Half of young Canadians polled unaware of any aboriginal issues
- Half of young Canadians polled unaware of any aboriginal issues
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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