TORONTO, March 18, 2013 /CNW/ - In advance of March 21, the
International Day to Eliminate Racism, The Canadian Race Relations
Foundation (CRRF), in conjunction with the University of Winnipeg, is
sponsoring a National and local Dialogue on Perceptions of Aboriginal
Peoples in Immigrant Communities on Wednesday, March 20 at 9.am. at the
University Club of the Winnipeg. Panelists will include Ron Swain of
the Congress of Aboriginal Peoples and Abdikheir Ahmed of IRCOM.
Recent information from a 2013 attitude survey shows that the negative
perception of Aboriginals has increased and the positive attitudes
declined, most markedly in English Canada. Although more positive
attitudes were reported by immigrants overall, there was a consistent 1
in 4 of respondents who reported low trust of Aboriginals among all
Canadians, including among immigrants.
As part of the CRRF Interfaith and Belonging Project, funded by
Citizenship and Immigration Canada, it was decided to explore the
question of how Aboriginal Peoples are perceived among newcomers from a
range of faiths, by bringing together local and national leaders.
"Over the years, we have had anecdotal reports of how quickly some
immigrants picked up negative stereotypes of Aboriginal Peoples in
cities where they live in close proximity to each other," said Rubin
Friedman, Principal Operating Officer of the CRRF.
The survey results tell us we all need to make greater efforts to
identify how negative perceptions develop and what can be done to
address them. Immigrants in particular often have no knowledge of
Aboriginal Peoples and their history in Canada. Why do negative
perceptions develop so fast?"
"And although we are examining perceptions in immigrant communities
first, it is obvious that this is a challenge for our whole society.
Perhaps fuller information can be given to newcomers about Aboriginal
Peoples, their history and their rights. Perhaps we need to review
what is being taught in schools on these subjects. Perhaps we need to
encourage more community encounters and open dialogue to promote a
greater common understanding. This Winnipeg dialogue and consultation
could become the first step in a national process that is essential for
that to happen," concluded Friedman.
For further information on the 2013 survey see the end of the news
release on our web site at:
SOURCE: Canadian Race Relations Foundation
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Principal Operating Officer, CRRF
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