Glavin: Canadians have no reason to be smug about race | Ottawa Citizen

Interesting piece by Terry Glavin comparing the situation of African-Americans to Canadian Aboriginal people:

Things are going downhill, too. Over the past decade, the Aboriginal population in federal prisons has grown by more than 50 per cent. In Western Canada, two-thirds of the inmates in federal and provincial institutions are Aboriginal people.

About 28 per cent of African-Americans are stuck with something less than a high school education – half again higher than the rate among white people. In Canada, about 29 per cent of Aboriginal people have less than a high-school education, compared to 12 per cent of non-Aboriginal people.

While a third of African-American children entering high school will drop out – twice the rate of white kids – current drop-out rates indicate that more than half of Canada’s Aboriginal kids probably won’t finish high school. That’s a drop-out rate roughly six times higher than among non-Aboriginal kids.

On reserves, 74 per cent of schools are so dilapidated they lack such basic amenities as drinking water. More than half the schools function without a library, a gymnasium, a science laboratory, or a kitchen. Of Canada’s nearly 1.5 million Aboriginal people, about half are under 15 years of age.

“How long? Not long, because the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice,” Martin Luther King proclaimed all those years ago.

African-Americans might be forgiven for every once in a while losing patience with how long it’s taking that arc to fully bend towards them. For Canada’s young Aboriginal people, it’s not clear that the arc of the moral universe is even bending in their direction at all.

Glavin: Canadians have no reason to be smug about race | Ottawa Citizen.

About Andrew
Andrew blogs and tweets public policy issues, particularly the relationship between the political and bureaucratic levels, citizenship and multiculturalism. His latest book, Policy Arrogance or Innocent Bias, recounts his experience as a senior public servant in this area.

2 Responses to Glavin: Canadians have no reason to be smug about race | Ottawa Citizen

  1. Marion Vermeersch says:

    This is all so true and there are many more examples of the results of the colonization of our Native people.
    Native children have always been vastly over-represented in the numbers of children in care of child welfare agencies. Social problems continue to plague families destroyed by the residential school system. Native soldiers served honourably with the military in all wars but came home to the same discrimination as before. Many reserves do not have potable water or sewage systems. It is disgraceful that so many of their land claims are yet to be settled while our culture continues its drive to exploit and destroy that land
    A very discouraging picture, and does not seem to be improving. I hope our own school systems are now including education about the history of colonization and about the wonderful histories of our Native people and that it is compulsory in curriculums, starting in early grades. That knowledge might eventually help to change our treatment of them.

  2. Andrew says:

    Thanks Marion for your regular contributions and comments.

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