Yesterday, to mark the first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, the Environics Institute released the first report from its 2021 Focus Canada survey. The survey, conducted in partnership with Century Initiative, is based on a sample of more than 2,000 Canadians and provides important insights into attitudes towards Indigenous Peoples and Reconciliation.
Among the survey’s key findings are a growing awareness among Canadians of the residential school legacy and an increasing view that policies of Canadian governments are the main obstacle to Indigenous Peoples achieving social and economic equality.
The research also reveals that while Canadians remain generally optimistic regarding the prospects for meaningful reconciliation in their lifetimes, there has been a decline in optimism since 2016, and most prominently so for youth. At the same time, strong feelings of national pride have also declined in Canada, again more so for younger people. These findings are likely driven by this year’s tragic discovery of unmarked graves of children at the sites of former residential schools.
The report’s findings reinforce the critical importance of encouraging public discussion on these important issues and in fostering a policy environment that contributes to building a more inclusive and accepting Canada. As Canadians, we must ensure that the tragic history of residential schools is never forgotten, and that we learn from our history and its ongoing consequences for Indigenous Peoples so that we can build a better tomorrow.
At Century Initiative we are committed to a bigger, bolder Canada. That means a Canada that is growing well into the future and building sustainable and shared prosperity. That also means a Canada that is built on a new foundation of reconciliation to carry us through this century and beyond.
Learn more about The National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.