The majority of young people who took part in a new poll said they are optimistic about the future of reconciliation.
1,377 people aged 16 to 29 took the Canadian Youth Reconciliation Barometer survey.
73 per cent of Indigenous participants and 68 per cent of the non-Indigenous young people reported that they were somewhat or very optimistic that reconciliation will happen in their lifetime.
The Environics Institute for Survey Research worked with Canadian Roots Exchange and the Mastercard Foundation to conduct the online survey.
“I was extraordinarily heartened by the results,” says Max FineDay, executive director of Canadian Roots Exchange. “We’re seeing movement in the right direction. We just need to make sure that movement is kept up and that there’s more opportunities for learning as we go.”
Nearly one-third of Indigenous youth and one in six non-Indigenous people who took the survey said that they have been involved in a reconciliation activity.
“Young people have their hands reached out saying we’re willing to get this right,” adds FineDay, who is from the Sweetgrass First Nation. “Reconciliation can seem insurmountable. It’s clear that we’re on the right path, but we still have a long way to go. Young people, both Indigenous and non-Indigenous, are learning about why this relationship is fractured, and are optimistic we can repair it.”
The study surveyed 682 Indigenous and 695 non-Indigenous Canadians and was conducted between March 22 and April 29 of this year.
“This kind of research provides an important form of evidence to tell us about where we stand on reconciliation today, and how it is evolving over time,” says Keith Neuman, lead researcher on the project. “Without such evidence, we are at the mercy of anecdote and stereotype.”
The final report can be viewed at www.environicsinstitute.org
(Photo courtesy of Twitter @MaxFineDay.)