The Northern Policy Institute (NPI) says while racism and discrimination are still prevalent in Northern Ontario, its latest reports show that, for the most part, northern communities are welcoming.
In partnership with Environics, phone and online surveys were completed in February 2022 to measure individual experiences and attitudes.
Reports were then compiled focusing on the five largest cities in the north, including North Bay, Greater Sudbury, Timmins, Thunder Bay and Sault Ste Mare.
“These reports, alongside the numerous initiatives that focus on anti-racism and discrimination, are crucial for keeping communities accountable,” says Charles Cirtwill, President and CEO of Northern Policy Institute. “By tracking attitudes over time, we can measure the effectiveness of anti-racism and discrimination efforts.”
Officials say the majority of residents who responded to the survey said not only is their community welcoming but that these welcoming efforts will continue over the next 10 years.
Most respondents also indicated relations between people of different racial backgrounds were generally good.
However, the institute says shared areas of concern included individual prejudice being a bigger issue for visible minorities and Indigenous peoples compared to discrimination built into laws and institutions.
When compared to the treatment of white people at work, school, public places and in dealing with police and the courts, the experiences of visible minorities and Indigenous peoples differed.
The report says treatment for Indigenous peoples was relatively more negative, even compared to visible minorities.
Based on the findings, NPI has several recommendations:
Continue public education about racism and discrimination in all spaces;
Identify who is not around the decision-making table and why; and,
Spotlight best practices and implement where possible.
For more information: https://www.northernpolicy.ca/
***With files from Richard Coffin