A new survey in which the University of British Columbia partnered with the Angus Reid Institute found that 58% of Canadian youth say they have witnessed fellow students being insulted, bullied or excluded at school based on their race or ethnicity.
According to the study 14% say they experienced such bullying themselves, with visible minority children three times as likely and indigenous children twice as likely as white children to say they faced personal abuse themselves.
The Angus Reid Institute is a nonpartisan nonprofit public opinion research firm based in Vancouver, B.C. that conducts research on Canadian issues and trends affecting social, economic, public administration, domestic and foreign policy.
A total of 872 youths, ages 12-17, were interviewed for this survey.
Survey respondents were also asked about other issues and events related to racial discrimination throughout Canada’s history to learn their level of awareness about these issues and events. Of that group, 26% said they learned a lot about racism in Canada throughout history at school, while 21% said they had not heard about this chapter of Canada’s history before.
One third of those interviewed said they had never learned about slavery in Canada and half said they had not learned of the internment of Japanese Canadians during World War II.
The survey also reported that 23% of students interviewed said teachers ignore racist behavior or are unaware of it, and that children in more diverse schools are significantly more likely to say that they learned about racism in Canada’s history indigenous treaties residential boarding schools and multiculturalism than in schools where most kids are from the same background.