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475Half of young Canadians polled unaware of any aboriginal issues

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  • Senior Staff
    Aug 1, 2001
      Half of young Canadians polled unaware of any aboriginal issues

      Rick Mofina
      The Ottawa Citizen

      Young Canadians are nearly split on their interest and awareness of
      aboriginal issues, with almost half unaware of any issues in the
      news, a federal government survey indicates.

      Of those polled, 52 per cent said they could think of an aboriginal
      issue that has been in the news while 48 per cent said they could

      The findings arise from a larger federal study, Reconnecting
      Government with Youth IV, and in part examined the views of young
      people on native issues.

      The Ipsos-Reid poll was submitted to the Department of Indian Affairs
      in March 2001. It conducted a random telephone survey of 2,000 people
      across Canada between the ages of 12 and 30 in the period March 31 to
      April 8 of this year.

      The survey, which asked respondents about their awareness, interest
      and views on various native issues, is considered accurate within 2.2
      percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

      Of the respondents who said they were aware of recent news reports of
      native issues, 33 per cent cited hunting and fishing disputes,
      like "Burnt Church," as the issue; 26 per cent said land claims was
      the issue; 19 per said substance abuse such as gas sniffing and
      alcoholism, while four per cent said treaty rights was the issue.

      When asked how interested they were in aboriginal issues, nine per
      cent responded to "very interested," 44 per cent agreed
      with "somewhat interested," while 36 per cent chose "not very
      interested" and 11 per cent agreed with "not at all interested."

      On the complex subject of aboriginal land claims, the survey asked
      the participants to select one of three general statements to
      describe their opinion:

      - Fifty-six per cent agreed that "aboriginal people have some
      legitimate land claims that should be settled with some degree of

      - Twenty-six per cent agreed that "land claims are legitimate and
      they should be fully compensated in land, money, or both."

      - Eighteen per cent felt that "aboriginal people have no legitimate
      claim to any more land in Canada and no new land claim settlements
      should be made."

      Of the issues respondents said they wanted to learn the most about,
      35 per cent selected aboriginal culture, 29 per cent said aboriginal
      history, 21 per cent said current conditions facing aboriginal
      people, while 13 per cent said aboriginal political issues and one
      per cent did not know.

      The regional breakdown shows that of the 2,000 polled, 160 were from
      Atlantic Canada, 503 from Quebec, 757 from Ontario, 153 from the
      Saskatchewan-Manitoba region, 187 from Alberta and 240 from British

      The age breakdown was: ages 12-15, 500 respondents, ages 16-23, 750
      respondents, and 24-30, 750 respondents.

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      Reprinted under the Fair Use http://www4.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.html doctrine of international copyright law. Full copyright retained by the original publication.
      Tsonkwadiyonrat (We are ONE Spirit)
      Native News Online
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