender in the hearts and minds of all.

  67. Definitely a race problem. A superiority issue. If anything it should be Canadians paying all their taxes and rent to north american Indian. This is not the case though. As it well advertised Treaty is a nation to nation process. Think about that “nation to nation” . So, foreign nation(s) claim rights to ownership because of law called Rights of Discovery and preach about equality, freedoms and justice? Hmmm, well this is quite a double standard when there are no “disadvantaged”, only oppressed. Yet Canada operates under the assumption of jurisdiction being a trustee to north American Indian using Crown Law that stems from roman law and it cannot be denied looking at various law dictionaries. Since treaty can be based on peace and only peace, any act other than peaceful acts cannot accord a Treaty. Many occurrences substantiate no peace is anywhere in sight. So ultimately by law Canada and even the United States must surrender and live by a treaty dictated by the American Indian in order to make sure there is no more unpeaceful acts and is the responsibly of all and not just a few called leaders. In order to cure racism it has to surrender in the hearts and minds of all.

  68. We don’t have a race problem, we have a money problem. The people that founded Canada made all kinds of agreements with the local peoples… some seemed pretty good at the time, but many, in the fullness of time (as they say) turned out to be pretty bad for the new guys. Time and time again, OUR new-guy court systems have sided with THEM. Yes, we legally owe them a lot, way more than we could ever actually pay. Even worse, the agreements actually created 2 classes of Canadians. Our founders actually made agreements that guaranteed access to various resources. In hindsight, it was a pretty stupid thing to agree to, but we did. Again, our courts have confirmed this. What a mess.

    So, instead of paying, we stalled, then we tried to erase them as a people, and when that didn’t work, we stalled some more. We negotiated in bad faith, used our court systems to screw them over, again and again, only to find that by our laws, they are right and we are wrong. If you actually added up all the legally owed money, and then added on all the punitive damages we should pay them for all the wrongs we’ve done to avoid paying the bill in the first place, they basically own Canada. All of it.

    We’re not racist, we’re just a bunch of cheapskates that are trying to avoid paying a bill, desperately trying to not see the suffering this is causing, pretending the people we owe are idiots for not assimilating into our culture when that would mean we didn’t have to pay the bill. That’s the problem. Money. We dribble it out, then blame them for not using it the way we want, not willing admit that our money actually all belongs to them and they can spend it however they want. Too bad for us our own courts don’t agree. The First Nations people of Canada are the inheritors of a lot of legally binding deals, many of them very, very beneficial to them. Sooner or later, we’re going to have to pay the bill. Calling it racism is just another way to hide this truth.

  69. As a part East Indian, part African, part unknown, born in Alberta in 1953……take my word for it, after marrying and divorcing three white women and having five children with four white women, I’ve done all I can to help solve the “race” issue. Was it all for nothing that I blazed these frontier’s ? Truly I recall many a cute Ukrainian girl with a hearts of sold consoling me in the 60’s about the struggle of the “colored people”all the way into their sleeping quarters. Racism has it’s advantages you see, I really liked it. Go ahead and make me struggle you European whitey’s and I’ll sleep with your daughter’s , create caramel kids, and in another few years, we be owning this parking lot.

    • Yes I’m available da late to the reply party here but I just want to comment on this 13 Billion of tax payor $$ being tossed around.

      13Billion ÷18Million tax paying Canadians = $722.23 a year.
      Further divide by 26 paydays = $27.78 per payday per tax payer.

      This would assume the Gov takes individual tax payer $$$ to pay their First Nations commitments. I think the rent needs to be increased a wee bit, wouldn’t everyone agree?

      Better to let the sleeping bear lie no? Alas we just can’t help ourselves though as we think 13B is a large sum of GDP. It is less than 1% FYI.

  70. To all the ‘Canada has no racist problems”, believers. Time you took a deeper look at our ‘real history of abusive political acts’. Horrific acts that far too many of us have totally ignored and today far too many of us of all things, ‘justify’ as being deserved etc… And it is not just the native bigoted abuses and dismissals that clearly are beyond shameful. Take a look at another “Elephant in the room”, that everyone dismisses – the Province of Quebec… that has declared “Ethnic Cleansing as a freaking Law”, against the 2 million English speaking population – forced to live with no rights, no freedoms, no protections – having had our English language, culture, media, schools, businesses, JOBS totally ERASED – by what has turned into a total “Erase all those Anglos off the Quebec map”… horrific dictatorship of beyond the imagination political abuse of power – that has totally destroyed the Province and countless lives! Did you know that Quebec’s human rights office – refuses to accept ANY complaints from people abused and often times horrifically – in French only hospitals – because they were/are English speaking? Canada has far too many, “Dark dirty Secrets” of its own that desperately need to be told and corrected especially by our, do nothing but look the other way Federal MP’S and do nothing Senate – whose, believe it or not, job it is to denounce and immediately abolish these outright political crimes and to hold those responsible to task for them.
    The article is spot on and we should and must all take a good long look at our own kitchen – before trying to clean another’s.

  71. This just gives a chance for those who like to add racist commentary to state the Indians are not treated badly, they create their own misery, they stay unemployed because they want to, they are recipients of vast amounts of money, (apparently because the Cdn government is in the habit of just giving it out to whomever), they go to jail because they are bad, they live in substandard homes in substandard communities because they lack the motivation to move….they receive substandard infrastructure as wel as deficient health and welfare and education programs because they…..well, no one has come up with how they did this to themselves yet………all in all, they are deficient in every sense….. It is easily understood and accepted that African Americans have been put in the positions they are in, they have been owned, oppressed, discriminated against and vigorously kept in place by the white majority who profited on this and still do. Wonder what effort it must take to ignore the reality of the Indian? Is this something taught from childhood? Race problem? No, the race is the problem…….

  72. I was surprised to find out the the Truth and Reconciliation Committee is comprised of all natives except for one woman who has been married to a native man for about 15 to 20 years. This goes a long way to explaining the extremely slanted, one sided take on the situation. I was all for compensating natives who have been abused in residential schools and so far over 4 billion has been paid out. While a fair chunk of this has likely been taken by lawyers still, a substantial amount has gone to individuals who suffered bad treatment. But this final report indicates to me that this is only the beginning of money demands. What could clearly have been seen in the big picture as an attempt to help natives adapt to a changing world is now only described as cultural genocide. It is so one sided. As an alternative to this money seeking cant read the description of native author Thompson Highway. He describes residential school as an experience where a vast new world of possibilities was opened to him. He describes the joy of the opportunity of learning a new second language, not of losing his first language. He describes kind positive treatment he received and having a window into a vast world of possibilities that he would never have known had he remained in the far north of Canada. He describes happy idyllic summers spent with his parents and siblings too, on isolated northern lakes. He describes a living a very happy positive current life.
    In fact natives living in dilapidated houses without toilets and sinks have more amenities than they had before Europeans arrived. Materially their lives now are much more comfortable. The spiritual side is of course lacking. While complaining about the evil Europeans all I hear is how they want everything that European culture provides. That is fine but why don’t natives teach themselves how to provide these comforts. Instead it is a demand to send money, supplies, technicians and get this stuff installed for us.
    If natives stopped drinking so much alcohol they would stop dying in the endless series of fires, automobile accidents, drownings, violent homicides and suicides that plague them. Even worse alcoholic pregnant mothers pass fetal alcohol syndrome to their sons and daughters. This leads to a huge percentage of out of control, impulsive violent young men in their communities and naive young women who fall into more substance abuse, conducting themselves in reckless risky ways that lead to injuries, abuse and even homicides, all the time passing on this fetal alcohol syndrome to their offspring. Native woman with 6 to 10 children mostly in foster care or living with relatives and frequently suffering from fetal alcohol syndrome profess outrage when some decent person tries to pressure them to have a tubal ligation.
    My advice to natives is stop drinking so much alcohol and knuckle down to a steady job. Following this simple advice would vastly transform your condition for the better and stop damaging your children before they are even born. Don’t look outside for people to blame. Don’t constantly reach your hand out demanding money. Figure out how to put in water systems and septic systems. Figure out how to build yourselves houses. If you are a nation, prove it and pull yourselves up by the bootstraps. Do the work.

  73. This is freaking ridiculous!! First off Canada does not have a race problem. The problem is that every time they are looked at and someone writes an honest review of what they see take place, alcohol, drugs, education, crime & violence etc. Someone cries its “racially motivated” and its the “Federal Governments” fault.

    They want to Govern themselves, police themselves, school themselves and refuse any “outside” influence. Why is it that they take ZERO responsibility for themselves. Why is it everyone else’s responsibility?? People live in fear in this country…fear to speak the truth that they will be labelled a “racist”

    Only in Canada can generation after generation be held accountable and have to pay the price for wrongs done hundreds of years ago. Imagine if we treated all criminals like that…held their family’s children, grand children and great grand children responsible!

    Next time you try and teach your children to be “honest” remember to include that honesty comes with a price, remember to teach them that they are responsible for someone else’s actions, that they will have to pay the rest of their life for the wrongs done generations ago.

  74. As usual, the real story is in its comments… They’e not all based in ignorance, but the number that are is far too high and indicative of why it;s becoming mandatory to teach Canada’s true history in all schools for all ages. This should have been done from the beginning, but certainly by the 1980s we should have been able to handle the truth.

  75. This is a complete pile of crap. If you look at ‘urban and suburban’ Nations you will see that they are performing much better. The author looks at reserves in the middle of nowhere and decides that since we have not created employment for them we are racists. Exactly how do you ‘create’ employment?

    This article does a profound disservice to the numerous first Nations communities that have stepped up to the plate and made life better for their children.

  76. All you have to do is read the comment’s on this story to see the problem. Geography, Education, Everything else but white people accepting it is the way we treat non-whites that is the root cause of these issues. 60% Canadians are bigots plain and simple. Until Canadians are willing to look in the mirror and see themselves as they are, this will continue.

  77. If you understand aboriginal’s of Canada, why are they still referring to us as “african americans”? The more you know that the aboriginals of the mainland and islands of america have to be the most feared and scrutinized people in the world. Why even compare two sets of people like that? African American and Aboriginals of Canada… hmmm.. why compare the two, who are they, they are both currently located in North America and are experiencing the same kinds of treatment in both places. I know this article is 2015 but its still relevant today. So if you’re a journalist reading this do your research and start referring to “african americans” as what they are- Aboriginals of the mainland of America. There is no such thing as an “african american” aside from actual africans that are living in america or someone of african descent actually born in america. But not the aboriginal american men and women. We are here.

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