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  • Writer's pictureMichael Laxer

Data shows "exceptionally high child poverty rates in Black, Indigenous communities"

"This is our legacy of colonialism"

Despite various right wing talking heads like Rex Murphy saying "Canada is not a racist country" and the RCMP commissioner saying she "struggles" with the term systemic racism when it comes to her own organization, data "released today show exceptionally high rates of poverty across the country in Black, First Nations, Métis and Inuit communities."

According to the anti-poverty group Campaign 2000, using data from the 2016 census (the latest available) compiled by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, "Status and non-Status First Nations children living on and off reserve experience astoundingly high child poverty rates."

In Manitoba and Saskatchewan, for instance, 65% of Status First Nation children living on reserve live in poverty. Status First Nations children living off reserve experience child poverty rates of 54% and 50% respectively.
Census 2016 data also shows that in every province across the country, rates of child poverty in Black communities are anywhere from 8 percentage points higher in Saskatchewan (25% child poverty rate for Black children), to 24 percentage points higher in Newfoundland and Labrador (41% child poverty rate for Black children) than the national average of 17%. The provincial child poverty rate for both these provinces sat at 18%.

Leila Sarangi, National Coordinator of Campaign 2000 said "This is our legacy of colonialism. Poverty and police violence in Black and Indigenous communities uphold our systems of oppression and white supremacy. We need to address this. We support Black and Indigenous calls for immediate police accountability and significant investments into mental health services, housing, employment, childcare and education for these children."



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