Canada’s Third World Nation Infographic

It’s really amazing how blind we can be to what is going on around us. I had some awareness of the living conditions of our Aboriginal People as far back as 1988/89, pre-internet, when I wrote a short story about them on my XT computer. In the intervening time, almost three decades, I kind of assumed that things had changed. The media tends to portray aboriginals as whining over historical treatment which cannot be changed, or turning down million or billion dollar petrochemical deals. Very little is said about current conditions, and then it is buried by news of natural disasters or elections.

But during my research for Questing for a Dream, I was continually shocked by the statistics and stories I was reading. I had heard of international organizations such as the United Nations citing Canada for human rights violations for the third world conditions faced by our native peoples, but knowing the standard of living in the rest of Canada, I believed they were exaggerating.

Here are some of the shocking statistics that I recorded during my research. Please pin, tweet, post and share the infographic. We need to promote awareness of these conditions. Our generation needs to insist that they be addressed, rather than leaving it another thirty years.

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infographic dream-small

According to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, at least 4,000 Aboriginal children died in the overcrowded residential schools.
Canada’s last residential school, Gordon Residential School in Punnichy, SK, closed its doors in 1996.

In Nunavut 27% of all deaths since 1999 have been suicides. This is one of the highest suicide rates in the world, and it continues to rise, especially among youth. – See more at: (Aboriginal Mental Health: The statistical reality, Saman Khan Reprinted from “Aboriginal People” issue of Visions Journal, 2008, 5 (1), pp. 6-7)

In Manitoba, Aboriginal children made up nearly 80% of children living in out-of-home care (Pathways to the overrepresentation of Aboriginal children in care Canadian Child Welfare Research Portal

Half of First Nations children live in poverty, with rates reaching as high as 64 per cent of children in Manitoba and Saskatchewan.
A rising number of Native teenagers are in custody: in 1997, just 12 per cent of young offenders in custody were Aboriginal. Today, it’s one in three.
The number of children taken from their homes by child welfare authorities now exceeds the number taken at the height of the residential-school era
Aboriginal children are 10 times more likely to be placed in foster care than the Canadian average and make up half of the roughly 60,000 kids in care.
More than half of Canada’s Aboriginal population hasn’t finished high school and just six per cent have a university degree.
A third of the population is on social assistance, rising to more than 80 per cent in some communities.
(Why fixing First Nations education remains so far out of reach, Aboriginal youth face a fate that should horrify Canadians and there’s an obvious fix, Tamsin McMahon)

Four in ten Indigenous Canadian children live in poverty, which the report found was twice the national rate. The study cites a deficit in basic social services as the reason for the increase in poverty.
“Indigenous children trail the rest of Canada’s children on practically every measure of well-being: family income, educational attainment, poor water quality, infant mortality, health, suicide, crowding and homelessness,” the report explained.
(Federal government fails aboriginal children : The Canadian National Newspaper)

There are boil water advisories on more than 100 reserves, with about 35 communities incrisisover lack of access to clean drinking water.
(Living conditions for First Nations ‘unacceptable’: Fontaine)

Lack of plumbing and electricity, poor insulation, toxic mold, substandard construction, lack of major repairs and overcrowding continue to devastate a large proportion of reserves and severely impact the quality of life of residents (Monette et al. 2009, Statistics Canada 2008, Adelson 2005)

Aboriginal women and girls represented approximately 10% of all female homicides in Canada. However, Aboriginal women make up only 3% of the female population. (Fact Sheet Missing and Murdered Aboriginal Women and Girls, Native Women’s Association of Canada)

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