81 per cent of Indigenous people faced discrimination in Lambton County

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This is not a time to be burying our heads in the sand: Stark

A new survey shows 81 per cent of Indigenous people have experienced discrimination in Sarnia-Lambton.

The Sarnia-Lambton Immigration Partnership worked with Forum Research and a research student at Western University on the survey. Over 360 people who were visible and non-visible minorities and Indigenous people were asked a series of question about their experiences living and working in the region.

The survey found:

  • 66 per cent of those surveyed had experienced discrimination in the last three years
  • 81 per cent of Indigenous people reported discrimination as did 71 per cent of Black people
  • More women reported discrimination than men – 69 per cent said they’d faced discrimination
  • 42 per cent of the people said the main reason for the discrimination was the colour of their skin
  • 54 per cent of people said they were the butt of inappropriate jokes, 46 per cent heard derogatory language and 32 per cent faced verbal abuse
  • 67 per cent of people discriminating were middle aged, 60 per cent were white
  • 363 people interviewed said they faced discrimination at school, in stores, job interviews and social and public settings.

County councillors – who got a look at the survey during a meeting Wednesday – say clearly there is a problem in Lambton.

“This is not a time to be burying our heads in the sand, as if it weren’t a problem. And we need to bring this awareness to people at all levels of our county, that we need to address this,” says Sarnia City/County Councillor Mike Stark. “I know this is an uncomfortable issue for people to talk about and one to recognize.”

He suggested the survey be sent to all Lambton County municipalities and officials in the social services division at the county agreed they could give a presentation about the reports findings to municipalities in the area if requested to begin educating people about the problem.

Sarnia-Lambton Immigration Partnership is also using the survey to develop anti-discrimination initiatives in Lambton County