I Say No to Racism

antiracism-photo-of-Siksika-Leaders

 

Racism and discrimination can exist in all parts of our lives. It is deeply rooted in our culture and our communities including schools, the justice system, and the government. It is so pervasive that people often don't realize how policies, institutions, and systems unfairly favor some while disadvantaging others. Acknowledging that racism and discrimination are a part of our lived reality is a critical first step to action.

 "I Say No to Racism" is a community driven, anti-racism campaign that was created by community members from Strathmore, Siksika Nation, and the surrounding area. The campaign was created to help empower our communities to stand-up to racism while telling the real-life narratives experienced by our own neighbours. From traditional billboards to social media, this integrated campaign is a symbol of the commitment that Strathmore is taking to denounce racism and to spark difficult conversations that will open the hearts and minds of residents.

 

Photo Gallery: I Say No to Racism will appear here on the public site.

 

What is Racism?

  • Racism is a set of beliefs and ideas that asserts the superiority of one group over another.
  • Stereotypes are generalizations of a group of people based on the actions or characteristics of a few members of that group.
  • Prejudice is a “pre-judgment” of a person or group in a negative light formed based on stereotypes and usually made without adequate evidence or information.
  • Discrimination is the denial of equal treatment or opportunity. Discrimination results from people acting on stereotypes and prejudices that they hold to be true. 
  • Systemic Racism: policies and practices that exist throughout a whole society or organization, and that result in and support a continued unfair advantage to some people and unfair or harmful treatment of others based on race.

 

 

Statistics

In a sampling of over 3,000 Canadians, 47% of respondents admitted they were strongly, moderately, or slightly racist. (Source:  Fieras, Augie.  Unequal Relations:  An Introduction to Race, Ethnic, and Aboriginal Dynamics in Canada.  7th ed.  Toronto:  Pearson Canada, 2012.  p. 94) 

According to Statistics Canada’s 2004 General Social Survey (GSS), Aboriginal women experience much higher rates of violence than non-Aboriginal women. Statistics Canada also reported that Aboriginal women 15 years and older are 3.5 times more likely to experience violence than non-Aboriginal women. Native Women's Association of Canada

The average total income of Indigenous Peoples was 75 per cent that of non-Indigenous people in 2015 - that's a 25 percent income gap. It is a slight improvement from the 27 per cent gap in 2005. 

In a Canadian study, those with English sounding names received interview requests 40% more often than applicants with Chinese, Indian or Pakistani names. (Source:  Cao, Liqun.  "Visible Minorities and Confidence in the Police."  Canadian Journal of Criminology and Criminal Justice 53, no.1 (2011): p.4)

25% of discrimination complaints received by the Canadian Human Rights Commission in 2016 relate to race, colour, national or ethnic origin, and/or religion. Indigenous Corporate Training, 8 keys issues for Indigenous peoples

Indigenous Peoples have historically faced higher unemployment rates than non-Indigenous people. The employment rates of Indigenous Peoples in Canada did not increase between 2006 and 2016. Indigenous Corporate Training, 8 keys issues for Indigenous peoples

43% of hate crimes in 2017 were motivated by hatred of a race or ethnicity. Source: Canadian Human Rights Commission

27% of the federal prison population in 2017 were Indigenous people, who only comprised 4.1% of the Canadian population (Statistics Canada, 2018)

The most tragic of all is the higher rate of suicide among First Nation, Métis and Inuit youth. A 2016 Statistics Canada report found that more than one in five off-reserve First Nations, Métis and Inuit adults reported having suicidal thoughts at some point in their lives. Suicide rates are five to seven times higher for First Nations youth than for non-Aboriginal youth, and for Inuit youth, the rate is among the highest in the world - 11 times the national average. Indigenous Corporate Training, 8 keys issues for Indigenous peoples

 

Counselor Denise Peterson Says No To Racism

 

How to Respond to Racism

When someone says something that is racist in a conversation, the best thing to do is try and change the subject; but that doesn’t mean you should let it go, it might just be best to discuss your feelings at a more appropriate time.

‘What you said before has been sitting with me and I want to talk to you about it’ might sound a lot better than scolding someone in front of other people.

If you are a bystander witnessing a racist act in a public space, the first thing you can do is support the person being targeted. You can do this by sitting or standing next to them and check to ensure that they are ok.

Asking open-ended questions is often a good way to make the perpetrator think about their actions. For example:

  • “Why did you say that?”
  • “Why do you think that’s funny?”
  • “What do you mean by that?”   

When a bystander stays silent it sends a message that racism is acceptable. Take the opportunity to educate others.

Sometimes you might find yourself needing to report the incident; this might simply involve telling someone in a position of responsibility. If it happens in a public venue, you could tell a security guard or member of staff.

 

Important  Resources

There is always room for learning, take a look at these resources to better educate yourself on how you can say no to racism or learn about cultural diversity.

 

Funded by the Government of Canada

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