Anti-Indigenous racism shows itself in the ongoing discrimination, negative stereotyping, and injustices experienced by Indigenous Peoples in Canada. It includes ideas and practices that establish, maintain and perpetuate power imbalances, systemic barriers, and inequitable outcomes … which often stem from the legacy of colonial policies and practices in Canada.

But what does that mean? Where does that come from?

Systemic anti-Indigenous racism is influenced by things like federal policies, like the Indian Act. It can be seen in the generational trauma created by the residential school system. And we can measure the impact of this racism in many ways, such as the overrepresentation of Indigenous peoples in provincial criminal justice and child welfare systems. We also see it as we measure and work to address the inequitable outcomes in education, reported well-being, and in health*.

(*Outlined here: https://www.ontario.ca/document/data-standards-identification-and-monitoring-systemic-racism/glossary  on October 22, 2022)

As we begin to engage in this work, it is important that we have a clear understanding and definition about what we are trying to overcome, change or dismantle.  Anti-Indigenous Racism shows up in our resources, in our language and in our school spaces.  Once we are aware of it, we must name it, notice it and combat whenever it shows up.

We also need to be open on our learning journey to the opportunities. As much as we have a responsibility to look for and remove the barriers we know people face, we also need to learn from and celebrate the cultural teachings that are possible … to amply both the battles against racism and the celebrations of culture, storytelling and sharing lived experiences.

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