Indigenous people more likely to experience discrimination in Hamilton, poll finds

Indigenous people face more discrimination than any other ethnic group in Hamilton, the results of a new poll released Tuesday suggest.

The nine-month survey, funded by the federal government and commissioned by the Hamilton Immigration Partnership Council (HIPC), took a representative sample of 784 residents who reported recent experiences of discrimination.

Over two-thirds of Indigenous respondents and 60% of immigrant and visible minority respondents reported experiencing discrimination in the past three years, compared to only half of non-immigrant white participants.

“These findings indicate daily occurrences of discrimination and the specific contexts in which it manifests itself,” said Lily Lumsden, chair of the HIPC Initiative, in a press release. “HIPC will continue to educate about the harmful effects of discrimination and take action to combat it. “

The survey – conducted in partnership with seven other immigrant groups in southwestern Ontario and the Network for Economic and Social Trends (NEST) at Western University – also looked at where the reported discrimination had taken place. .

Discrimination against immigrant, racialized and Indigenous groups most often occurred in workplaces and public places like parks, sidewalks and public transportation, said Victoria Esses, director of NEST and professor of psychology at Western. Indigenous respondents often faced discrimination when looking for housing, she added, while immigrants and racialized respondents found it more prevalent in schools.

“It is important to have this detailed data on where exactly discrimination occurs in order to develop effective strategies to address discrimination in these contexts,” Esses said in the statement.

Hamilton consistently ranks among Canada’s top cities for hate incidents, with an average of 121 police-reported incidents per year over the past eight years. In 2020, 80 hate incidents were reported, down from 92 in 2019.

HIPC said it will make recommendations based on the results of the investigation to the city’s general issues committee on Wednesday.

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