April 21, 2019

Winnipeg
8° C, A few clouds

Full Forecast

Advertisement

Advertise With Us

Urban natives content: study

Survey shows happiness in white society, lingering stereotype fears

Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 6/4/2010 (3301 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

OTTAWA -- Aboriginal people living in Canada's cities are generally happy, proud of their heritage and have the same desires to go to school, get good jobs, own a home and raise happy, healthy kids as anyone else.

But they still fear non-aboriginals see them as lazy, stupid and addicted to drugs and alcohol.

The findings are part of the Urban Aboriginal Peoples Survey, released Tuesday by the Environics Institute. It looked at how urban First Nations, Métis and Inuit people view themselves and how they are viewed by non-aboriginals. Environics conducted the survey between March and October 2009 using in-person interviews with 2,614 aboriginal Canadians in 11 cities, including Winnipeg. It also conducted a phone survey of non-aboriginals living in 10 cities, including Winnipeg.

"Much of what we found won't be particularly surprising to urban aboriginal communities, but there are a lot of surprises for the rest of us," said Keith Neuman, vice-president of public affairs with the Environics Research Group.

Get the full story.
No credit card required. Cancel anytime.

Join free for 30 days

After that, pay as little as $0.99 per month for the best local news coverage in Manitoba.

 

Already a subscriber?

Log in

Join free for 30 days

 

Already a subscriber?

Log in

Subscribers Log in below to continue reading,
not a subscriber? Create an account to start a 30 day free trial.

Log in Create your account

Your free trial has come to an end.

We hope you have enjoyed your trial! To continue reading, we recommend our Read Now Pay Later membership. Simply add a form of payment and pay only 27¢ per article.

For unlimited access to the best local, national, and international news and much more, try an All Access Digital subscription:

Thank you for supporting the journalism that our community needs!

Your free trial has come to an end.

We hope you have enjoyed your trial! To continue reading, we recommend our Read Now Pay Later membership. Simply add a form of payment and pay only 27¢ per article.

For unlimited access to the best local, national, and international news and much more, try an All Access Digital subscription:

Thank you for supporting the journalism that our community needs!

We hope you have enjoyed your free trial!

To continue reading, select a plan below:

All Access Digital

Introductory pricing*

99¢

per month

  • Unlimited online reading and commenting
  • Daily newspaper replica e-Edition
  • News Break - our award-winning iOS app
  • Exclusive perks & discounts
Continue

Read Now Pay Later

Pay

27¢

per article

  • Commitment-free
  • Cancel anytime
  • Only pay for what you read
  • Refunds available
Continue

*Introductory pricing schedule for 12 month: $0.99/month plus tax for first 3 months, $5.99/month for months 4 - 6, $10.99/month for months 7 - 9, $13.99/month for months 10 - 12. Standard All Access Digital rate of $16.99/month begins after first year.

We hope you have enjoyed your free trial!

To continue reading, select a plan below:

Read Now Pay Later

Pay

27¢

per article

  • Commitment-free
  • Cancel anytime
  • Only pay for what you read
  • Refunds available
Continue

All Access Digital

Introductory pricing*

99¢

per month

  • Unlimited online reading and commenting
  • Daily newspaper replica e-Edition
  • News Break - our award-winning iOS app
  • Exclusive perks & discounts
Continue

Mon to Sat Delivery

Pay

$34.36

per month

  • Includes all benefits of All Access Digital
  • 6-day delivery of our award-winning newspaper
Continue

*Introductory pricing schedule for 12 month: $0.99/month plus tax for first 3 months, $5.99/month for months 4 - 6, $10.99/month for months 7 - 9, $13.99/month for months 10 - 12. Standard All Access Digital rate of $16.99/month begins after first year.

We hope you have enjoyed your free trial!

To continue reading, select a plan below:

All Access Digital

Introductory pricing*

99¢

per month

  • Unlimited online reading and commenting
  • Daily newspaper replica e-Edition
  • News Break - our award-winning iOS app
  • Exclusive perks & discounts
Continue

Read Now Pay Later

Pay

27¢

per article

  • Commitment-free
  • Cancel anytime
  • Only pay for what you read
  • Refunds available
Continue

*Introductory pricing schedule for 12 month: $0.99/month plus tax for first 3 months, $5.99/month for months 4 - 6, $10.99/month for months 7 - 9, $13.99/month for months 10 - 12. Standard All Access Digital rate of $16.99/month begins after first year.

We hope you have enjoyed your free trial!

To continue reading, select a plan below:

Read Now Pay Later

Pay

27¢

per article

  • Commitment-free
  • Cancel anytime
  • Only pay for what you read
  • Refunds available
Continue

All Access Digital

Introductory pricing*

99¢

per month

  • Unlimited online reading and commenting
  • Daily newspaper replica e-Edition
  • News Break - our award-winning iOS app
  • Exclusive perks & discounts
Continue

*Introductory pricing schedule for 12 month: $0.99/month plus tax for first 3 months, $5.99/month for months 4 - 6, $10.99/month for months 7 - 9, $13.99/month for months 10 - 12. Standard All Access Digital rate of $16.99/month begins after first year.

Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 6/4/2010 (3301 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Andrew Bighetty at Thunderbird House. He says despite his urban home, his Cree traditions are crucial in his life.

BORIS.MINKEVICH@FREEPRESS.MB.CA

Andrew Bighetty at Thunderbird House. He says despite his urban home, his Cree traditions are crucial in his life.

OTTAWA — Aboriginal people living in Canada's cities are generally happy, proud of their heritage and have the same desires to go to school, get good jobs, own a home and raise happy, healthy kids as anyone else.

But they still fear non-aboriginals see them as lazy, stupid and addicted to drugs and alcohol.

The findings are part of the Urban Aboriginal Peoples Survey, released Tuesday by the Environics Institute. It looked at how urban First Nations, Métis and Inuit people view themselves and how they are viewed by non-aboriginals. Environics conducted the survey between March and October 2009 using in-person interviews with 2,614 aboriginal Canadians in 11 cities, including Winnipeg. It also conducted a phone survey of non-aboriginals living in 10 cities, including Winnipeg.

"Much of what we found won't be particularly surprising to urban aboriginal communities, but there are a lot of surprises for the rest of us," said Keith Neuman, vice-president of public affairs with the Environics Research Group.

Those surprises likely include the fact most urban aboriginals consider the city they live in their home, have no desire to move back to their hometown or reserve, and are not all that worried about losing their cultural identity. They retain strong ties to their hometowns and their culture, but are almost equally proud to be Canadian.

They also reported similar aspirations to all Canadians for a good life, including getting an education, landing a good job, buying a home and starting or raising a family.

Urban aboriginals are generally more tolerant of other cultures and languages than non-aboriginals, but more than seven in 10 aboriginal people in cities feel they are viewed negatively by non-aboriginals. Almost three in four say other Canadians associate aboriginal people with drug and alcohol abuse, 30 per cent think they are perceived as lazy and 20 per cent believe they are seen as stupid or uneducated.

Andrew Bighetty, an outreach worker for homeless people at the Circle of Life Thunderbird House, said he is proud of his Cree heritage because it keeps him away from alcohol and a destructive lifestyle.

"It gives me life," he said. "Every morning, I take sage and purify my mind, my body, my spirit and my emotions and then I can speak to the Creator."

He said he doesn't worry about stereotypes and does his best to treat everybody he meets as an equal.

"I greet just about everybody I see on the street. I shake their hands, I hug them. I ask for a minute of their time and if they need help. A homeless person will always be polite to you and greet you with a hello. If they ask for assistance and I don't have it, they'll thank me just for greeting them," he said.

Non-aboriginals are also likely to see aboriginal Canadians as targets for discrimination, with 12 per cent of non-aboriginals saying discrimination is the leading issue affecting the quality of life for aboriginal Canadians. More than eight in 10 non-aboriginals surveyed felt aboriginal people experience discrimination.

However, more than half of non-aboriginals feel aboriginal people are discriminated against to the same degree or less than other cultural or ethnic groups in Canada, including Jews, Chinese, blacks, Pakistani/East Indians and Muslims.

Most non-aboriginal people in cities seem to know no or very few aboriginal people, with 87 per cent reporting no or few aboriginal friends and 84 per cent reporting no or few aboriginal co-workers.

Nearly half of non-aboriginals have never been to a reserve, and seven in 10 have never attended an aboriginal cultural ceremony. The most common exposure to aboriginal culture comes from television and the movies (83 per cent).

More than six in 10 urban aboriginals said they learned almost nothing about aboriginal culture in elementary school and almost half said that trend continued in high school.

Despite the increased attention given residential schools since Prime Minister Stephen Harper apologized for the tragic policy in June 2008, almost half of non-aboriginals living in cities have neither heard nor read about Indian residential schools. Out of those that have, less than one-third think the schools are responsible for many of the problems and challenges currently faced by aboriginals in Canada.

That is a drastic difference from how urban aboriginals feel. More than two-thirds have been personally affected by residential schools, either attending themselves or having a family member or friend who did. Of those, half said the schools had a significant impact and 23 per cent said it had some impact.

Neuman said non-aboriginals who have heard of residential schools are generally "horrified." More schools are adding elements of aboriginal culture to the curriculum, but most Canadian adults were not exposed to much about residential schools or aboriginal culture in school.

Neuman said he hopes the survey will be seen as a positive story, and it will be used by both aboriginals and non-aboriginals alike to reframe how they think about each other.

"Aboriginals are living in cities because they want to," he said. "They are thriving."

mia.rabson@freepress.mb.ca

Advertisement

Advertise With Us

You can comment on most stories on The Winnipeg Free Press website. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or digital subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

Have Your Say

Comments are open to The Winnipeg Free Press print or digital subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to The Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

By submitting your comment, you agree to abide by our Community Standards and Moderation Policy. These guidelines were revised effective February 27, 2019. Have a question about our comment forum? Check our frequently asked questions.

Advertisement

Advertise With Us