Indigenous youth facing social and economic exclusion
Deep barriers exist to social and economic inclusion for young Indigenous people living in Thunder Bay due to the legacy of colonialism and a continuing toxic context of racism. Racism and discrimination in Thunder Bay – both systemic and interpersonal – is a widely acknowledged reality. According to the results of the 2015 Citizen Satisfaction Survey issued by the City of Thunder Bay, 81% of residents agree that racism is a serious problem in their city. Numbers from Statistics Canada suggest that Thunder Bay has one of the highest rates of metropolitan hate crime, and that most of the police-reported hate incidents in Thunder Bay were against Indigenous people, accounting for 29% of all anti-Indigenous hate crimes across Canada in 2015.
We learned from our partners in Thunder Bay that these dim statistics, combined with a noxious anti-Indigenous context, contribute to a perception of young Indigenous citizens as being problems or perpetrators of violence rather than as valuable community members. Indigenous young people living in Thunder Bay themselves say racism often impedes their ability to engage in civic life and move about the city safely and freely.
Despite being located at the intersection of systems that routinely fail them, young Indigenous community organizers and their allies are very often leading the call for justice and change in Thunder Bay. Inspirit is committed to working with these change leaders and other community actors to:
A vision of change
By 2020, we intend to effect the following impacts:
A Collaborative Approach
Inspirit is inviting other donors, funders and social sector organizations to join us in supporting young people in Thunder Bay. It is obvious that this is not a goal that can be accomplished by any one organization or strategy. We are therefore working in collaboration with a number of organizations and welcome additional support through funding or services. If you would like to explore collaboration ideas, please contact our Manager of Stakeholder Engagement and Communications, Rudayna Bahubeshi.