Few Canadians think support for Indigenous communities should be a federal priority: poll

June 13, 2017 at 11:29 , by admin

Children play in a playground in the Attawapiskat First Nation in northern Ontario. PHOTO: Reuters

Canadians overwhelmingly want the federal government to help low-income families, while few say support for Indigenous communities should be top-of-mind, a new Ipsos poll suggests.

Seven in 10 polled say helping families living below the poverty line should be the main investment priority for the government, while only 17 per cent say the same for support of Indigenous communities, according to the survey commissioned by Yahoo Canada.

Furthermore, support for Indigenous communities ranked fifth of six social priorities on where the government should be spending tax dollars — behind funding for lower-income students, assisting those with mental illness, addressing homelessness and helping families living below the poverty line, which was the No. 1 priority.

These findings were met with mixed reactions from Indigenous leaders and experts, who say a disproportionate number of Aboriginal people fall into these categories. For example, the poverty rate for First Nations children is the highest in Canada and more than three times the national average.

“Our people are overrepresented in the first four categories, which indicates our country needs to work harder to close these gaps,” Assembly of First Nations national Chief Perry Bellegarde said in an emailed statement. “We need to work together to close the gap in the quality of life.”

Click here to read the story originally published for Yahoo Canada.

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