Canadian Aboriginals’ Social and Economic Inequality

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Many people face social and economic inequalities in Canada, but the Aboriginals have been subjected to more discrimination. The Aboriginals include the First Nations, Metis, and Inuit people, who have their social justice revoked in many circumstances and their economic earnings falling far behind many Canadian nationals. To understand the rate at which their economic outlook has been impacted, the Center for Policy Alternatives (CCPA) has published many inequalities to show the gap between Aboriginals and other Canadians (Monchalin et al., 2019). Statistically, the group is very poor due to the higher rates of unemployment equated with the lower rates of educational attainments they undergo. While the rest of the Canadian have surety after completing their educational studies, the Aboriginals have lower chances of getting their fair share of education or being absorbed in the workforce. Instead, they report higher rates of substance abuse, increased suicide rates, imprisonments, and negative social frameworks.

The social and economic inequality amongst the Aboriginals, when broken down among their gender matrix, it shows there is a higher variable between males and females. For instance, Metis men are schooled compared to their women (Monchalin et al., 2019). Equally, the Metis population is doing better than Inuit and First Nation combined based on economic income and chances of evading social inequality. However, the Metis are lowly rated when equated to the general citizens in Canada. According to geographical analysis, some might relate the Aboriginals to living in places with low employment to preserve their culture, relying on the government to support their survival (Monchalin et al., 2019). When the young, energetic Aboriginals groups get into major towns such as Ontario, they are still subjected to economic disparities, making them live in poor neighborhoods or resort to socially unacceptable ventures that make them prone to prison sentences.

Social Discrimination

Global inflation has pushed people to the core, and it takes more than just working to meet the daily demand. The coronavirus pandemic has worsened, but Canada’s Aboriginals are still sidelined. As time unfolds, their survival orientation becomes even tougher. According to statistics, many indigenous people conflict with the justice system, and the numbers are constantly rising (Kim, 2019). The intense scrutiny shows that Aboriginals make about 19% of the federal prisoners as of 2016. Canadian Center for Justice Statistics further posits that Aboriginals are more likely to be accused of homicide than non-aboriginal. The prison numbers have constantly risen while the non-aboriginals number has dropped. There is deep-rooted stigmatization for the indigenous people because the idealism of social ills shows outright discrimination. The Correctional Investigator that is officially appointed as an ombudsman for federal corrections in Canada has constantly reported systemic discrimination within the justice system.

The UN Human Rights Council has reportedly shown an ingrained misunderstanding about the natives by the police and judges. When indigenous person is reported of crime, they are unintentionally profiled racially (Kim, 2019). For instance, when an Inuit is reported of petty crimes, they are subjected to extensive analysis, and at times, they are sent to jails for crimes that can be sorted amicably through compensation schemes. The incarcerated cases are tightly secured without parole opportunities to cycle their problems and magnify their subjectivism at home. When indigenous person realizes that their group is targeted, they become more careful, and in the end, they tend to face vulnerability (Hajizadeh et al., 2018). For example, when Metis thinks of low employment rates in major cities, they try to avoid such places, leading a life subjected to the realism of inequality within their country. Such a person is prone to commit minor crimes to feed their family.

When analyzing women in the Canadian prison, it is evident that many of its occupants are aboriginal women. The women make up to 30% of prison occupants locked due to self-defense or addiction-related problems. Since there are high incidences of abuse within the natives’ homes, the prevalence of drug abuse positions the natives in a hard-lined position with crimes. As much as the government takes the initiative to save Canadian citizens from the drug abuse paradox, some indigenous people think the industry is meant to capture and prison them because other citizens have the paradox behavior, and the program does not engulf them (Hajizadeh et al., 2018). There is an imbalance between the need to respond to Aboriginals and the need to deter crime in the communities in Canada. The Canadian government has constantly failed to address the human rights treaty to reverse human rights violations amongst aboriginals.

The Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) has constantly raised concerns about racial discrimination and various injustices that influence the high crime rates attributed to aboriginals. Some laws need to be dropped to reduce the rate of racial discrimination and enhance sensitive programs that train the justice officials to advocate for equality. The rules have never been tuned to fit racial equality, and the aboriginals have been subjected to such inequalities without fending for themselves (Siddiqi et al., 2017). According to CERD secretary Nathalie Prouvez, the law treaties can ratify Canadian cohesion and safeguard any form of discrimination that the indigenous people undergo. For instance, the First Nations Policing Policy (FNPP) that started in 1992 has continually advocated for the representation of native communities’ ideologies and employment in influential positions to be heard (Siddiqi et al., 2017). However, FNPP has been sidelined, and the basic shell of the organization remains to be seen as an image.

There is a high social exclusion rate since the Aboriginal people were exposed to British colonizers. The colonial system stratified the ethnicity of the indigenous people that led to the sidelined logarithm of their healthcare facilities (Hajizadeh et al., 2019). The policies of the colonizers have been flagged throughout various determinants such as educational orientation and social policies. Racism is a national disaster since its hierarchy causes vulnerability. A restrictive measure is put whenever an Aboriginal shows up in healthcare facilities. The disparities are burdensome to the indigenous while other citizens enjoy rights beyond normal analogy. The federal government is responsible for funding social programs provided to the indigenous people in Canada (Hajizadeh et al., 2019). First Nations are registered as Indians under the Indian Act. The Indigenous services were created in 2017, but the interventions are regularly cut short. Equally, indigenous people within Winnipeg, Vancouver, Toronto, and Edmonton have registered many Aboriginals people, but their living conditions have never been scrutinized to be better.

Since the colonial era, the Aboriginal employment rate has been low because indigenous people are sidelined to create employment for other ethnic nationals. For instance, in 2019, the employment rate for indigenous people in Canada was 57.5%, while the non-indigenous population was 62.1%. The Metis rated 61.3% among the indigenous people employed while Inuit were 49%. Compared to non-indigenous, the statistics show that the Canadian average employment rate is lower than the indigenous people (Batal et al., 2021). The aboriginals’ dwelling place is poorly maintained compared to other nationals that have well-ventilated houses with support amenities such as roads, electricity, clean water, and adequate hospitals within the vicinities.

Economic Discrimination

The historical orientation of the aboriginals was organized around hunting, fishing, and gathering. The geographical patterns of Canada influence major food sources that can sustain the population, but many technological advancements have taken place. However, the indigenous people have been outshined because their initial economic vector has been replaced by advanced technologies that the government has installed in the country (Batal et al., 2021). The trade agreements have made it impossible for the aboriginals’ economic strongholds to reduce. The communities have weekend alliances with the colonial rulers and the current leadership, making it impossible for them to be economically empowered through their original ventures.

The Atlantic Canadians employment rates are low hence the higher poverty levels attributed to the geographical locations. The art of cultural dependency among the First Nations, such as the Metis and Inuit, is affiliated to their little employment and high dependency on the government (Godley, 2018). The decimation of cultural economies, such as the movement of the aboriginal people to marginalized land, was due to the creation of reserves by the colonialists. The location hypothesis has made it impossible for the rural inhabitants to survive during harsh economic times such as the COVID-19. The rural communities of the indigenous people had the resources that made them valid but have tuned out to be non-profitable or illegal. For example, moose was valued at 150 kilograms of meat, and it used to earn aboriginal people a lot of money (Godley, 2018). In the recent past, the government of Canada made it illegal to sell moose meat because it was illegal. It also ensured other wild meats were safeguarded for the tourism industry to thrive and save wild animals from becoming extinct.

In terms of the gender gap, the First Nations, Metis, and Inuit women are ranked the poorest in Canada. The aboriginal women are subjected to high victimization rates and other crime-related activities across Canada. Being the low-income earners makes it easier for these women to be vulnerable (Hansen & Dim, 2019). The women are leading in single parenthood, and the government has constantly shown the urge to support them, but it has not implemented it fully. Aboriginal women have high educational limits compared to their men, and this is due to high concentration levels. A non-aboriginal is most likely to get a higher paying job than an aboriginal woman despite having the same qualifications (Hansen & Dim, 2019). Women sidelining has been profiled in the healthcare facilities, more so in the maternity and other emergency sections. People think they cannot afford their medical bills, and they are put aside or referred to public vicinities.

The aboriginals are sidelined from participating in Canada’s political development and other leadership affairs. Some of the ceremonial seats granted to show equality are not given major mandates that can give them mileage in achieving positivity. The Canadian government, having assumed the aboriginals due to pre-colonial realism, has made it tough for their generations to get basic needs. When the aboriginals lack the framework to rise to the top seats, they are left with negative options that will enable them to fend for their rights. Residential schools in the original areas known to belong to aboriginals are low (Hansen & Dim, 2019). Therefore, kids within such vicinities are highly populated with fewer teachers. The schooling outlook makes it impossible for many kids to pass and join higher learning institutions. The low transition rate from lower learning institutions to higher learning institutions makes it hard for children emanating from aboriginal families to secure better-paying employment opportunities.

Indigenous people live in crowded places as compared to the non-indigenous population. About 40% of Inuit and 9% of Metis live in crowded neighborhoods. Crowded places cannot support normal healthy living for a human being. Therefore, the population of aboriginals is subjected to harsh living conditions that are prone to outbreaks of disease. For instance, during the COVID-19 pandemic, many aboriginals have suffered the consequences since they could not afford the World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines to contain the infection rate (Hansen & Dim, 2019). Before the pandemic, other diseases such as typhoid, malaria, and overpopulation-prone infections affected them. The aboriginals have continually fought for better lives to reduce the overcrowding, but the governmental system is not giving them a chance.

To reduce poverty levels in aboriginals, the government should find solutions to some of the problems facing society in Canada. There is a mantra that some parastatals aim at supporting the Metis and Inuit people. Still, it does not sort the discriminative measures that can produce a secure environment to improve their livelihood. The government should focus on changing the policy directions to assimilate the aboriginals’ reconciliations. The Canadian government should start by ensuring they abandon colonial assumptions while addressing the issues of poverty amongst the First Nations. The governance styles, economic models, and educational input should be standardized within Canada to give everyone an equal chance of changing their lives. Supporting local institutions to enable them to attune their ventures into serving Canadians, in general, should be their core objective. Equally, aboriginal people should not be forced into residential schools but given a chance in the local boards to provide insights on things they deem essential to their children.

Government policies should stop battling policies such as the First Nations Governance Act. The federal government should acknowledge the First Nations, Metis, and Inuit peoples’ identities and respect their cultural outlook. The repudiation of variables such as education levels, location, and gender gaps should be tuned to fit the assimilation of reconciliation policies. The government should accept the aboriginals as part of the Canadian population and treat them as human beings and regarding their rights. The existing gap between the aboriginals and non-aboriginals can be curbed by ensuring the job groups’ salaries are standardized within Canada. The standardization will ensure that when aboriginal is absorbed in the workforce, they are not subjected to lower wages than other nationals.

The Supreme Court of Canada should pursue reconciliation to attain aboriginal rights. The potential policies aimed at making the aboriginals comfortable should ensure their crowded cultural area is given support systems such as roads, hospitals, and various social amenities to accommodate their well-being. Changing the public perception about aboriginals should start in schools. The government should encourage the free intermingling of children to grow with the locals. This will ensure they appreciate them and work well with them once they attain their career qualification in a work environment.

References

Batal, M., Chan, H., Fediuk, K., Ing, A., Berti, P., Sadik, T., & Johnson-Down, L. (2021). Associations of health status and diabetes among First Nations Peoples living on reserve in Canada. Canadian Journal of Public Health, 112(S1), 154-167. Web.

Godley, J. (2018). Everyday Discrimination in Canada: Prevalence and Patterns. Canadian Journal of Sociology, 43(2), 111-142. Web.

Hajizadeh, M., Bombay, A., & Asada, Y. (2019). Socioeconomic inequalities in psychological distress and suicidal behaviours among Indigenous peoples living off reserve in Canada. Canadian Medical Association Journal, 191(12), E325-E336. Web.

Hajizadeh, M., Hu, M., Bombay, A., & Asada, Y. (2018). Socioeconomic inequalities in health among Indigenous peoples living off reserve in Canada: Trends and determinants. Health Policy, 122(8), 854-865. Web.

Hansen, J., & Dim, E. (2019). Canada’s Missing and Murdered Indigenous People and the Imperative for a More Inclusive Perspective. International Indigenous Policy Journal, 10(1). Web.

Kim, P. (2019). Social Determinants of Health Inequities in Indigenous Canadians through a Life Course Approach to Colonialism and the Residential School System. Health Equity, 3(1), 378-381. Web.

Monchalin, R., Smylie, J., & Nowgesic, E. (2019). “I Guess I Shouldn’t Come Back Here”: Racism and Discrimination as a Barrier to Accessing Health and Social Services for Urban Métis Women in Toronto, Canada. Journal of Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities, 7(2), 251-261. Web.

Siddiqi, A., Shahidi, F., Ramraj, C., & Williams, D. (2017). Associations between race, discrimination and risk for chronic disease in a population-based sample from Canada. Social Science & Medicine, 194, 135-141. Web.

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