Racism: What’s happening? Where to from here?(Mar21)

ROUNDTABLE ON RACISM
WHAT IS GOING ON? WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE?

REPORT: Roundtable on Racism
What is going on? Where do we go from here?

Tuesday, March 21, 8:00 am to 11:00 am
Canadian Museum of History (Douglas Cardinal Room), Gatineau

This Roundtable will begin to identify the following broad issues:
– Where racism and hate is prevalent or growing.
– Steps for governments and non-government players to take towards the elimination of racism and hate.
– Ways in which Canadians can engage in dialogue that will advance understanding of each other, eliminate prejudice and combat racism.
Chair: Andrew Cardozo, President, Pearson Centre
Host: Mark O’Neill, President and CEO, Canadian Museum of History

Lead-off speakers
Topic
Erin Corstan, Executive Director, National Association of Friendship Centres*
Intersection of racism and sexism
Amira Elghawaby, Communications Director, National Council of Canadian Muslims
Media
Farhia Ahmed, Justice for Abdirahman Coalition, Ottawa Police-minority relations
Jacquie Lawrence, ‎Diversity & Equity Coordinator, Ottawa Carleton District School Board
The education system
Dara Wawatie-Chabot, Student
Youth perspective
Dr. Karen Mock, President, JSpace Canada; Former Exec. Dir., Canadian Race Relations Foundation; and Human Rights League of B’Nai Brith
Creating dialogue between communities; need for national leadership

The meeting began with an acknowledgement of our presence on unceded Algonquin land.

We regret that Co-chair Prof. Kahente Horn-Miller, and speaker Erin Corstan, were unable to attend due to unforeseen circumstances. Please see Appendix Il for Erin Corstan’s INTERSECTION OF RACISM AND SEXISM REPORT.

March 21 – The International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, which commemorates the 1960 Sharpeville Massacre in South Africa when police opened fire and killed 69 people at a peaceful demonstration against the apartheid pass laws.

Sponsor: UNIFOR is pleased to be a Sponsor of the Pearson Centre’s Roundtable on Racism aimed at advancing a national dialogue and national action across Canada.
REPORT: Roundtable on Racism

CONTENTS
A) INTRODUCTION AND CONTEXT: ROUNDTABLE ON RACISM
B) PRESENTATIONS BY INVITED SPEAKERS
C) COMMENTS/QUESTIONS
D) CONCLUDING COMMENTS FROM INVITED SPEAKERS
E) SUMMARY OF KEY IDEAS OF THE ROUNDTABLE ON RACISM
APPENDIX I – SPONSOR: UNIFOR STATEMENT AND SUPPORT
APPENDIX ll – INTERSECTION OF RACISM AND SEXISM REPORT.
APPENDIX lll – VERBATIM REMARKS
APPENDIX VI – LIST OF INVITED/ RSVPed REPRESENTATIVES AND ORGANIZATIONS

A) INTRODUCTION AND CONTEXT: ROUNDTABLE ON RACISM
Andrew Cardozo, President, Pearson Centre

The Roundtable on Racism is designed to begin to consider a national approach to dealing with racism and hate. While we have invited a small cross-section of 25 – 30 representatives from various organizations, government agencies and institutions (see Appendix III) to consider diverse perspectives, we acknowledge that many organizations and representatives are absent.

I would like to think that since about the middle of the last century Canada has had a series of more enlightened policies, which both connected and influenced Canadian society. Be that as it may, racism and hate have not gone away. Sometimes it’s the remnants of colonial history or sometimes its geopolitical issues that cause negative attitudes to present. In recent months we’ve seen a new phenomenon that has been under the radar for many decades. We have a more confident and public pushback to ideas of equality and fairness. If there is enough of this viewpoint, governments may be elected which are dedicated to rolling back the progress of recent decades. We must rethink how we address equality and diversity with an aim to combat racism and hate. We must determine what government and nongovernment players need to do to create a more constructive and informative national dialogue.

WELCOME To PARTICIPANTS AND INTRODUCTION TO THE MUSEUM’S PROGRAMMING
Mark O’Neill, President and CEO, Canadian Museum of History

On July 1, 2017, as part of Canada’s 150th celebration, the Museum will open a new exhibition in the Great Hall featuring Canada’s creation stories through multiple perspectives and voices which include the dark chapters of residential schools, the internment of Ukrainian and Japanese Canadians, the incident of the Komagata Maru, the Syrian refugee crisis and more. The exhibition will feature a permanent welcome address by Algonquin Elder William Commanda OC, making the Museum perhaps the first federal cultural institution to have permanent acknowledgement of our presence on Algonquin Territory.

B) PRESENTATIONS BY INVITED SPEAKERS

THE ROLE OF THE PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY ON MULTICULTURALISM
Arif Virani, MP, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage (Multiculturalism)

1. The role of Parliamentary Secretary on Multiculturalism is new, and was created in part to acknowledge the important work that needs to be done on the cultural diversity front. And to acknowledge and combat the current domestic circumstances where people who hold strong bigoted views want to act out in a discriminatory manner. This role has a parliamentary component to it, which dovetails with the annual report and the Multiculturalism Act and its key initiatives. Another component is bridge-building with communities around the country.

2. The rise of social media provides a level of impunity to those who spread hateful and hurtful content, which was not an issue when PM Pierre Trudeau was contemplating official multiculturalism policy. We need to turn our minds to this significant challenge.

3. There are policy and legislation initiatives. The Interaction Fund (5.5million) is for combatting racism, prejudice and discrimination. The Security Infrastructure Program for community centres provides funding for security. There are human rights protections and constitutional protections where multiculturalism is entrenched but not litigated. Motion M103 proposes a study on systemic racism and religious discrimination (Islamophobia). The disinformation that female genital mutilation and Sharia law is on our doorstep must be combatted and the committee will study this issue if passed.

MEDIA AND RACISM
Amira Elghawaby, Communications Director, National Council of Canadian Muslims

Media and Perception of diverse communities…
Articles in the Ryerson Review of Journalism (2016) found that mainstream media coverage of diverse communities is typically negative and stereotypical where there is any coverage at all. Or there is an invisibility of communities, which becomes a type of erasure.

Suggestions for moving forward…
The challenges are to ensure newsrooms are representative of our communities and currently they are not. Encourage efforts that could export positive representation of what diversity can do and how we can try to change negative perceptions. For example, according to Richard Stursburg former head of CBC TV, Muslims helped save the CBC when 2.1 million viewers broke the record for the opening night of Little Mosque on the Prairie. Wouldn’t that be nice to see a headline in the Globe and Mail… Muslims Save the CBC!

Effective leadership and funding support for our public broadcaster is critical…
-to meet its mandate to reflect the multicultural/multi racial nature of Canada as per the 1991 Broadcasting Act.
-to ensure its independence in the face of pressure for click bait over substance, sensationalism and fake news over analysis.
-to encourage its role to inform/educate/celebrate our nation through public education campaigns promoting multiculturalism, diversity, inclusion such that forces that marginalize particular groups using fear and misinformation to sow division are confronted.

Governments must utilize an antiracism lens…regarding action and inaction on issues within their mandates. Please visit www.nccm.ca to view an open letter endorsed by over 100 Muslim organizations and allies after the Quebec massacre.

POLICE-MINORITY RELATIONS
Farhia Ahmed, Justice for Abdirahman Coalition, Ottawa

Background…
Abdirahman Abdi was a 37 year old Somali Canadian with a mental health issue. He lived in Ottawa (Hintonburg) with his parents and siblings. On July 24th, 2016 he died a horrific and violent death on his doorstep at the hands of Ottawa Police Service Officers. On March 6, 2017 the Special Investigations Unit (SIU) charged Ottawa Constable Daniel Montsion with manslaughter, aggravated assault and assault with a weapon.

The Justice for Abdirahman Coalition is a group formed with the objective to obtain greater transparency, to challenge racial inequity, to increase support for mental health needs, and to bring positive change to our law enforcement. The core group includes professionals in law, policy mental health, public relations, criminal justice, and community development. Key areas of action include media, political advocacy, policy, and legislative reform. So far, we’ve conducted research, consulted communities, held discussions with the mayor, chief of police, attorney general, various city councilors, local MPs and local and national stakeholders.

Challenges… 1. Systemic racism is a real problem. (When we turn a blind eye to racism and hate this is what we mean by systemic racism.) 2. Worse than that is the lack of acknowledgement and accountability. (There’s a deafening and painful silence from leadership with rhetoric like: racism exists in society and MAY exist in our institutions.) 3. There’s serious dysfunction in the oversight bodies that govern policing.

Lessons… Ottawa is a wonderful city with a lot more love than hate. Policing is in a crisis. It may be uncomfortable to hear but this is what hate looks like when we let it go unchecked. Racism in policing manifests itself in the actions of some and the inactions of the organization.

What we’d like to see… Would like to see this rhetoric stopped. It is insulting and is a critical piece in hindering progress in a real and meaningful way. We seek restoration of dignity and faith in our law enforcement institutions that each of us support in tax dollars. After research and consultation with communities we gave written recommendations to Justice Tulloch who is looking into oversight institutions and will deliver his report soon.

She also noted: March 20, 2017- National Council of Canadian Muslims (NCCM) announces settlement of defamation lawsuit against Jason MacDonald, former spokesman for Stephen Harper.

THE ROLE OF SCHOOLS AND EDUCATION IN OUR DIVERSE SOCIETY
Jacquie Lawrence, ‎Diversity & Equity Coordinator, Ottawa Carleton District School Board

Where we are? Children have had a role in social justice movements whether as participants or inspirations. Schools are microcosms of the world. When we look at histories of many people whether indigenous, racialized, or those coming from poverty, education is seen as the vehicle to achieve or gain social, political, economic status. The Ministry’s 1989 Equity and Inclusive Education Strategy helps students develop into highly skilled, knowledgeable and caring citizens who can contribute to both a strong economy and cohesive society. To fulfill this mandate there must be respect and acknowledgement of full diversity to leverage the talent and skills of all.

How to move forward…
1. Directives, policy, research pieces are provided and shared around issues e.g. islamophobia. Since 2009 OCDSB has an information gathering process, conducting employment systems reviews, work force census, student surveys, ongoing school surveys, and integrating aggregation of data around students living in poverty.
2. Intersectionality is being recognized now of all the different groups to look at the full breadth as a key learning point for effectiveness and consistency.
3. Building coalitions and partnerships. Cannot do this work in silos. How do we truly create spaces for communities to have courageous conversations where their voice is not just consulted but seen as woven into policies.
4. A misconception of changing demographics is that racialized students are new immigrants. Statistics shatter the myth of the next generation, where 80% are Canadian born.
5. Our 2015-2019 strategic planning process applies an equity/diversity lens on all, even wellbeing (racism is a health issue) to reduce barriers to learning.
6. Deeper understanding of the data. The Antiracism Directive has come out with three-year plan on anti- black/anti-indigenous/Islamophobia racism.

YOUTH PERSPECTIVE
Dara Wawatie-Chabot, Student of Algonquin College, Daughter of the Vote Participant
Reconciliation is a big topic and priority of this government. But there are a lot of problems:
1. There is a lack of available resources/platforms accessible to the North so youth can contribute to advocacy, education, tools, policy for overcoming inequality and racism.
2. Alliedship: When people learn about Indigenous history and institutionalized racism in Canada they don’t know what to do with it or how to go forward with it. This impacts youth.
3. Youth face racism all their lives especially through the education system in Canada. There is a lack of understanding, lack of appreciation, lack of involvement, lack of inclusivity and representation. Anti-racism can be taught early.
4. There is a pan Indigenous (Inuit, First Nations, Metis) approach in education, which is inadequate to properly understand the different problems we face.
5. The Prime Minister is the Minister of Youth. Lots of talk of youth involvement, but lack of consultation and inclusivity, so we feel valued, heard, taken in and utilized.
6. At the Daughters of the Vote event, the Indigenous delegates educated the others on Indigenous history. More needs to be done on a grassroots level.

CREATING DIALOGUE BETWEEN COMMUNITIES AND A NEED FOR NATIONAL LEADERSHIP
Dr. Karen Mock, President, JSpace Canada; Former Executive Director, Canadian Race Relations Foundation; and Human Rights League of B’Nai Brith, Board member of Pearson Centre

It would be interesting to see what was said on each International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination and where we are now. We’ve moved through Multiculturalism to Antiracism to Equity…from celebrating, to systemic racism, to naming isms. At this point…”Why aren’t isms ‘wasims’?” Things go in waves, ebbs and flows. Everything old is new again.

How to move forward…
1. It’s important that this generation know what has gone before so we are not always reinventing the wheel, but can build on work that has already been done.
However, the work of the 70’s and 80’s is shredded and/or relabeled. Some documents are saved and there’s institutional memory. For example…the Canadian Association of Jews and Muslims were grassroots organizations that received funding. There was the Ethno-cultural Council, Ministry of Multiculturalism, Multicultural early childhood education etc.
2. We need a National leadership and an agenda to bring out those documents and models from the past so we don’t believe misinformation. We need a resurrection of the national conversation where we continue to use terms, name racism and phobias in all its forms.
3. The aim is coalition building-relationship building. Some groups should sit down together to see the similarities in our oppressions with the belief that things can change. How do we advance and not keep repeating?

C) COMMENTS/QUESTIONS

Inbal Marcovitch, Ottawa Interfaith Women’s Group: What can school boards do to help parents initiate diversity outside of school? Can a standard be developed to reeducate on antiracism that can be adopted in the workforce?

Dr. Alicia Mayer, Director (UNAM-Canada) National Autonomous University of Mexico in Canada: I’m concerned with the position of Mexicans in USA. Canada should be a worldwide voice to defend education, information, promote human rights, values, and equality.

Rubin Friedman, CRRF: Words have lost their meaning. People tend to throw words around like facist, racist. It is not a bad thing to explain the word that you are using.

Amira Elghawaby, Communications Director, National Council of Canadian Muslims: Adrian Harewood, how do you do your job in a post truth/fake news world?

Adrian Harewood, Co-Host – CBC News Ottawa: Words matter/stories matter. Representation matters in who tells the stories. We need to ask: Who is in the boardroom? And who isn’t at the table? Narrative has impact. Trump/Trudeau/Mandela won on the story told. WEB Debois South African sociologist said the hushing of criticism is a dangerous thing. Encourage a vigorous discourse. When I envision a country for my children, I see not two official languages…maybe eleven languages incorporating Indigenous languages. Provide storytellers, CBC/ NFB.

Arif Virani, MP Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage (Multiculturalism): In short news cycles there’s a tendency for what is more click-worthy, (the divisive story over the more mundane story). We need to tie in issues to economic, health levers.

Mark O’Neill, President & CEO, Canadian Museum of History: Taking stock…in 1984 there was the Equality Now Committee that produced a report of participation of visible minorities in society. This led to federal attention and action and institutional activity. Multiculturalism Liaison Committee, Centre for Race Relations and Policing, RCMP-Centre for Diversity, Employment Equity legislation. How can we build on this in a pan Canadian way?

Steven Czitrom, Academic Affairs: We can’t eliminate racism and hatred. We must strive to understand racism and hatred so as to control it not be controlled by it through education.

Jacquie Lawrence, Diversity & Equity Coordinator, Ottawa-Carleton District School Board: On the power of stories. A Day of Diversity is an opportunity for staff/community to share stories, ask questions on race/faith. How do you create safe spaces and keep the conversations going with an ability to ask anything!!! Combats amnesia.

Richard Marceau, General Counsel & Senior Government Advisor, The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA):
1. Since the elimination of Sec 13 of the Canadian Human Rights Act, the necessity to review hate crime prosecutions has not been followed through. The use of sec 218 and 219 in the Criminal Code is lax in combatting racism. Police and Crowns seem reluctant to apply those sections. The Attorney General has to sign off for prosecution under those sections and there is reluctance to do so. Lack of hard data on prosecutions?
2. Bill C-305, a private member’s bill by Liberal MP Chandra Arya, has as an objective to better protect community centres and schools at the same level as cemeteries and houses of worship. Hope the government will support this as it came out of the Justice Committee.
3. Security/Infrastructure Program (SIP): 1. The matching 50% requirement leaves some vulnerable communities who can’t afford the other 50% in the cold. This needs to be flexible. 2. Suggest an increase in the dollar amount of the program (note : the federal budget added $5 M last week).
4. Need consistency. Not every police force has an informed police hate crime unit to fight nuances/intricacies of racism and/or able to deal with internet hate and mischief as well. We need to get all police forces up to date on this issue.

Bev Blanchard, Native Women’s Association of Canada: Lots of words are used bogusly and they stop dialogue. We don’t know the truth. It’s based on our perceptions. We teach children how to react not respond. Our concept of diversity: instead of showing a group together we show individual units fighting for a piece of the pie, which leads to inequality and hatred. In original Ojibway ‘we are one’. We need to define what we want. Not just anti this or anti that. There is need for open dialogue, not necessarily just a safe space.

David Zackrias, Staff-Sergeant Head – Diversity and Race Relations, Ottawa Police: Who is in the boardrooms? To change an organization you need to change its culture. Current processes in police hiring are not for immigrants, refugees. Need to change those processes. Why do we ‘struggle’ to have a diverse community? Ottawa’s racialized population is 20%. What is the community doing to advance its members into organizations?

Robert Yip, Asian Heritage Month: In 90’s I went after media stereotyping in print and TV. We can make a business case. If you want a bigger audience you must be fair, accurate and balanced. There is an economic imperative to be diverse.

Isabel Metcalfe, Public Affairs Counsel: In the Senate the Famous Five got the definition of “person”. The emphasis should be on changing the laws. Focus on the Supreme Court.

Khalil Z. Shariff, Chief Executive Officer, Aga Khan Foundation Canada: The economic inclusion agenda is important, especially when the ability to earn and grow wealth is changing profoundly. Those left behind are vulnerable. Governments have to consider this in terms of the antiracism.

Frank Cote, Senior Manager of Engagement, Congress of Aboriginal People: Canada had better look inwards. The Indian Act is colonialism. Things must change. Your government campaigned to implement The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP). The Government backtracked on that. Aboriginal people are looking for how the government can move forward: “Don’t let the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) collect dust”, like the 90’s Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples (RCAP) collects dust.

Hamid Mousa, Community Development Coordinator, Ottawa Police Service: Within the Police Services we have learned a great deal from engaging with our community partners even when it’s really difficult for us to hear what they have to say. We recognize the need for finding common solutions that will move us forward.
1. Need to update legislation as society and demographics have changed.
2. Need more clear hate crime definition and qualifiers. It is almost impossible to charge any one with hate crimes. Repercussions are that community is angry with the police.
3. Need more leadership accountability of policing /big institutions to the community and legislation. We don’t see corrective measures when things go wrong in those institutions.

Tim Argetsinger, Inuit Tapiriitat Knatami: What would legislation look like for implementing the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples or oversight bodies like the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal that would oversee Indigenous rights? Even at ITK we haven’t seen the willingness to transform that goodwill and the rhetoric (which we are still enthusiastic about) into action. The federal government’s response to the human rights case of the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society of Canada doesn’t seem to bode well with their statements about wanting to advance Indigenous peoples’ health and wellness. Perhaps, if conversations like this were happening with bureaucrats/agencies it would be a productive first step.

D) CONCLUDING COMMENTS FROM INVITED SPEAKERS

Amira Elghawaby, Communications Director, National Council of Canadian Muslims
The history of our First Nations brothers and sisters must be addressed and committed to support. We cannot build on a colonial foundation but create a circle of inclusion (an indigenous concept). There is already a public education campaign “We Are One”.

Farhia Ahmed, Justice for Abdirahman Coalition, Ottawa
Two key themes: Can’t control individual bias. Support for grassroots can come from legislation. A legislative mandate can work towards antiracism and equality.

Jacquie Lawrence, ‎Diversity & Equity Coordinator, Ottawa Carleton District School Board
1. Legislation has to come with teeth. If processes or legalities are not followed there must be consequences for organizations.2. There are Regulatory bodies that become a barrier. (Reg 274, education sector) 3. In periods of global transition there is a VUCA period: volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity. Yet, research shows attention to equity, diversity and inclusion lead us to vision, understanding, clarity and agility.

Dara Wawatie-Chabot, Student of Algonquin College, Daughter of the Vote Participant
There needs to be more policy and legislation in enforcing more accountability and responsibility especially in incidents of racism and inappropriate comments coming from people in power. For example, Senator Lynn Beyak’s comments, focusing on good intentions of residential schools. That’s unacceptable. There is a need for mandatory training and education and a proper examination process to analyze these incidents and some sort of penalty.

Dr. Karen Mock, President, JSpace Canada; Former Exec. Dir., Canadian Race Relations Foundation; and Human Rights League of B’Nai Brith, Board member of Pearson Centre
1. Build on education. There are things you have to know no matter what sector you’re in. 2.Consistently and effectively combat the lack of implementation of reports/laws/guidelines-action plans against racism –some use it others don’t. 3. Better skills training on how to dialogue with ground rules. We don’t have to agree to disagree when there are facts, laws, morality etc. 4. Terminology is constantly evolving. What do words actually mean? Are we listening, understanding and not taking too much space up?

Arif Virani, MP, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage (Multiculturalism)
You have a partner willing to be here to have discussions (and hear the good and bad) and believe in diversity of voices at the table. There’s a legislative parliamentary response component, a community grassroots component, a jurisdiction component. Pointing to actual specifics sections of the criminal code is an easy take away for me. Constitutional issues are a different order of magnitude. Response to Indigenous persons is acute and we are addressing this as a separate entity. I need specific legislative initiatives that drill down into what you want to see. “It’s the right thing to do” has traction for 1/5th the population, the other 4/5th need other reasons for incentivizing: health, economic. I’ve heard don’t reinvent the wheel!

E) SUMMARY OF KEY IDEAS OF THE ROUNDTABLE ON RACISM

1. THE ROLE OF THE PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY ON MULTICULTURALISM
Arif Virani, MP, introduced his new role as the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage (Multiculturalism) to promote cultural diversity and combat racism. This is a Federal partner willing to be here to have discussions and build bridges with communities around the country. More importantly, to make effective change in this role, he needs requests for specific legislative initiatives that can potentially lead to implementation.

2. MEDIA
Amira Elghawaby, Communications Director, National Council of Canadian Muslims stressed that the media must be more representative of diverse communities. A progressive legislative mandate can work towards achieving antiracism and equality, especially in supporting our public broadcaster. Adrian Harewood, Co-Host – CBC News Ottawa added “Representation matters in who tells the stories. We need to ask: Who is in the boardroom? And who isn’t at the table?” The news narrative and the decision-making power of media editors, producers, and board members must reflect the multicultural/ multiracial nature of Canada.

3. POLICE-MINORITY RELATIONS
Farhia Ahmed, Justice for Abdirahman Coalition, Ottawa
The death of Abdi Abdirahman at the hands of Ottawa Police in 2016 shone a light on systemic racism in the police service and mobilized the community to take action. The Justice for Abdirahman Coalition’s key areas of action includes media, political advocacy, policy, and legislative reform.
David Zackrias (Staff-Sergeant Head – Diversity and Race Relations) and Hamid Mousa (Community Development Coordinator of the Ottawa Police Service) suggested that to change an organization you need to change its culture.
1. Need to update legislation as our society and demographics have changed.
2. Need more clear hate crime definition and qualifiers. It is almost impossible to charge any one with hate crimes. Repercussions are that the community is angry with the police.
3. Need more leadership accountability of policing and oversight bodies to the community and legislation. We don’t see corrective measures when things go wrong in those institutions.

4. THE ROLE OF SCHOOLS AND EDUCATION IN OUR DIVERSE SOCIETY
Jacquie Lawrence, ‎Diversity & Equity Coordinator, Ottawa Carleton District School Board
The OCDSB is guided by research pieces, policy, and directives such as The Ministry’s 1989 Equity and Inclusive Education Strategy and the Antiracism Directive’s three-year plan on anti- black/anti-indigenous/Islamophobia racism. As well, the OCDSB has an information gathering process: conducting employment systems reviews, work force census, student surveys, ongoing school surveys, and aggregation of data around students living in poverty. The OCDSB 2015-2019 strategic planning process applies an equity/diversity lens on all, even wellbeing (racism is a health issue) to reduce barriers to learning. This supports initiatives in community building and partnerships including A Day of Diversity where staff/community share stories and ask questions on race/faith. Overall, to be more effective there should be legislation with teeth.

5. YOUTH PERSPECTIVE
Dara Wawatie-Chabot, Student of Algonquin College, Daughter of the Vote Participant
Reconciliation is a big topic and a priority of this government. But there are a lot of problems.
• There needs to be more policy and legislation, education and training in enforcing more accountability and responsibility especially in incidents of racism.
• There is a lack of available resources/platforms accessible to the North so youth can contribute to advocacy, education, tools, policy for overcoming inequality and racism.
• Indigenous youth face racism all their lives especially through the education system in Canada.
• The pan Indigenous (Inuit, First Nations, Metis) approach in education is inadequate to properly understand the different problems we face.
• Anti-racism should be taught at an early age.

6. CREATING DIALOGUE BETWEEN COMMUNITIES AND A NEED FOR NATIONAL LEADERSHIP
Dr. Karen Mock, President, JSpace Canada; Former Executive Director, Canadian Race Relations Foundation; and Human Rights League of B’Nai Brith, Board member of Pearson Centre
• We need a National leadership agenda to source the research documents and models from the past so we don’t have to reinvent the wheel.
• We must consistently and effectively combat the lack of implementation of reports/laws/ guidelines/action plans against racism.

OTHER KEY COMMENTS
Richard Marceau, General Counsel & Senior Government Advisor, The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA):
1. Since the elimination of Sec 13 of the Canadian Human Rights Act, the necessity to review hate crime prosecutions has not been followed through. The use of sec 218 and 219 in the Criminal Code is lax in combatting racism. Police and Crowns seem reluctant to apply those sections. The Attorney General has to sign off for prosecution under those sections and there is reluctance to do so. Lack of hard data on prosecutions?
2. Bill C-305, a private member’s bill by Liberal MP Chandra Arya, has an objective to better protect community centres and schools at the same level as cemeteries and houses of worship. Hope the government will support this as it came out of the Justice Committee.
3. Security/Infrastructure Program (SIP): A) The matching 50% requirement leaves some vulnerable communities who can’t afford the other 50% in the cold. This needs to be flexible.
B) Suggest an increase in the dollar amount of the program (note: federal budget added $5 M) la
4. Need consistency. Not every police force has an informed police hate crime unit to fight nuances/intricacies of racism and/or able to deal with internet hate and mischief as well. We need to get all police forces up to date on this issue.

Khalil Z. Shariff, Chief Executive Officer, Aga Khan Foundation Canada: The economic inclusion agenda is important, especially when the ability to earn and grow wealth is changing profoundly. Those left behind are vulnerable. Governments have to consider this in terms of the antiracism.

Frank Cote, Senior Manager of Engagement, Congress of Aboriginal People: Aboriginal people are looking for how the government can move forward: “Don’t let the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) collect dust”, like the 90’s Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples (RCAP) collects dust.

APPENDIX l – STATEMENT FROM OUR SPONSOR, UNIFOR
Canada’s largest private sector union, with more than 310,000 members across the country, working in every major sector of the Canadian economy.

For many months Canadians have watched the political climate across the border, seen the polarization of the American people and gaped in shock as events unfolded. While our attention was diverted, we somehow failed to perceive the deepening personal and political divisions of people in Canada. If not outright apathetic, we were willfully or ignorantly blind to the rise of fear and of hate in our country, perhaps because we thought we were immune.
The attack on the mosque in Quebec City that left 6 racialized, Muslim men dead was a shocking event that left many wondering how this could happen? How in Canada, a country known for its peace and politeness, could there be a killing of 6 innocent people in a place of worship, of refuge and sanctuary? This crime of hate against racialized, Muslim Canadians, because they were racialized and Muslim, seemed unimaginable.
We were forced from our complacency by the violent truth of these acts of hate. Much of the country responded with support. There appeared to be a common understanding that when we shut our eyes and our hearts to the injustices perpetrated against others racism and discrimination flourish. We took to the streets, we wrapped our arms and hearts around places of worship, we demanded a world where fear and hate, bigotry and racism are not allowed to impoverish the world and divide humanity against itself.
Our words and our actions following the attacks at the mosque are not enough. Racial discrimination and hate-motivated actions and crimes remain prevalent in Canada and around the world. Social media continues to abound with anti-Muslim, anti-migrant, anti-refugee rhetoric. Our would-be political leaders attend public forums and speak of “Canadian values” while calling for “screening” of immigrants and refugees, ignoring the fact that everyone who steps foot in Canada is screened. They construct an “us” against “them” story that is taking root, causing people to believe they are defending something not being attacked.
On March 21, 2017, the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, we call for a national conversation about racism and the rise of hate. We call on trade unionists, social justice activists and advocates, political parties, non-governmental actors and grass roots organizations to engage with one another, to create a forum where we can begin the process of reweaving the social fabric that binds us all together.
In this spirit we are pleased to be a Sponsor of the Pearson Centre’s Roundtable on Racism held in Gatineau on March 21, aimed at advancing a national dialogue and national action across Canada.
APPENDIX Il – INTERSECTIONALITY BETWEEN SEXISM AND RACISM
Erin Corston, Executive Director , National Association of Friendship Centres

The first Friendship Centres emerged in the 1950’s when Indigenous people living in the city saw a need for a place for their friends and relatives who were making their way to the city to have somewhere to go for support in navigating mainstream systems and adjusting to their new surroundings. Many people who are involved in the Friendship Centre Movement have been involved their entire lives. Some of them got involved before they had an opinion or a choice, since they were babies. These people describe the Friendship Centre Movement as something that emerged in direct response to racism and discrimination that was rampant in the urban landscape. Indigenous peoples felt they needed somewhere to go that was safe, familiar, where they could meet and see people who looked like them, spoke like them, and had the same experiences. Friendship Centres emerged into the most significant infrastructure of Indigenous specific services in Canada, and in fact the world, as a place where people come to escape social injustice, to find solace, and to reconnect with their cultures and identities, and their kin.

There are more than 120 Friendship Centres in Canada, located in almost every urban center from coast-to-coast-to-coast. In 2015 Friendship Centres recorded over 2.3 Million client contacts and provided over 1800 different programs and services in the areas of health, violence prevention, housing, education, sports and recreation, language, justice, employment, economic development, cultural, and community wellness. Supporting the socio-economic development of urban Indigenous communities has become the cornerstone of the Friendship Centre Movement. We make Indigenous people employment ready.

Now, you might ask, what role do the Friendship Centres play in supporting Indigenous women and girls? And how does this relate to the issue of Intersectionality between sexism and racism?

Friendship Centres are well known for adapting to community needs and issues as they evolve over time. The programs developed within each Centre varies from Centre to Centre, city to city, and region to region. But they are doing a tremendous amount of work building supports, skills, confidence, and protective factors that can combat what our women and girls are experiencing related to sexism and racism, one Indigenous woman/girl at a time. Now this is not the most efficient approach to deal with issues that are so pervasive in our communities, but we’re doing our part. We are building peoples’ financial literacy skills, providing supports for them to recognize the difference between healthy and unhealthy relationships, putting things into place that prevent risky situations, like transportation, housing security and supports, and childcare. And we also advocate for the real, substantive change that need to occur at higher levels. The human rights violations faced by Indigenous women and girls require a coordinated and comprehensive national response that addresses the social and economic factors that place Indigenous women at heightened risk of violence.

First, let’s define the terms:
Sexism: prejudice, stereotyping, or discrimination, typically against women, based on sex
Racism: prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism directed against someone of a different race based on the belief that one’s own race is superior

In 1991, the Manitoba Justice Inquiry considered what happened to Helen Betty Osborne twenty years earlier, on November 13, 1971. The high school student, originally from the Norway House, was 19 years old when she was abducted and brutally murdered with a screw driver by four young men. It took 16 years for the justice system to respond, and in the end, just one of the four men was convicted for her murder.

‘There is one fundamental fact: her murder was a racist and sexist act. Betty Osborne would be alive today had she not been an Aboriginal woman.’
Manitoba Justice Inquiry, 1991

Helen Betty’s story is all too common. Statistics show that Indigenous women in Canada face much higher rates of violence than women of any other nationality – this is true across North America. In a 2004 Canadian government survey, Indigenous women reported rates of violence, including domestic violence and sexual assault, 3.5 times higher than non-Indigenous women.

Five years later, another government survey reported that Aboriginal women aged 25-44 were reported to be 5 times more likely than other Canadian women of the same age to die of violence. These studies suggest that assaults against Indigenous women are not only more frequent, they are often more brutal.

Continued marginalization and inequality experienced by Indigenous women have been linked to five key areas:
1. the role of racism and misogyny in perpetuating violence against Indigenous women;
2. the sharp disparities in the fulfilment of Indigenous women’s economic, social, political and cultural rights;
3. the continued disruption of Indigenous societies caused by the historic and ongoing mass removal of children from Indigenous families and communities;
4. the disproportionately high number of Indigenous women in Canadian prisons, many of whom are themselves the victims of violence and abuse; and
5. inadequate police response to violence against Indigenous women as illustrated by the handling of missing persons’ cases.
Let me just say that in my experience, having worked on the issue of violence against Indigenous women, with women who have experienced violence and trauma either directly or indirectly, I feel confident in saying that there is only one way to describe what is happening to Indigenous women and girls in this country, and it is epidemic.

If women and girls were experiencing violence and death at the same proportion as Indigenous women and girls rate there would be a public outcry. There is no doubt about that.

When I first started this work, as a research coordinator for the Sisters in Spirit initiative back in 2005 at the Native Women’s Association of Canada the issue of racialized sexualized violence was nowhere on anyone’s radar, regardless of the findings of the Manitoba Justice Inquiry. We quietly worked with several family members who had either lost a loved one to violence through homicide or suspicious circumstances, or who’s loved one had gone missing without a trace. We interviewed many, many families. And … we found an overwhelmingly high number of consistencies in their stories.

All of them had suffered a huge loss, and were grief-stricken. Understandably. But when we looked at the data collected in those interviews, what stood out, and what we found was possibly more disturbing than anything else… was that almost all these families had been ignored – by the local police, by the justice system, by the media, and by mainstream Canada. Their loved one had been taken from them, and no one really gave a damn. The system was indifferent. Many of these families have still not been able to move forward, or have any sort of closure – because many of them still don’t know what happened to their loved one. All the women and girls who have been murdered or stolen had one thing in common: They were Indigenous and they were female.

Here we are, more than 10 years later… the Federal Government has initiated a national public inquiry into the issue of Missing and Murdered Indigenous women and girls… Which is a good thing, from many people’s perspectives. However, an inquiry will not address the issues that underpin why and how it is that thousands of Indigenous women and girls’ lives have been cut short the way that they have.

That would require addressing the gender inequities that exist within Canada’s legislative framework on Indigenous peoples (i.e., the Indian Act), and the systemic discrimination that exists within the health, education, justice, and the child and social welfare systems. It might seem like an insurmountable task, but in all the work that I’ve done over the years, situations of poverty and increased vulnerability can be linked directly to back to policy, and a system that perpetuates their realities. Indigenous women and girls will continue to be victims, or survivors in some cases, until we take a hard look at ourselves, at our society, our values, and our preconceived notions of who Indigenous women and girls are; and until we undertake the gargantuan task of creating systems change.

APPENDIX IIl- VERBATIM COMMENTS

From: MARY LOU LEVISKY
Concerning racism, I think:
Federal and Provincial Governments should place ads on the internet, radio, tv, other media and in movie theatres to educate citizens on our values as outlined in Charter of Rights and Freedoms; human rights codes, etc.
Ads should outline what is freedom of speech and what is hate speech.
Someone should research online commentary: is it real? Is it a bot? Is it true? Is it sometimes meant to deceive? Could it de-stabilize elections, governments by enemies? Some media articles are suggesting yes. Where does one complain if there is hate speech online?
Human rights education of students should strengthen their understanding of country’s values.
Organizations, local governments and community associations should organize discussions on racism, etc. for all ages.
—————————–

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Watch a series of short videos from the roundtable on the Pearson Centre’s Facebook page: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCbceGf4FA5NxXuYv0qNwsow

Tuesday, March 21, 8:00-11:00 am
Canadian Museum of History (Douglas Cardinal Room), Gatineau

This Roundtable began to identify the following broad issues:
– Where racism and hate is prevalent or growing.
– Steps for governments and non-government players to take towards the elimination of racism and hate.
– Ways in which Canadians can engage in dialogue that will advance understanding of each other, eliminate prejudice and combat racism.

Schedule:
8:00 am Registration, Networking
8:30–10:30 am Roundtable discussion
10:30–11:00 am Networking

SPONSORS: CANADIAN MUSEUM OF HISOTRY; UNIFOR

PROGRAM

Welcome: Mark O’Neill, President & CEO, Canadian Museum of History
Opening: Arif Virani, MP,
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage (Multiculturalism)

Lead-Off Speakers

Amira Elghawaby, Communications Director, National Council of Canadian Muslims
Farhia Ahmed, Justice for Abdirahman Coalition, Ottawa
Jacquie Lawrence, ‎Diversity & Equity Coordinator, Ottawa Carleton District School Board
Dara Wawatie-Chabot, Student
Dr. Karen Mock, President, JSpace Canada; Former Exec. Dir., Canadian Race Relations Foundation; and Human Rights League of B’Nai Brith

Chair:
Andrew Cardozo, President, Pearson Centre

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Table ronde sur le racisme
Que se passe-t-il ?
Où allons-nous ?

Mardi 21 mars – de 8h à 11h
Musée canadien de l’histoire (salle Douglas Cardinal), Gatineau

Comment cerner les grands thèmes suivants :
– Là où le racisme et la haine sont courants et se répandent.
– Démarches que les gouvernements et intervenants non-gouvernementaux peuvent prendre pour éliminer le racisme et la haine.
– Moyens à la disposition des Canadiens et Canadiennes pour lancer le dialogue et promouvoir la compréhension de l’autre, éliminer les préjudices et combattre le racisme.

Horaire :
8 h Inscriptions, prise de contact et petit-déjeuner continental
8 h 30 – 10 h 30 Table ronde
10 h 30 – 11h Réseautage

PROGRAMME

Mots de bienvenue : Mark O’Neill, président-directeur général, Musée canadien de l’histoire
Allocution d’ouverture : Arif Virani,
député, secrétaire parlementaire de la
ministre du Patrimoine canadien
(Multiculturalisme)

Conférenciers et conférencières

Amira Elghawaby, directrice des communications, Conseil national des musulmans canadiens
Farhia Ahmed, Justice for Abdirahman Coalition, Ottawa
Jacquie Lawrence, ‎coordonnatrice, Diversité & Équité, Conseil scolaire du district d’Ottawa Carleton
Dara Wawatie-Chabot, étudiante
Karen Mock, président, JSpace Canada; ancien dir. adm. de la Fondation canadienne des relations raciales, et Ligue des droits de la personne — B’Nai Brith

Président :
Andrew Cardozo, président, Centre Pearson

SPONSORS: CANADIAN MUSEUM OF HISOTRY; UNIFOR

Thank you to / Merci à
Bernard Eskénazi Translation/Traduction
& West Block Public Affairs

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Notes for Opening comments Andrew Cardozo

Thank you for joining us for the roundtable.
Bienvenu a notre Table Ronde sur le racisme. Que’est qui space dans le domaine du racism? Est ou allons nous?
As I noted in the invitation, we live an interesting conundrum. On the one hand Canada is one of the most diverse and harmonious countries in the world and are the envy of many nations. As we look around the world, we are somewhat of an island of sanity and stability.

On the other hand, we have had some serious racism throughout our history, starting with colonialism. We have certainly seen the presence of racism through our history, sometimes in society and sometimes from our governments. But I would like to think that since the 1960s we have had a series of more enlightened policies, which were in line with and which resulted in a more enlightened society.
Even if that has been the case, racism and hate have not gone away. Sometimes it’s the remnants of history that never go away, sometimes its geopolitical issues that cause negative attitudes here. And in recent months we are seeing a new phenomenon that has been there through recent decades but now is more open and perhaps more widespread. We have a public push back to ideas and policies of equality and fairness, a lot more open than before.
It’s not enough to write it off as crazy, right-wing populist, or simplistic. If there is enough of this viewpoint to elect governments which are dedicated to rolling back progress of recent decades, we need to re-think how we address diversity and how we combat racism and hate, how we bring more Canadians back to a sense of fairness, while making the progress we still need to achieve.

So today we want to focus on solutions at two levels:
– Quel sont des démarches que les gouvernements et intervenants non-gouvernementaux peuvent prendre pour éliminer le racisme et la haine.
– Quels sont des Moyens à la disposition des Canadiens et Canadiennes pour lancer le dialogue et promouvoir la compréhension de l’autre, éliminer les préjudices et combattre le racisme.

– What are the things that governments and non-governmental players need to do, and
– How do we create a more constructive and informative dialogue among Canadians.
Todays’ roundtable is designed to push for a national approach to dealing with racism and hate. We wanted to keep it to about 25-30 people, and hence there are many people who are not here – communities, agencies, governments, regions, age, groups, etc. But we have made sure there is a really good and important cross-section of perspectives here. To include all the perspectives, we need to have a larger meeting, and it is certainly worth thinking about.

Before we proceed, I want to thank our co-sponsor, partner – the Canadian Museum of History, esp Mark O’Neill and his staff who have made this all possible.
I also want to thank Unifor, the Union, for supporting the Pearson Centre one more time for today’s session.

Subscribe to the Pearson Centre newsletter.

Insightful commentary & debate, delivered to your inbox. Sign up below.