TORONTO, March 15, 2013 /CNW/ – According to a 2013 attitude survey sponsored by the Association of Canadian Studies and the Canadian Race Relations Foundation, negative perceptions of Aboriginal Peoples has increased in frequency among since last year, particularly among English Canadians. On the other hand, at the national level, attitudes among immigrants were more positive than among non-immigrants. It was also found that in general, the more Canadians reported having contact with Aboriginals the more positive were their views.
"While we are encouraged by the positive indicators in the survey, we are concerned about the increase of negative attitudes, particularly in English Canada," said Rubin Friedman, Principal Operating Officer of the Canadian Race Relations Foundation. "We also took note that one in four Canadians reported low trust of Aboriginals, even among immigrants. Furthermore, the situation in Manitoba/Saskatchewan could be the most important to examine further as Canadians here reported both the most negative attitudes and the greatest frequency of contact. Unlike other parts of the country, increased contact here did not have an effect on more positive views. This might suggest that the kind of contact with Aboriginals is important for more positive attitudes, not just frequency."
"We need a more positive kind of contact that a dialogue can bring. In the context of our Interfaith and Belonging Project, in conjunction with the University of Winnipeg, we will be undertaking a first step in building relationships on a national level as part of this project to promote civic participation and engagement. "Perceptions of Aboriginals in Immigrant Communities", part of our national discussions, and local consultations, will take place on Wednesday, March 20, to further explore the nature of the issues and what should be done both locally and elsewhere in the country."
Rubin Friedman, Canadian Race Relations Foundation, 647-403-8526
Jack Jedwab, Association for Canadian Studies, 514-925-3098