Survey sheds light on how pervasive racism is in New Brunswick

A new survey is shedding light on racism in New Brunswick, finding it has permeated every aspect of society.

The New Brunswick Multicultural Council conducted a survey last year to determine how big a problem racism is in the province.

The survey asked people about their experiences with both systemic and unconscious racism. 

"People are willing to acknowledge the unconscious type of racism, you know the unconscious intrusive thoughts or things they don't have control over they aren't willing to as much acknowledge the systemic nature of racism and how racism is deeply rooted within our social institutions," said Husoni Raymond of the New Brunswick Multicultural Council.

The survey found 95 per cent of respondents believe that there is racism within New Brunswick and 83.6 per cent report having witnessed it firsthand.

Chief Allan Polchies of Saint Mary's First Nation says his community experiences racism every day.

"They are targeted, they are profiled and I think that we as Indigenous people especially Wolastoqey people we are so hospitable and caring and we're a stewardess of mother earth so we carry those values a little different than non-indigenous people," said Polchies.

Another 71 per cent of people who responded to the survey believe systemic racism is a problem in New Brunswick.

"We're hoping that the government will use this data to see that there is an issue of racism within the province and in consultation with grassroots community organizations develop an antiracism strategy with a path forward on how to achieve meaningful inclusion," Raymond said.

Aboriginal Affairs Minister Arlene Dunn said she wasn't surprised by the findings, saying "racism, intolerance, and bigotry are too often a daily occurrence for many of the residents who call New Brunswick home."

A more detailed report putting the full 30 questions of the survey will be released next month.

The survey found that high levels of racism exist within the labour and housing market. As well as the justice, healthcare and education systems.