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Quebecers Believe The Government Must Do More To Fight Racism Against First Nations

An overwhelming majority acknowledge that racism against First Nations exists in the province.
Staff Writer
An Overwhelming Majority Of Quebecers Acknowledge Racism Against First Nations Exists

A new survey conducted by Leger shows that some progress has been made in terms of how residents view First Nations in the province, according to the Assembly of First Nations Quebec-Labrador (AFNQL). The results show that an overwhelming majority of Quebecers, 87%, believe that the government should do more to fight racism and discrimination against Indigenous people. As a result, the AFNQL said that it will develop an action plan to take on discrimination against First Nations communities in the province.

An even larger majority of Quebecers, 92%, acknowledge that racism and discrimination exist against Indigenous people, a figure which perhaps stands in sharp contrast to François Legault's assertion that there is no systemic racism here

Still, 61% of survey respondents deny that "that they have personally been prejudiced against First Nations members."

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"The opinion of Quebecers has greatly evolved and the survey confirms that they are much more sensitive to the racism experienced by the First Nations than their political representatives," said the Chief of the AFNQL, Ghislain Picard.

"Systemic racism, structural discrimination, whatever you want to call it, the reality is there and we have to face it with the necessary means."

The AFNQL said it was "not very inspired" by the province's own action plan. 

It will present its own plan by the end of September 2020.

While 81% of non-First Nations Quebecers have a positive opinion of Indigenous people, 58% admit that they have "little or no" knowledge of the realities of First Nations communities. 

80% believe that First Nations people "face additional barriers in different facets of their lives."

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60% feel that the police have a "poor" relationship with First Nations in Quebec.

70% of Quebecers believe that Indigenous people and non-Native Quebecers "are not treated on an equal footing."

A positive trend indicates that more people are open to learning about Indigenous issues in Quebec.

71% "feel that including more First Nations concepts in the school curriculum would contribute to the fight against racism and discrimination."

"[The government] must commit to correcting situations of systemic and structural racism and discrimination, of which it is often itself the source, and which remain major obstacles to the social justice to which all are entitled," said Chief Picard.

"Generally speaking, a majority of the Quebec population recognizes that racism exists toward First Nations in Quebec and they are open-minded and support Aboriginal claims," said the survey's authors. 

"They also expect their government to take a leading role in the fight against racism and discrimination."

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