Transcript - Anti-Racism Directorate Windsor public meeting
The Anti-Racism Directorate held its ninth public community meeting on November 28, 2016, at the St. Clair College Centre for the Arts in Windsor.
Read the transcript below to learn more about what we heard during our meeting.
The following is a transcript created with real-time captioning software. It is not verbatim and may contain errors. This transcript may not be copied or disseminated to anyone else unless you obtain written permission from the Anti-Racism Directorate. This transcript may not be used in a court of law. This transcript has been lightly edited to protect the privacy of those who attended the meeting.
Windsor public meeting
>> Ginelle: Good evening. Good evening everyone, we're going to get started shortly, but before we do that can we ask you to move a little bit closer if you can, so that we can be a little bit more connected. If you move up into some of the empty seats up at the front, that would be great.
>> Beth (Elder’s Assistant) Good evening. Good evening everyone. So welcome. My name is Beth and I'm assisting Elder Mona, she is going to be doing a traditional opening and I'm going to be doing this, if everyone could please stand and form a circle on the outside I'm going to come around with the smudge, thank you, Meegwetch. I’d also like to say, give a short explanation about this smudging ceremony. It’s for all of us to have a good mind and a good heart and to come together. If you don't wish to smudge you can just pass, just raise your hand and I'll pass, thank you, Meegwetch.
>> Ginelle: Thank you. You may be seated. Good evening, I'm pleased to welcome all of you to this public meeting here in Windsor, one of several meetings the Ontario government will be holding across the Province to hear from the public about key systemic issues and priorities. I'm Ji nelle Skerritt, Executive Director of the Warden Woods Community Centre. I'll be your moderator for this evening. I'd like to introduce more formally, Elder Mona Stonefish; before I do so I'm offering her a gift of tobacco, which grows from the Earth and is one of the four sacred medicines and it is a greater thank you than simply saying those words. Elder Mona Stonefish, oops, I'm sorry, we need that to stay here. Elder, Defender of Land and Water, also a survivor of Indian residential school. She is a Diamond Jubilee recipient for fighting over 55 years for Justice. Mona is a fearless advocate for social Justice and recipient of a prestigious award for 2016 for Education and Contributions to the University of Windsor. Please welcome Elder Mona. [Applause]
>> Elder Mona Stonefish : Good evening. I'm going to do the greetings and thanks giving in the language that’s Indigenous to this area , because this is our Indigenous land and it’s so wonderful to have the Anti- Racism Directorate here on my traditional home land. Which is the Three Fires of Confederacy, which is comprised of the Anishinaabe people, Potawatomi, Ojibwe and Odawa. [ Indigenous Language]. This very sacred water that every living organism needs to survive in the universe, for those who came over in ships and chains, for those that came over from all over the world and came to this land to find peace and harmony, here we are. And to know that we're here as a bouquet of flowers, because language is so important, culture is so important, let us not forget ever who we are. (speaking language other than English) And I thank the Ontario Anti-Racism Directorate for ensuring as many voices are heard through these regional public meetings. I want the Directorate to investigate the impact of the Self- Identification Policy; that the Policy has had on Status First Nation communities in cities across the Province. The Policy was first implemented by Premier Kathleen Wynn when she was an Education Minister. I'm sure she was well-meaning in developing and enacting this Policy for school boards across the Province, however, if you met with families who are Treaty Recognized, Status Indians such as myself, you will hear stories of inclusion and marginalization from funding and programs targeted for Indigenous students. With self-identification all that is required is a claim with no proof or evidence that student’s families have Indigenous Heritage. What is happening is that previously non- Indigenous parents and students are claiming this Heritage to access special funds and programs all at the expense of Status Recognized Indigenous parents and their children attending public schools. Because of the history of marginalization many First Nations parents are often left uninformed about funds and programs that are meant to improve their children’s opportunities and the school system. There has been 30 years of Heritage language taught in the public school systems and yet we have Anishinaabe yet to be taught and we have been asking and we have signed petitions since 2007 and we are still waiting for that day to come. Instead, mainstream parents, due to their privilege, are able to access these programs and services by simply self-identification. I have seen this take place in the greater Essex District Board of E ducation. I have seen parents and school officials who had no previous claim to Indigenous suddenly claim this identity and in effect shut out the voices of authentic Indigenous families, without having lived the experiences of pain, abuse and exclusion faced by authentic First Nations communities. A simple claim has allowed them to cut into the front of the line and become the authoritative voices for Indigenous communities. Because of their history and understanding of mainstream privilege many board staff officials conclude with these self-identified families because they rarely challenge the boards to actually improve educational access and fairness for all First Nations Inuit and new settler. As long as their own children have gained new benefits, that’s all that matters. I have also seen the self-identification affect filter to board staff officials who have no prior claim to our Heritage. They claim Indigenous Heritage to silent the critics who have actual status and the school Superintendents allow this to happen, even when challenged by First Nations families. For example, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission set aside funds for families of residential school survivors to be used in the schools. What has happened in Windsor is the decision to use these funds has been made without input or access by families of residential school survivors, which I am one of. These practices have been basically sanctioned in large due to the S elf- Identification Policy. This Policy has maintained and encouraged systematic racism against true First Nations Inuit family. I thank you for this opportunity to voice my concerns [ Indigenous Language] and I say that water, nearby, daughter’s, you are the keepers of the water; woman, I am the water, the sacred source, the blood of our mother Earth, the force filling dry seeds to green bursting. I am the womb’s cradle, I purify. The life giver, forever the circles change, I have coursed through our heart’s veins now hear our sorrow and pain in the rivers, the rush, the rain, I am your grandchildren’s drink. Listen daughters, always. You are keepers of the water. Hear my cry, the springs flow darkly now through the heart [ Indigenous Language].
>>Minister Coteau: Hi, good evening, my name is Michael Coteau, I'm the Minister responsible for the Anti-Racism Directorate and I would like to welcome everyone here this evening. Thank you Elder Stonefish for your words of wisdom and I'd like to also recognize and acknowledge that we're standing on the traditional territory of the Three Fires Confederacy, comprised of the Anishinaabe people, Potawatomi, Ojibwe and Odawa. Much better, thank you very much. I wanted to just say thank you for joining us here this evening. I want to thank you for taking time from your busy schedule to be here. This is the 9th meeting of 10 meetings that we have held across the Province. We were in Thunder Bay on Saturday; on Friday, last Friday we were in London and this upcoming weekend we are in Ottawa for our final meeting. These conversations have been quite interesting because as we go through different regions of Ontario there are different issues that come forward. When we were in Thunder Bay we talked a lot about the effects of colonialism and in Toronto a lot about anti- Black racism, in different parts of the Province are different issues that people bring forward.
A thing we keep hearing often is that systemic racism does play a role in the world we live in and if we can remove those barriers that are put in place, it will allow people to reach their full potential and also allow us to build a type of Ontario that can continue to be prosperous. There have been some common themes that have come forward in these meetings. People have expressed a lot of frustration because this is like an ongoing conversation. I was saying to a reporter upstairs that if you dusted off the Stephen Lewis Report from 1992 and put this year’s date on it, it would read the exact same way and speak to the exact same issues that we face today. So I understand there’s frustration out there. But I do believe we'll be able to, to look for ways through the Anti-Racism Directorate to make some changes in Ontario. Issues like or ideas around the collection of disaggregated data has come up, people have talked about legislation, people have talked about looking for ways to collect and conduct research. There are so many different ideas that have come forward and Sam Erry will be, he is the Associate Deputy Minister for this, is responsible for the Anti-Racism Directorate. He will walk us through some of those ideas that we've collected. This is not the final strategy, it is a documentation, document based on the ideas that we have heard from people across the Province but also groups who specialized in this type of work, like the Colour of Poverty and different types of associations across the Province. So that’s been something that, you know, that’s been something that we heard a lot of different ideas and we'll present on our approach that we want to bring forward to government. So it is an approach, it is not a finalized document, so keep that in mind as we're going through this. The only other thing I would like to mention before we start is we have got a lot of people who have come up and said we only allocated 5 million dollars to this. I want everyone to know that the initial 5 million was for us to conduct our business of putting together the strategy, getting the right people in place. I believe the allocation of staff is around 22 and most of the staff has come from outside of the public service. So keep that in mind, that was money to start this organization and the intention of the Anti-Racism Directorate is to leverage all Ministries to look for ways to, to better position Ontario when it comes to removal of barriers. My Ministry, Children and Youth Services is responsible for child welfare in the Province of Ontario. A good example of the work that, we're collaborating with the Anti-Racism Directorate on is going to be the collection of disaggregated data in Children’s Aid Society, I will mandate them to do that. Keep that in mind as well. I want to thank you for being here, talking about race and racism is a difficult thing, it makes people uncomfortable. It gets people angry sometimes, it gets people emotional, but I believe if we want to build a better Ontario we need to have these conversations, because, you know, we all represent a different part of the world. Some of us have been here for five years, some of us for, you know, 300 years, some of us for 13 thousand years. But at the end of the day I know we need to work together in order to continue to build a Province that we can be proud of. So again thank you very much, I would like to welcome Sam Erry up to the podium to walk through the strategy. Thank you so much.
>>Sam : Thank you Minister, good evening ladies and gentlemen, it is a pleasure to be here. I have to confess that the last time I was in Windsor, it was a little while ago, it was a bit sad because almost every third restaurant was boarded up, it was great to see the economy has picked up and things are happening here. Windsor is happening again, which is really great. I'm going to give you a little bit of an overview where our thoughts are so far, I want to emphasize, this is not the Strategy. The Strategy will come after these conversations are over. We're stressing that because there has been a little bit of confusion. What I'm sharing with you are things that are directional. The kind of areas we're thinking about pursuing. This work has already been informed by all kinds of reports that have been put in place, as well as some initial consultations with some anti-racism organizations. So we're not just starting from scratch, absolutely not. So I'll take you a little bit through this, this evening is about you and your opportunity to speak and talk about issues from your perspective and what you think to be the priority. So we're going to soak all that in as we are right across the Province and then come up with a strategy that the government, that the Minister can launch in due course based on what we've heard. Okay, I will be around later, never going to be enough time for this because we need to make time for you to speak, I will be around later if anybody wants to chat more about this. So let me just start. So most of you are probably aware there are different types of racism in society. This slide is not designed to compartmentalize racism, it is more illustrative, things are more integrated than what that slide shows. I don't want to suggest individual racism sits there and something else over there, just for illustrative purposes what most people feel out there is really what’s down here in this area, you know, it is individual racism and that’s what people get hit with on the street and other places. You know, sometimes you'll get hit with sort of cultural, culturally based racism or society based racism, as a group you might feel racism. The area where we're going to focus is systemic racism, institutional racism. The way I like to describe it is this is the stuff, this is the stuff that’s like stuff behind these walls.
It is the stuff that building is made of and the stuff that the building is made of is made for certain privilege of the dominant culture. By changing the coat of paint inside of here doesn't change what’s behind the wall. Systemic racism is dealing with stuff behind the wall not just what you are facing, what you are looking at. So what we're trying to point out in this slide is fighting systemic racism is everybody’s business, it is not just the business of government. Yes government plays an important role and government institutions play an important role, no doubt about it, but it starts at home, I'm a parent, starts at home, school society. If we are going to fight it, I know it is an overused cliché we have to do this together, as a team together. So we're situated in here and that’s great. And the Premier and Minister has empowered us to drive change inside of government because government institutions play an important role in terms of making policy and setting policy. We want to be sure the community is engaged. The community is here, you are here, anti-racism organizations are on this cause for a while, that’s good news. The other part we need to engage is business community. As you know, at the root of this is economic equity we need to make sure the business community understands this dialogue and able to empower citizens and customers and people involved in the business world to be gainfully employed. The definition, sorry, the definition that you see here is a fairly standard definition that’s wildly accepted. So we're not diverging from this definition, it is really about looking at institutional biases and policies, practices and procedures that privilege some groups and disadvantage others. That is where our primary focus is going to be. You know, we haven't come to this conclusion on our own. The Minister referenced, Stephen Lewis’s Report, tons of other reports that have been on the table. We're not starting from scratch, I don't want anybody to get the idea when I say we're doing research that somehow we're going to go out there and begin this conversation again. It has been ongoing for many, many, many years, reports on world commission, the Commission on Systemic Racism and the Justice System, youth violence, as our Elder mentioned youth and the Reconciliation Commission Report most recently. Generally, again just directional, what’s our mandate? Our mandate is really to eliminate systemic racism institutions governed by the Ontario government, understanding of systemic racism, a lot of people in general public don't understand what systemic racism is. People understand what racism is, how they feel it or put it out there, but systemic racism is not how we're going to address that. I'm really butter fingers here tonight. Any healthy democracy, a good sign of any healthy democracy, without feeling the boarders and being included in that society then you have an equitable society. Collaborating with community businesses, organizations and so forth, that’s very important. This is a journey we need to be on together ; there is a lot of expertise in the community, we need to tap into the expertise and grow together in the work we're doing here. Okay. This is kind of the, the last slide and the key areas that we're going to focus on. The first is policy and research and evaluation, what I want to point out for you here is we're going to take an evidence-based approach to the conversation. In order to have an evidence-based approach to the conversation we need to start with data the Minister referenced this, right. I'm sure you heard the expression, no data, no problem. So lots of people who are in denial because data isn't being collected, look around I don't see a problem, of course they don't see a problem. The problem is through lens of dominant culture and privilege they afford to that people, to them there is no problem. We're going to start by collecting, by developing, sorry, a disaggregated race base framework. Many of you may say we collect data now; we collect identity based data, we don't collect race-based data, a very different kind of thing. The Toronto Children’s Aid Society and Toronto School Board are the only institutions we know that collect race-based data. It is important we start that conversation and start collecting race-based data. We need to see what the data shows, it may not show what we think, problem might be somewhere else. If we don't have benefit of that data and those analytics we might be diagnosing the problem incorrectly and applying the wrong solution to that problem. Like you go to your doctor and you get antibiotics when you actually might have a virus, you can take all the antibiotics you want and not make any difference to the situation you have. We need to make sure we do that properly. The other thing is not just collecting data for the sake of collecting data, the data we're going to collect is going to be part of a very comprehensive anti-racism analytical framework, sorry for all the bureaucratic words, called Racial Equity Impact Assessment. The Racial Equity Impact Assessment is a very powerful tool that has been tested in many progressive jurisdictions where they have been fighting systemic racism. I'll give you a couple examples. You can look them up, King County in Washington State in the US has used that framework, the City of Seattle, the City of Portland has used that framework and a couple of jurisdictions in United Kingdom have used that framework. The point of that, you do this analysis and have analytical tools you then apply to policy work you are doing. What the tool does is not only gives you evidence-based conversation, it removes any unconscious bias built in the system. Most people that work in public services and other places they are not consciously perpetuating, you know, policies that are problematic. They are doing it unconsciously. These tools help people to understand how they are unconsciously propagating those policies that are creating barriers for racialized and Indigenous people. This strategy will have an anti- Black racism component, it will have anti-Islamophobia, anti-Semitism; target the issues the communities are facing and in some cases, especially in cases of the Indigenous and Black community doubly marginalized disenfranchised it is important to have targeted approach to those communities. We will be launching three strategies as part of the Province’s Action Plan on this. The next piece, I reference this earlier, is public education and awareness. This is really important. We are going to make sure, again, that we take an evidence-based approach. So in the next couple weeks we're doing a lot of market research, you know, with Ontarians to find out what does race mean to you, what does racism mean to you or systemic racism mean to you, when you hear these things what are the kinds of things that come to mind. We want to make sure when we launch the campaign we're targeting the right audiences and giving out the right messages and right understanding so people can raise awareness and consciousness about what is happening in our society and how those things are impacting people, you know, unconsciously through policies and things like that. So that’s going to be something we're pursuing. The other is community collaboration. I mentioned this a couple of times but we are quite sincere about this. We're going to fail if it we're not engaging the community in a very respectful way where our values are aligned with the values of the community to drive out the kind of change that we need. And just to give you a concrete example, so one of the things we're going to be pursuing is an anti- Indigenous racism strategy. So, you know, my team and I will be working through the Ministry of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation to go into Indigenous communities and have an Indigenous informed anti-racism strategy. Not going to be the architects of that strategy, going to be from ground up through chiefs of various tables available to us, working with the community to create a strategy we can then push out so it makes sense when we put those strategies out there. And last but not least is sustainable governance. Again a lot of bureaucratic language there, the first thing is in terms of sustainability and longevity, the Minister has heard and the government is hearing through these sessions that people really want to make sure the Anti-Racism Directorate is not a one-time activity. That it doesn't respectfully live and die with this mandate, if we're going to work with communities, we will take this conversation up and pursue it hard that the Directorate has longevity in terms of the work it is doing. That’s something that we're looking at as well and giving advice to the Minister on that. The other is organizational capacity, as the Minister mentioned we're just at the stage of ramping up the organization and anti-racism competencies are not competencies that are prevalent in the public service. In the public service we are good at policy development, good at program design, direct delivery; anti-racism competencies don't exist, if they did we wouldn't be having this conversation quite frankly. We pushed out a recruitment strategy a couple months ago, and many, many of the senior analysts subject matter positions were posted open. What that means is we are recruiting openly from the community. I'm asking for everybody’s patience because a couple thousand people applied. We're doing our best to cycle through all the applications, but you know, moving forward we will have an organization that has expertise, anti-racism expertise in the various areas in the organization so that, you know, people like myself, we can pass on the right advice to the Minister and government when we're doing this work. So that’s, that’s a quick overview for you. Again this is just meant to be directional, to give you a sense of some of the areas we're looking at and based on the conversation today and all the conversations we have had we will further refine this and it will come out as a full-blown strategy for the Province in due course.
Okay. Thank you for your patience, I will take my seat and Ginelle, I think you are up next.
>> Ginelle: One moment, I forgot my time piece. So today, as has been said, we're here to hear from you and we divided the evening into three parts, first you heard from Minister Coteau and also heard just now from the Anti-Racism Directorate. Now it is your turn to have an open discussion with us guided by these questions that you see up here. Just a word about the questions, they're not meant to limit your comments, but to guide them so we have some data and some comparative information to analyze at the end. So please feel free to make comments as you see fit, but using these as a guideline. So first we have a few housekeeping comments. The meeting is being live-streamed and recorded and it may be made publicly available after today’s session so joining in the meeting means that you understand and consent to this. French and American Sign Language translation is available for this meeting. The women’s bathrooms are located out the back door and to your left and then the men’s is upstairs and to the left as you exit. There is an accessible bathroom by the wome n’s and the elevator for those who do require it. Light refreshments are right to my right, your left and because we have several items to go through I'm going to be watching the time and so as I call you up to speak I may just ask you, as politely as possible, for your cooperation so that we can ensure that we hear from everyone. But if you don't get the chance to speak at the mic and say everything that’s on your mind there is another way that you can give input online at antiracismontario.ca. Sorry firstname.lastname@example.org. Okay. There are also comment cards that you were given as you come in and feel free to write your responses there and hand those in. Yes, I also want to remind you to speak clearly and into the microphone because the translators need to be able to hear you and, in order to do their translation. So if there are no questions we can move right into our discussion this evening. And so it is your turn. So we have some volunteers who are in red shirts and they can assist you, if you cannot stand to get to the mic then they can bring a mic to you at your seat. So let the games begin.
>>Audience Member: Hello, I'll take the microphone up here, I have kind of a mouthful I wrote it down so we can get through it quick. I don't mean to throw anybody around the bus but I don't tiptoe around issues of systemic racism either, we brothers and sisters are grinding gears of oppressive system built on the backs of violence, invasion, colonization. White privilege at the cost of the oppression of vulnerable people. The economy is rooted in the oppression of Indigenous people and racialized people and it is cloaked as democracy. You know, so I believe in regards to question number one ending systematic racism means deconstructing the dominant culture of White supremacy and building a new society by the people, for the people that will exist in the shell of the old system. If we're not talking about pulling the root out of systemic racism I can't respectfully support this issue and neither should anybody else. Thank you.
>> Ginelle: Go ahead, approach the mic, go ahead.
>>Audience Member: Hi, I'm (name removed), I'm a member of OPSU Ontario Public Service Union, I have very specific recommendations but I want to share something that happened here in Windsor recently where a man spray painted swastika symbols on the neighbour’s garage, both the neighbours were Asian, when the police officer came and arrested the man he was charged with mischief. I have the quote right here what happened, so the man was arrested and the police said that they're not categorizing it as a hate crime at the time and they will be doing more investigations before they can determine that it was a hate crime. And to me that just shows a flaw in the system and how serious the police and our law enforcement takes racism. So if a swastika is sprayed on your garage and that’s not considered a hate crime, you have to do further investigation, that shows the lack of knowledge or the racism that still exists and is alive and well in our city. So I'm going to go right into the recommendations before I get cut off. So number one is to reestablish the Ontario Employment Equity Act cancelled by the Conservative government in 1995. Reestablishing the Ontario Employment Equity Act would help ensure racialized people have access to good jobs. Raise the minimum wage and strengthen Ontario Employment Act in order to protect work, over-represented among people that live in poverty, furthermore while racialized and immigrant workers face systemic barriers at work, many will not file complaints. To address this issue the government of Ontario must commit additional resources in order to carry out proactive workplace inspections. Recommendation 3, amend the Labour Act, to only want to join a Union by signing a Union card which allows Union representation to be more accessible to vulnerable precarious workers. Recommendation four is improve access to public and affordable housing and recommendation five is to develop an affordable public and high quality childcare program. The lack of access to affordable housing and childcare are major systemic barriers keeping racialized people in poverty, in particular racialized woman not only have a difficult time finding decent work but lack of affordable high quality childcare makes this an even greater challenge. I also want to add that OPSU fully supports the work from anti- Black racism networks and the Black Lives Matter movement and those recommendations were submitted to Kathleen Wynn and later shared at a meeting that was held on July the 14th at the Toronto Community Consultation. And lastly, Aboriginal and racialized people have long faced racism in every part of our lives. Canada celebrates multiculturalism and diversity we as a society continue to fail, to acknowledge and assess those that suppress Indigenous and racialized people. Thanks.
>>Audience Member: Hi my name is (name removed) I teach at Windsor, these are some of the things I share with my students. So I'm really impressed in the first place with town organizers for this particular event and opportunity to have a platform to talk about the sensitive and contention matter of anti-racism. For me the first place, the starting point is we have to position ourselves for the roots of oppression in our society produced and reproduce, create and recreate, construct and reconstruct the idea in our society. I believe that dominant question here is that the dominant of our society that dichotomy between this group between subordinate members of our society. And the essence of where we come from and that no matter what the situation will be, Canada will continue to be so diverse, just recently, just going to bring in immigrants into the nation. The economy [speaker off mic] the values, the beliefs, their culture, right, so diversity will continue to abound. We will continue to shift, it won't be static and will continue to be dynamic. The dynamic of our culture continue to reinforce our society for what it is as Canadians, in the wisdom of founding members of this great nation they have seen to realize the idea of implementing and multicultural policy. For me, if we are not able to identify the dominant class, how that reinforce this class in society will fail in our mission to address issues of anti-racism. The starting point is to eliminate and identify the roots of oppression in our society. For me, I think, my suggestion here is that in all government institutions and agencies we need to establish [oppressive], will try to evolve into practices of government and institutions within various organizational units. Let me give you a classic example. When I used to work in child welfare we have this anti-oppressive community and I was a member of it. I began to question the practices of the, one of the criteria, communication skills, systematic racism, they are not invisible on a table. For immigrants coming from Africa, we have come here for language, we speak with an accent. Question becomes if accent for communication starts and accent for fluency of the language, official language, people like these are completely eliminated from the process of that. This one example of systemic racism, that is embedded in our structures, not difficult to uncover. I'm just giving an example, for example in the Catholic school board, now one of the practices you can only get admission when you believe in a [speaker off mic] baptize in a Catholic faith. When I was in Toronto my neighbour lived across the street and a child from the East Indian community, on their head, they get to the school; ask for the forms, they couldn't -- the child, not able to baptize their children. The question becomes whose fault and at whose expense, they didn't even understand, they didn't know there was that kind of systemic racism, which is completely eliminating certain class of people from getting access into that structure, right. So that person had to travel 15 kilometers away to send their child to school, because the school near couldn't accommodate the child because of the institutional policy of baptism. So I believe that we should have race and ethnic relations, diversity management in every organization agency and school boards to identify the structures, particularly the primary and secondary structures that create oppression in our society. Thank you very much.
>> Ginelle: Thank you. Okay we have a speaker at the back.
>>Audience Member: Good evening, thank you so much. The question was in tackling systemic racism, what institutions in Ontario, should the government address first and how. I am a Black African Immigrant and when I came into Canada, it is something that is not peculiar to me. The settlements organizations advise you to keep your culture. If you happen to have children your culture begins to get decimated as soon as they enter school, the teachers pick on them. The teachers have no idea of where the child comes from. They have no idea of the culture that the child came with and they begin to dismiss the culture and even the families. The child welfare system has been set up to help, to address the issues of child neglect and abuse, but what do we find among Black children? 80% of them become involved with the Children’s Aid Society, through the schools, who set them up for failure? And then when you come in you lose your identity as a Black person. You lose your, your confidence in your ability to parent your own children and then your children begin to doubt themselves and they no longer fit in either with Blacks or even with the Whites. So for me I'm thinking when you say what institutions that the government should address first? We should address the educational sector. We should train the teachers to be more culturally sensitive. We should, we should make the teachers understand that Canada’s diversity is never going to end. And the sooner they accept the mix, the mixture and the greater number of mixes that we're going to have in Canada, the better for Canada. I came into this country as a skilled i mmigrant permanent resident. And the first nine months with all my money I could not get a job because I did not have the Canadian experience. And sometimes I see my last name, of course, I'm definitely not going to have that experience. We have to put systems in place that do not deprive us of the ability to use our skills and competences which we came into this country with. To add value to the country. By addressing the issue of racism in the form of lack of employment, of course what does that cost for us? Economic disempowerment. If you come into this country and you are a man who is married, most of the men are frustrated because they find themselves, they make this joke, after the children came, after the woman come the pets and then the men come last. We have to put things in place that empower those that come into this country, because this country has invited us. This country has opened its doors to us and we have come in and see in this room, look at the range of colors of skin that is in this room, that’s Canada. So we have to look at the educational sector, we have to look at the child welfare system that targets Black children and Indigenous children. They target us. They target us and they make our lives miserable and unable to add value to this nation, something needs to be done. But I'm glad to say I'm active in that the Children’s Aid and I can see the wheels are turning and change is coming. Then my third, look at the issue of social services. For example, for example the issue of housing as a new immigrant, Black immigrant there are challenges to getting a proper place to stay. Something needs to be done, child welfare, educational sector is for me my own experience, many other Blacks. The educational sector is where your troubles begin, once your children start school you just entered trauma. So if we can look into that I would really appreciate it. It will help me, it will help the next generation of Canadians. Thank you.
>> Ginelle: Thank you.
>>Audience Member: Hi my name is (name and identifying information removed), new organization here in Windsor, developed because we do have here, we do have a lot of issues with our youth. Our youth have come to us, they have issues in school, searching for jobs, these are educated young people that are coming out of university and college, can't get hired anywhere. This is our, they came here, a lot of them are from Toronto, some of them are from here, but they cannot find jobs and that’s one of the issues that we are having and we are trying to address. But you say what can we ask the government to do? But from my opinion I think it needs to be uprooted as (name removed)mentioned and resampled completely. Institutional racism is often the most difficult to recognize and encounter. When it is perpetrated by institutions and governments who do not view themselves as racist. So how can we get to that government if they don't view it themselves? That would be my question to the government. Thank you.
>> Ginelle: Can you bring the mic down to the front for this gentlemen please. Okay.
>>Audience Member: First of all, I want to thank everybody for coming this evening. My name is (name and identifying information removed). The beef I have is what you call systemic racism has to deal with our natural team sport, hockey. I've lived long enough to see the first Black President of the United States, something I never dreamed I would see. My mother was born, raised 14 of us, ten daughter’s, four sons, I'm the fifth of the four sons. I'm the guy that went on a crusade from the age of 13 until my retirement in 2015. What I've done, may never be known by anyone until they get a hold of this book because they don't want you to read this. I alone have spent 60 years of my 75 years in our national team sport, ice hockey. I still wait and my heart still hurts. I've never seen a Black coach, I've tried to make it as easy as I possibly could. Because of the impact I had in the program in the United States of America I put 70 young White hockey players on their path to let them live their dream. They came to me as teenagers, when they left me they were young men. They were players that graduated to the National Hockey league. I am still waiting to have a meeting with the heads of the National Hockey League to tell them what it is like being me for 60 years and watching people with lesser qualifications and everything get their name put on the coaches’ door. I've coached 60 years. I was coaching at 16 years old. And the reason why that happened was I heard two gentlemen that were sitting in the north end of the Windsor arena, and Herb [Name?] came in to play, they marveled at the way he played, it was unreal the way he played and the conversation struck between the two they say, you know, Carnegie , he’s good enough to play, how come they ain't putting him in the NHL? The other one looked over at him and said, well they come from a warm climate probably can't stand the cold, probably can't act good enough or learn enough from the other guy that was supposed to be the teacher and you passed the grade only you were labeled the dummy. Up to 2016 Stanley cup playoffs, I had three coaches and one GM that stood in front of me at 17 years old. I would say that’s some kind of success, when you can look and see around you all the wonderful people that can pass into our national team sport and yet we have failed to do the thing that is the most dignified thing of all, if he’s good enough to play for you he should be good enough to become a coach if he so chooses, he is not a slave, with the mentality at the National Hockey League as well as other Hockey leagues, through Hockey Canada and other places, we have to have an understanding and a meaning. And the meaning will be from where I tell them, we are more motivated to understand the complications that we face in the game of hockey if we have somebody from our own race. Every time one of my Black players in the hockey team was disciplined we always had five White guys that did the judging. Nobody was there to represent him. This is what goes on in our national team sport. And I take great pride in what I finally have done. I finally have come to the end of my journey, so I decided to share it with everybody in the world. You are looking at the only guy that was a former Black hockey player that has put 70 young White players in a national hockey game. This book will tell you from Adam, from Ernie, from Joe, from Pete, Steve, these guys were my coaches and the GM, Mr. Jimmy Rutherford will stand by me and the way I am any day of the week. I have been a loyalist and fought from the inside with no help. I plan on getting some help, if you only get a copy of this, it is called Half In Half Out, you will see everything that the Black race has given to this wonderful country, we all love Canada, we are known as the society we don't need guns over here to get along, we know how to do that. We as people --
>> Ginelle: I'm going to ask you to start to wrap-up your comments --
>>Audience Member: Times you put Blacks and minorities that they can go up once a week, twice a week and work with these young kids. We have lost our children, my grandchildren doesn’t know the constitution of this country. She is 20 years old, why is that? She should know that, I'll tell you why, she had a school teacher at Bell River Lake shore, graduated in Ottawa right now, police academy, forensic science she is majoring in, the one thing that made me do this when she asked me, she said grandpa, I said yeah, almost had an easy life, what do you mean easy life? She said there is no record of anything that we have done. I said well first of all, wait a minute, I'm going to fix that. I just did that. My grandchildren and great grandchildren will read about their grandfather and what I did positive and became a Hall of Famer, Hall of Famer in the United States but I haven't made it here yet.
>> Ginelle: Thank you so much, thank you so much.
>>Audience Member: I think sooner or later they will decide --
>> Ginelle: Thank you. [Applause]
>>Audience Member: So you better get --
>> Ginelle: Thank you, thank you. Go ahead, Sir.
>>Audience Member: Hi, good evening. My name (name removed) I'm -- [speaker off mic] With the African Community Organization of Windsor, I came down here about 5 years ago to go to school, I've stayed in Windsor. The Minister and Deputy Minister outlined some of the things they want to work from and I think they are very admirable, the fact there have been studies done by McCloyd, Stephen Lewis and everybody and their mother. This is probably the first time I'm seeing people of colour actually doing studies and hopefully they will take them seriously. The fact is that walking in here I felt like I was going to be handed a pacifier as I walked through the door. Just like we've been handed out in the previous years. I am concerned how these Directorates and these different commissions that are set up are not necessarily that inclusive. In the sense that yes we may have people of colour that are running the show now, so to speak. But in my opinion if you wanted to actually make any impact you'd have to look at decentralizing the employment opportunities that these agencies have. If you have people who live in Windsor who may not even receive the news that you are going to be here until a day or two before you get here, because there is no agency here that lets us know what’s going on, it becomes difficult for us to get the news out of the streets in Toronto, out of Windsor. When I came to Windsor I found Windsor had a unique issue. Every Black person that I knew in Windsor is assumed by store owners to be from Detroit. When you walk into a store they tell you we accept American dollars here, hello, I live next door to you, I'm Canadian. You know, but um I remember going to, I well I guess I have a big mouth. I remember going one time and we were running Jobs Ontario then and I was trying to find out if they can hire some of the youth that we had. The owner actually had the audacity to tell me he had never seen any Black child come to apply for work. So I wonder if you guys can consider suggesting to them they put an office in other cities that people from Windsor that would take care of people from Windsor and allow folks to receive new information. For example, you talk about applications that you guys have out there for employment. That was the first I heard of it. And I think it is insulting actually, not from you, but from whoever distributed them. I'm glad that you told us. I am, I have a lot of issues but I'm going to let other people talk and send my other concerns by mail. Thank you so much.
>> Ginelle: Thank you so much. [Applause] Go over to this mic over here next, please.
>>Audience Member: Hello everyone, my name (name and identifying information removed) racialized commissioner of Ontario. I'm glad to say that I am from Windsor and I, I got a position, maintained a position within Windsor Confederation. I think it is crucial echoing some of the points about the education system. So I think it is crucial for number 4 up there, how should the government continue to engage? I think the Canadian Confederation of Students is definitely an asset to be capitalized on and represent more than 350 thousand students nationwide from coast to coast and these issues are always relevant in our discussions, our national general meetings, our Ontario general meetings, so on and so forth. Just recently we came to last year was the first time we initiated something called RISE. RISE is the Racialized Indigenous Student Experience summit that now was held once every year where racialized and Indigenous folks from around the country come together as students to amplify their seemingly voiceless voices. So I do want to encourage this Directorate to capitalize on the student voice that is, as they are. I am our future generation which is going to carry this message forward and systemic and institutional racism you come to really get a grasp of it when you obtain a position of power and the lack of compassion is prevalent in our society and it is stronger than ever. You are talking to some person and because of the way you look or the way you talk or your perceived, preconceived notions of your beliefs you face this lack of compassion. I think it is the time more than ever to hit the ground running and I just wanted to come up here and emphasize the student voice and make sure that we reach out to the proper organizations to work hand in hand with this Directorate. We have lobbyists that work within the government, our national chairperson, our Ontario chairperson, just confederation of students I want to emphasize, and different student Unions to start, have this conversation on our campuses as it pertains to our identities and to our student experience. And so if anything, if the Directorate needs anything in terms of that please feel free to ask, but I did want to come up here and say that the students are definitely, since they already have a national organization, the CFS, that you reach out to them and definitely look to get their voices heard. Thank you.
>> Ginelle: Thank you very much. Over to this mic, please. Can you go over here, please? Next speaker, yeah.
>>Audience Member: Good evening my name is (name removed) from organization, Canadians For Culture Education and Economic Progress and talking about with the two areas of the, the systems, institutions in Ontario that the government should address first. I would say first and foremost the media, the media is controlled by the dominant group and there is something that convinces a five year old White child that he is superior to everybody else. Not necessarily because the parents said it, that’s part of it. Not necessarily because the neighbors said it, that’s part of it but when that stands in front of the TV and which is almost everything that says it, what’s the poor kid supposed to believe? So comes up and you can face anybody and put him in his place because so built up. But if you want matter how much I build up my own Black child, when he steps out at the end it doesn't work outside my home. Tries it outside, they shut him down. So I think the media needs to be addressed and to address the media there are two ways to go. The omission and the commission. Commission is huge, we can all talk about it, omission is covert. When they forget to put Black professors on the media, teaching White students, we got a problem because the reality is that there are Black professors teaching White students in Canada, why don't we see a lot of that on the media? Why do we see Black criminals more than we see Black lawyers on the media? Why should a Black lawyer be in the court and be asked who is this lawyer, this actually happened in Windsor. They went to him and said where is your lawyer? Said I didn't have one. There is something in the media that communicates that I think the government should address that, but also take it a step forward. Start communicating the right message. Start telling Canadians what Canada is. Canada is this plus a lot more. People here are minority but we are here, contributors, builders of this nation, we will continue to build, this is our home, proud of this home. I like that we don't need guns here, we are not going to go there, we're going to work this out because we're Canadians. The second thing I believe should be addressed is the schools like the lady mentioned earlier. From elementary school to high schools. I will talk more about the high schools. If someone is in grade 11, try to think about what they are going to do in the future, try to, and has been advisedto take the lesser courses. Take this, have different grades of math, I don't remember, in school back then. She was told to take some grammar, I said why? Well just said it is easier, what is this, can't take the harder one? So we have to encourage her to go to the tough one and graduated with honours. But if we had not been involved she would have taken the other ones and then became whatever she could become when she wasn't encouraged to develop potential. Secondly she was, there was not made aware of the scholarships or opportunities out there until after the deadlines. So then the omission everywhere, things that can help us that we are not finding out about or not finding out on time. Things that represent us with pride and dignity not input on the media. It doesn't matter what position you are, if you are an employer, you get by workers because of colour, if landlord are insulted by tenants if physician insulted by patients other way around get insulted, the media needs to communicate, all human beings,; final thing I would like to say is the common expression from people, go back where you came from. Everybody came from somewhere except -- [Laughter] the people that own the land, we all came from somewhere and still, I see more and more, a lot more land here for more people to come. That’s what makes it exciting. I have an answer, look your grandparent came here first, they should leave first, if you want to play that game. [Laughter] We are not going anywhere where, yes they are here so we came 20 years ago, we're here too, so in 20 years, what’s the problem? Nobody is going back anywhere this is home. Thank you very much, I hope the media will change, I hope this changes. Thank you.
>>Ginelle: : Go ahead, Sir.
>>Audience Member: Thank you very much, mine is very short, I was raised very strict religious and with a name like (name removed) you'll know I wasn't from the Middle East. But we got to change people’s hearts and when I look back my heart was slanted, it was formed in a certain way. The only recommendation I can say is no matter where you are in your employment situation or in your community or in your school that comes from somewhere, racism. I'm hoping the Directorate here, can we go back to those questions, in physical one, the institutions. Number 4, engage. Please engage the dominations, religious dominations and say hey can we have a Sunday where we can send somebody in and talk about this? I also live in Windsor and I also live in a rural area and there is quite a difference. I take a course at the University and I am so pleased to see the young people in the student centre. The world is in Windsor. God that’s good, we're doing good. But I see from my upbringing, it has got to start from square one and I'm hoping the Directorate, the institutions engage the religious disciplines and say can we have a Sunday, we will send somebody in and talk about this. Thank you.
>> Ginelle: Thank you. Please go ahead.
>>Audience Member: Thank you. I'd like to stand this way because I want to prove a point. I want to look at all of you that are here and say thank you and I also want to say to the Chairs up here, our local leadership, they're empty. So I'm looking at all of you and I'm thinking your leaders your allies, your you are sisters, humans I want to say thank you. My name is (name removed) and I'm from the Indigenous community of Three Fires Confederacy Territory in Windsor Ontario and I'm also mixed Heritage. My mother is English, she is a second generation Immigrant here. And I want to tell you, I feel that racism from the other side of my family, if my own family can say derogatory comments to me and my children, negative stereotypes, negative marginalization of Indigenous people, people that know me, care for me, love me, what are they saying? I think it is a shame and disgrace our leadership is not here, shame on them for not being here. [Applause] I want to say that we need proportionate representation on our city councils and our school boards. We need to see brown and Black persons, human beings, sitting at those tables. We need to have all voices heard. We need to see an effort at education occur in this country. There is a generational gap in information and knowledge that needs to be remedied. There are people in positions of power that have absolutely no idea, they are very ignorant about other cultures and people and the true roots of this country. I know there has been efforts to teach Treaty, the many of this country and what we need is money put where the words are. We need to see the money there and I know the Directorate said that there is so much money to get established, to get momentum, but we need to hear that there is going to be a commitment of money to solve this problem in our country. I really love the idea of having an organization in each community to get the news out of these gatherings. What if we had an organization that dealt with anti-racism? And I really do not like the idea of having race-based data, that’s my personal opinion. And I think that if we do that it is going to marginalize people even further. But we need a mechanism to be able to report safely what is happening and we need mechanisms in place where we can rectify these wrongs. The Indian residential school system ruined lives. Elder Mona Stonefish stood before you and she said she is survivor, I'm a second generation survivor. On my dad’s side, my grandparents, they attended Indian reservation schools, intergenerational trauma has passed through and I am on my healing journey and I am doing the best that I can to be strong for my children and to, and to establish [allieship]. I want to say the Canadian government is rooted in colonialism, thank you for that (name removed), and that is so important to identify and we need to establish a new system. I also like to say that I'm very emotional and I know, keep it short now but education is the most important and we need to really create space for the, for all those that need to have their space. We can't have non- Native people speaking for Native, we can't have non- Black people speaking for Black people, we can't have non-newcomers speaking for newcomers. We need to have that space Meegwetch, thank you so much for listening.
>> Ginelle: Okay, if you need to have the mic brought to you, please raise your hand and those in the red shirts please come and make sure they get a mic, I understand (deleted) in the front here has been waiting quite a while if you could pass a mic to him, thank you.
>>Audience Member: First of all I'd like to say that the racialized, a number of racialized groups in our country and in our
>> Audience Member: Victims and our city but it doesn't make a good signal to any of them when one realizes that systemic racism or a systemic exclusion has occurred here. I've been involved in anti-discrimination activities for 70 years. I know many people in this community, Mona knows that, who have been involved in the issue for equally many years. I see none of them here. I was not informed of this except secondhand and as I look around this room I cannot see a single person or maybe one or two of very significant population in this community and that is the historical Black community from the 19th century, none of us are here. None of us were contacted. I had to be contacted by somebody else so that there is a significant lack right there. And that has to be addressed. I think my friend from over here, when he mentioned we seem to be excluded and things should be more localized than they have been in terms of these kinds of occasions, this has to be addressed, this is ridiculous. Also should make reference to some of the things that are going on that have been, have not been recognized by some of us here. Mention is made of the situation of Black children in the child welfare system. Well there has been a ten month study being done right now carrying on to next year on just that subject by the Children’s Aid Society of Ontario we know nothing about it. Some things that are significant in the issue of systemic discrimination are being addressed but we don't know anything about it, because communication is so bad. Now one of the things I think I should take notice of and that is all of us could stand before you and relate all of the experiences of discrimination that each of us have experienced over the years. I could give you a long, long list. But I can tell you that I face less of it, a good deal less of it now than I did when I was a boy. So it is important not to rehash what we have gone through. What we should be doing is addressing the questions we have up there and so far nobody has addressed a question as they have been posed in this setting. First of all and actually what systemic racism should the government address first and how? One might suggest educational system should be first [Applause] that’s where it begins. Somebody might say that the police system should be, the law enforcement system should be addressed next, not just police officers but the courts themselves. And that is the kind of discussion we should be having, what are the targets for fighting systemic discrimination? We should be addressing that, not each of our experiences. And how important is it that the government collect race-based data, if we don't know where it is at and we can't know where it is at unless we have the data. Let’s discuss those issues that will advance the issue of systemic discrimination and dealing with it, not our individual experiences. That is not going to advance us very far in a couple of hours. Thank you very much.
>> Ginelle: Thank you. I think we were at this mic next and then going over here, right. So the next speaker is over here first, yep.
>> Audience Member: No, it was over here.
>> Ginelle: Go ahead.
>>Audience Member: Thank you, hello everyone, my name is (name removed). I came from all the way from Indonesia eight years ago I moved to Labrador to work with some Inuit, working with the youth, Aboriginal youth who have a problem with Justice and also substance abuse. I was there working in the reserve, I was very grateful and also appreciated I have an opportunity to see Canada from the Indigenous people’s perspective. I guess in the Spirit of truth and reconciliation I think I should call the 94 legacy, 94 call to action one of like the about the child welfare. I will just read it point four. It says ensuring social workers and others who conduct child welfare investigation are properly indicated and trained about the potential for Aboriginal communities and families to provide more appropriate solutions to family and healing. In one more this is under the language and culture. Point 24, we call on medical nursing school in Canada to report all students to take a course dealing with Aboriginal health issues, including the history and the legacy of residential schools. The United Nation Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People, treaties and Aboriginal rights and teachings and practices, well required skills training in intercultural competency, conflict resolution, human rights and the most important thing is anti-racism. So I am a student in social worker, so in the age of government from Canada to Australia admitting they did mistake true their racist residential school policy and then they have enlightened themself and then they come to formally apologize. So I think this is very important that we also need to come back to asking question number one, like we haven't heard the apology from the institutions who were involved, aside from government in, for example, 60, how Indigenous children stick away and put in non- Indigenous family which is really creating family in Indigenous people and populations. I'm a student and social worker, in the Spirit of truth and reconciliation and solidarity with Indigenous people I saw, Canadian public, for example, like at University, they have literary course for students to learn about the history of the residential school in Canada. So I guess in the spirit of anti-racism also we need to also talki about without really addressing the root causes of it, without decolonization, colonization efforts I think we're not going to go anywhere. For example, this is part of a self-critic of the social workers institution. They said like we have to apologize. Social workers as an institution need to admit that this is a mistake. Okay we made a mistake and we have to apologize formally, so this is the part of the healing journey that I think healing what the previous speaker is saying if you want to talk about anti-racism we need to address the healing, because the wound is here with us. I think we also need to address the healing process before we really want to see like a new society in Canada. Thank you so much. [Applause]
>> Ginelle: Okay on this mic, please.
>>Audience Member: Hi, good evening everybody, my name is (name and identifying information removed). I'm going to tell you my experiences, I agree we can talk about our experiences all day but it is not going to solve the problem. I'm going to tell you what OPSU has been doing, our committee in particular. We have enacted a social map where we profile, we try to profile our membership. Our job as Workers of Colour caucus is to police our own Union. Everybody comes up, don't want to say bad things about their Union. I'm here to say my Union had their wrongs and I'm here to make them right. Now I can stand here proudly and say over the last at the present years they've been trying, trying to make things right. Not going as we expected, but it is going. One of the things we did map and profile the members in the Union, the demographics, the data or leadership position, what is their position at work? Me myself I'm a property assessor here in Windsor, been here for 26 years. I'm a first generation Canadian, I was born two hours away from here in London. Okay. So when I came I was the only Black property assessor. I'm going to retire in three years, looks like I'm going to be the only Black property assessor. Now we talk about systemic racism, these are the problems, these are the issues of systemic racism is hiring, hiring networks works do we hire? We hire people that we know. So I can, I can stand up here and firmly say within my community of work, property assessors in Windsor, that the last ten, maybe search people are hired are people that know people that work there. Okay. Do I fit that bill? Yeah. I brought my son in and I'm proud to say I brought my son in, okay. I call that corrective action. All right. When I started here in 1990 my boss, he was so concerned about nepotism that he hired his niece to look into it. [Laughter] You think it is a joke, funny we laugh about stuff like that but this is what got me involved in the Union and again and again and again we hire the people that we know. Is it wrong, no these people are good people. But do racialized people get on the job training like that through a friend or a friend? They are qualified, my boss tells me oh, you know, they are all good candidates. Well there is a lot of good candidates out there, like (name removed) said, do they know the anti-racism tonight historical community of Windsor, do they know, do our politicians know? The leaders of the community, you know. This is a direct indication of what they really think about this. We have been here before, we have here with Ontario race with NDP government the oriental lady that spoke first is a product of what we call the Joy program where Mr. EJ was implemented at the African community organization 20 years ago. And we're still here today. I'm proud to say that I'm a part of a Union that’s making change, but I'm also, you know, I'm sad to say that things, looks like I'm going to retire and things haven't changed I can imagine what the feelings are for people , been there from the beginning fighting. You know, you want to start with a systemic racism, change the name of the bridge, change the name of something that is historical to the Black people here in this Region. Okay, Gordy is a great guy, he is, great Hockey player, what does it mean to me as a Black person, what does it mean to other people? This gentlemen got up, he talked about being involved in Hockey for 20 years, okay, I got this idea about this social map it came from a book about Hockey players called “A Fly in a Pale of Milk”, that’s where it came from, went to our convention year after year and seen the amount of people like this in a room and just a sea of White and specs of Black, we said we're going to call this thing the living wall. We want people to come and sign the wall so we can see where these members are at, that turned into this map I can be, I can say I'm happy to say we're going into our second survey now, our census to see how what type of measurements and barriers we eliminated from the first one. So these are things that government wants to get on board with us they can come and talk with us, okay. I'm on the website so is (name removed), but these are issues that have been here and some people are cynical . (name removed)talked today, is he cynical about this. Is this going to happen again or squeaky wheel? When are the politicians going to get involved? These are things if you don't ask the right people they are not going to make change, Chrysler, anybody here from Chrysler, that’s an aspect of employment where we can see that there is, we are not represented in the community, racialized people are not represented in that Chrysler community. Talked about incident a couple weeks ago, we had an incident last year where they hung a noose on a Black supervisor’s golf cart in the plant. It made the papers but you know what happened? It was mistake, that was meant to hang up pieces of metal, just got on cart three times. Water down. So these are the aspects.
>> Ginelle: I'm going to have to ask you to wrap-up please.
>>Audience Member: Asked about concrete solutions. Number one, don't make human race commission so complicated okay let people be able to complain without being ostracized. Two, power is important forays-based data, I heard a woman talk about it today saying we don't need to collect it, we need to collect it and we need to start today. If we can do it with Statistics Canada for the elections we can do it, okay. Let’s start with the Liquor Board --
>> Ginelle: I'm going to have to ask to you wrap-up please.
>>Audience Member: We're going to get through everybody, I was at Toronto, this is quiet compared to Toronto. Number three, how do we change people? Education, start with the schools, start with people who don't normally have interaction with racialized people. Number four, outreach, come on we got to reach out to the people and tell them that these forms are happening and start the education. Number five, yes we do, we do need race-based data, we do need to tell people about anti-racism education.
>> Ginelle: Okay, thank you so very much. [Applause] so I'm just going to take a quick moment to address something that’s been repeated so that you have some information about it. So the Minister informed me these are the organizations that were outreach to here in Windsor, I'll let you know which ones they are, the Multicultural Of Windsor and County, the YMCA's across Southwestern Ontario, the Greater Essex County School Board, the Windsor Islamic Association, the Muslim Students Association, Windsor Woman Working with Immigrant Woman, the University of Windsor Office of Human Rights And Advocacy, Pathway to Potential, Voices Against Poverty, Indian Circle, and Windsor Essex Council. [speaker off mic]
>> Ginelle: Okay, okay. [Applause] Okay on point taken I was just invited to share that with you so I did. I would like to go over to this mic next and then we will go back over here.
>>Audience Member: Hello, my name is (name and identifying information removed), here to speak mainly about first question about what systems and institutions need to be addressed first and I believe education. So to kind of prove my point I'm going to basically speak about my experiences. So I went to grade school and high school here in Windsor and I have never seen a teacher that looked like me, never had a Black teacher of both genders, I've never even really had a person of colour as a teacher just in general, all White teachers, pretty from well-off families for the most part. And these did not really, I guess, did not understand my culture or the cultures of my peers because I went to, both my grade school and high school two of the most diverse high schools in Windsor if not the most diverse, both in the west end, if you know the west end, you know how racially diverse that is, yet all my students are White and they never understood my culture or my background. Never can distinguish the difference between African Canadian who is a descendent of slaves or child from Ghana or immigrant children from Sudan, to them we were all the same when we all had very different experiences. So when, in terms of what institutions that need to be tackled it has to be education. Not only from the teacher perspective who are teaching people and students of colour, but also from the students themselves. The anti-racism and classes such as social justice, gender studies, disability studies, these have to be engrained into the curriculum. These social Justice classes have to be mandatory. My sister, she is taking a gender studies class and speaking to me about issues such as poverty and intersectionality, I did not even understand or heard of these terms until my third year of University. So the fact she is able to take this studies class and has male friends calling themselves feminists that shows that education in both elementary and secondary school is important. It really shows, I did not know residential schools existed until my first-year of University and I had an Ontario education. That’s a problem. Like that should not have happened whatsoever which is why it stresses the importance of education here in Ontario. Going on not only secondary or elementary education goes on to post second, I have gone through four years of social work program, in my last year, I never had a class dedicated to working with Indigenous populations. The fact there is really no Indigenous education at all in University education here in Ontario or most almost like country wide in itself is a problem and that has to be addressed and people won't understand systemic racism until they take a critical social theory class because it has to be engrained into their education for them to understand how it applies to own personal lives. To end this off, I feel that cultural competence is of course important. I kind of want to challenge that and I think it should be more about cultural humility because cultural humility shows that it’s a life-long journey, a life-long education. You never stop teaching yourself about how you can be, be culturally humble. You have to always ask questions to those, to other cultures, other people if you want to be emotionally and you want to understand systemic racism. Having importance of intersectionality as well is something that has to be addressed. For example not all Black people are saying I'm a child of an immigrant from Ghana, my experience is very different from African Canadian who might be descendent of slaves. So you are not, we're not all the same and so understanding how intersectionality works and how it does cause barriers is another important step if we want to challenge this racism. Thank you.
>> Ginelle: Thank you so much, go ahead Sir. Step right up.
>>Audience Member: Thank you very much. Is this on? My name is (name and identifying information removed).
>> Ginelle: Sir, if you are going to face the audience, hold the mic.
>>Audience Member: I would like to give the mic back if I can, I'm proud to report that in the Windsor Islamic community one of the most diverse communities. You walk into one of our community centers and probably will see the warden there. So it is very, once you get out it is a very total different story. We're no stranger to systematic racism, actually all racism individual, societal, systematic, you name it. I don't want to stand in front of you to talk about the issues, we all know the issues. I want to try to suggest some solutions. A couple of my fellow speakers mentioned the importance of education and I can't emphasize more this point. I believe in, once kids are taught to be blind, colour blind, they will grow to be race blind, religion blind. There is also an issue, I want to propose a solution for it to be considered, around Islamophobia. I listened to a lot of lip service from government officials about Islamophobia, there was a motion, but also in the Provincial level, that condemns Islamophobia, I don't know what condemns means, Islamophobia is a very like strong defeat to the person, if you wish. Especially our sisters, the ladies, you probably heard a lot of reports where they're finding difficult time finding jobs, difficult time socializing and so on. I think it is important that Islamophobia be criminalized exactly like other forms of hate crimes are criminalized. The issue of this data, I so strongly report the collection of this data, not for the sake of collection of data, but to better understand the problems and to better provide solutions for those problems. I happen to be a health care researcher and we like to, we sometimes strive to study material and social deprivation of health. We cannot do a good job in this type of research when we go to medical records for example and have no access to who are these patients. That cannot access the health care program the way they are supposed to. I can suggest this would be true at a social level of employment level and so on. So racial data, graphic data in general, I truly believe is important to be collected so that we can understand the problems and find solutions for them. Finally last question intrigue me a lot, ten years into the future, how do we see success, where does success stand? I think we will measure success if we can see our government institutions are representing who we are as a nation. When I walk into the university system and I see that almost all senior officials are of one race, when I look at the government and I see that there is a systematic racism in school system or academia, we will not have a solution. Once we start to see there is a good representation of what Canada is in different institutions I think we will be able to say we have made progress there.
>>Audience Member: Hello my name is (name and identifying information removed), I'm the product of what you are talking about, also high school teacher, [princess] I would be what you want to see in the schools. I work at one of the most diverse high schools in this city and the amount of systemic issues that I see hitting these students is heart breaking to me. Students of colour are being pushed into college level classes or locally developed level classes or adaptive basic I didn't even know existed until I got into teachers college. There is no push within a teacher education programs to have mandatory anti-racism classes. I took one because obviously it dealt with type of students I wanted to teach, but should be mandatory. Should not be a question, just like you have to deal with students special needs, you will deal with students racialized, they need to be addressed. We live in a unique city because of the communities that encompass Windsor, because from a Black community that’s been here since the 1830s our history is never properly taught neither is Indigenous history. My school actually does have African studies, Native studies and Oneida language being taught at my school which is huge, we're in the minority in our school, but it is unfortunate for me to look around and not see any of my colleagues here right now. The school board has a very diverse student population, but if you walk up into the school board office nobody looks like me. I am one of two Black woman who, I work at a school but technically my office is at the school board, I'm one of only two. Diversity officer is racialized minority and then sprinkles here and there, that has to change. That’s one of the systemic issues we need to address is how do we get people who look like me and you and everybody else in here to be teachers. Because representation matters. Representation in government matters, representation in media matters, representation in the kids everyday lives matter. These kids don't know what they want to become because nobody looks like them in positions that could be them. One other thing we need to do is dismantle the curriculum, it is extremely White supremist, it has to be done away with. We shouldn't need Indigenous studies and African studies and Oneida language they should be incorporated into every single course. Canadian history is only mandatory history course, you know what they study? World War I, you know what they don't teach, number two, Indigenous people who incorporated into the world in World War I, World War II, nothing. The curriculum needs to be dismantled.
>> Ginelle: Sorry, before you speak Sir I want to make a small announcement. I want to get a sense of how many more people want to speak because we're drawing close in time and in order to gauge how long people could speak I need, I need to know. If you could stand and be at the mic if you intend to have something to say, please. Okay. Thank you very much. So then we will end the speakers list, are you walking up to the mic, at this gentlemen here. Go ahead.
>>Audience Member: Good evening everyone, I'm happy to see so many faces here, I wish there was more. Reality is no more. Canada will celebrate the 150 anniversary next year. Discrimination exist then and it is really sad to say that continue whether we like it or not. I am also Muslim, also Black, Immigrant to this country. But I don't want you just to see me as a Black Muslim Immigrant, there is more to this and I'm very proud to see a number of organizations that actually work in collaborate with the community. I see the [speaker off mic], I see folks, colleagues from the Windsor society where proud member of the, member of the [Name?] right so I see members of African communities I closely work with, I see, who am I seeing? Diversity groups I work with. So we are more than just people of colour, Muslims, immigrants, right. I work in these systems and I see a lot of things that happen in our communities. I see this earlier talking about problem with the education system. She twice said, it is not her fault, from University of Windsor social worker, twice say that slaves from Africa, this is what we teach our kids from schools, slaves are not from Africa, these are people enslaved, so we teach our children slaves from Africa the perception is everybody from Africa is a slave, which is not true. It has always been difficult to be Black but has never been more difficult to be a Muslim. In this day and age, [speaker off mic] because Muslim, more than actual Blacks. This day and age you can say almost anything about Muslim that you can't say about LGTB, Blacks, Hispanics, you can go on television and say anything about Muslims. Recommendations would matter, we have elected officials in this country who can say pretty much anything and is acceptable, don't be surprise what happen in America happens here. We can fight this in all forms.
>>Moderator: Okay, can I give you one more minute, go ahead.
>>Audience Member: I'll sum it up, that’s a few things, education is key. Number two is employment. I work for the Ontario Public Service, but I can tell you it took me a lot of work for me to go, I went to school twice, had two degrees first before I got a job. I can ask [speaker off mic] how many of you employees actually representative of the people we serve? That’s the question we need to ask. How many employees from the Ontario government that actually representative of the people we serve? Very few, people in Ontario racialized communities. Do we have representations from, Islamic, unless we can [speaker off mic] the problems will continue to exist. Thank you.
>> Ginelle: Thank you very much. Go ahead.
>>Audience Member: Hi my name is (name removed) and my motivation in attending tonight was seeing the rise in power in the US of a now President elect who ran on a platform that encouraged racist views and I wanted to be part of something in Canada that would support a different direction in Canada. So I applaud these and support the work of the Directorate. So your first question as to what systems are institutions in Ontario, the government should address first, it’s for both individuals and for the government it is always a good approach to start with looking at yourself. So my suggestion would be for the government to start with looking at their own policies and procedures that contribute to systemic racism. In my work as a psychologist with individual whose are often affected by discrimination I often see individuals who face unnecessary barriers to access for government sponsored programs and supports. These access barriers include lack of access to computers and Internet to apply for programs or supports that increasingly must be done online. Barriers also include the complexity of language in government forms and correspondence. Another area government can look at within own house is the lack of coordination between government Ministries. An example we're seeing in our own community is closure of schools in inner-city neighborhoods by school boards because of government funding formulas without regard to the impact on communities where individuals from marginalized groups are over-represented. And the consequent buildings of new schools in more affluent and typically Whiter suburban neighborhoods. These are some examples of where the government can start looking at its own part in systemic racism. And your question number four asked about how to engage and work with racialized and Indigenous communities and I thoroughly support that approach, but I would also suggest that you consider asking another question and that is how to engage with interested individuals who are not from these groups. If we're going to make progress it would be helpful to harness energy from everyone. Speaking from my own perspective I would like to have a role in making a multicultural approach work in Canada, but working as an individual is not very effective. Therefore I suggest an additional question for you to ask is how can we engage and help bring together individuals who have a passion for making progress on anti-racism issues.
>>Moderator: Thank you. [Applause] Go to this mic over here. Go ahead.
>>Audience Member: Merci, I would like to start by asking if there is any translator to put what we are saying in French in English, thank you. Merci. (speaking French) My name is (name removed) I chose to use a second microphone it will be time changing. (speaking French) My name is (name removed). Yes, thank you. of the African community organization of Windsor. Chair of the French Group in the Region of Windsor Essex. (identifying information removed). I'm also a father, , I'm also counselor for helping people to find jobs. I thank the authorities who are here present. I start by telling you about my expectations about this forum. I will tell you what I avoid to hear from this Directorate. First, I heard in the past there were commissions. Please tell me about the reports that were made then and where they are. The one thing I fear about this forum. I'm afraid probably one extra forum, one after on top of all the others. That will produce another report of a thousand pieces, and I think all go down in the history and in the future we will refer to it as the report that was made in 2016. So my expectation would be this forum would lead to action. And results not only that will affect Windsor but the whole country. Now for the main topic.
>>Moderator: I'm going to have to ask you to wrap up quickly, please.
>>Audience Member: Yes, yes -- first thing, racism is rampant and obvious. We talked about services to support children. I cannot tell you often I went to the court to defend families and to act as an interpreter. When this family happens to be Black and French speaking everything is more terrible. Psychology, we say uniform gives you uniform this was proved. I would like to see at the end of this consultation I would like constable of this city to be (speaking French) I would like the municipal services or health services to be a reflection. We don't want people to be[ puppetting, sic] or showcase.
>> Ginelle: Okay, can this be your last comment, please.
>>Audience Member: (speaking French) So you know my expectations and you know my perceptions so please take it into account, thank you for your attention. [Applause]
>> Ginelle: Thank you, go ahead.
>>Audience Member: Hello, my name (name removed) is actually going to be addressing number one, especially the school education and I hope it make it quicker and also individual. I'm going to start with a story of a little girl from my community of Black girl, in elementary school at some events the whole class were given a certificate or award for something. So when her turn came she didn't get the award but she got a bag, guess what is in the bag, she took the bag and left and opened it, oh by the way she also lives in west side, Windsor housing. So when she open the bag was I think food cans or what do you call it, like stuff like food she can take it home. She felt so broken and I'm just going to tell you what she felt. She felt heart broken, lost herself esteem, felt different and singled out. She felt bullied, not by the student but by the teachers, okay. That incident happened to her like she didn't forget it actually, okay. The reason I brought it up, because it is something that going to shape her character one day. And because of what Black kids are going through. And I know that for so long, I'm so happy I have this opportunity to bring it out for the school to know and for the education system that bullying is not only by students sometimes it happens by teachers. Also in terms of individual it is my own experience at work, I work for the Windsor woman working with, we call it (reference deleted), so I work at the reception and I do administrative assistant as well. I was sitting, a client came in, he sat, so I went to the client and like how may I help you? Sat and just stared at me for a while and said my family got killed, so I was really devastated, oh my God, your family got killed in when did that happen? He said yesterday and he was so calm. It was like oh how come I didn't hear it on TV, incident like, who got killed in your family? My mom, my dad, like four family members. And I was really devastated. So I was like okay um like what do you need, who killed them? Like what do you mean who killed them, like an incident big incident four family member got killed and who killed them. He stared at me and said Isis. It was still hurting, I told him I'm sorry, unfortunately there is nothing I can do about your family because I know there is no family got killed and I told him to leave right away but it hurt. So I'm asking the whole community to understand Muslim people before they judge and also mention about Islamophobia and to bring it to the workplace and say even so often and in Canada, this is really horrible. Thank you.
>> Ginelle: Thank you so much for your comment. [Applause] Okay. And this gentlemen is the last speaker.
>>Audience Member: Okay, thank you. Hello, my name is (name and identifying information removed). I find it is an important part for us as an organization to be aware of racial issues because there is no true equality without intersection and um my first experience with racism as a child in the school system was a swastika spray painted on our public school in Essex, I come from Essex, I remember some of the teachers talked about it died away in a few days, wasn't an actual statement made by the school. Nobody really knew about it unless you were around that day and I would like to say that even as a college student now I'm still seeing those things in the halls of St. Clair College, you walk into a bathroom, you look at the walls of the stalls, there are pro demagogue words on the stalls as well as racial slurs, anti- Black I reported to student resource community, sorry if I got the acronym wrong, of St. Clair College, heard nothing left. Been to those same stalls and places they have not been removed from the stalls or the walls. This is something I hope to see changed and I really do not think that we can make any progress even in the realm of LGTB so long as we don't look at race issues as well. Thank you.
>> Ginelle: Thank you very much. [Applause] Okay Sir, thank you.
>>Audience Member: My name is [(identifying information removed] retired teacher. Where my family and my generation of families and their racism based on this kind of thing. You know, we endure it, but today I go home and we have reconciled and we have got along. We have a cabinet that works together politically as all Catholic and Protestant and all kinds of religious groups work together. What I saw here today was not a community working together. I got great respect when I first came here I remember he was teaching physics and I remember him as a federal member of parliament. I didn't see colour, I saw a man with supreme intelligence, I saw a man with great clarity even though he didn't want me to speak tonight but I'm here. The reason I stood up, I'm a White guy. And I taught Special Education all my life. I didn't see handicap, I didn't see colour, I saw dignity, I saw people, I taught students from all over the world. Some of them have moved on to be doctors and lawyers, and there are people like me in the education, I taught in the public system, talk faculty of Ed for 25 years, all good people who have done wonderful things for all people in this community, just not here tonight. I'm absolutely aghast the leadership is not here tonight. That is amazing. You know, I didn't read the Windsor star this morning that this event took place. Why am I standing here? Because I'm angry.
>>Moderator: One more minute, please, Sir.
>>Audience Member: I produce and host television shows for cable, next week I'm doing a show on racism. I got students from the Catholic board, French board, all kinds of nationality going to talk about this topic. I came here tonight to be made aware and I'm so glad I did. A lot of angry people here and I want to put that anger on a platform. We broadcast this show five times a week, 250 times a year because that’s what we do. I think the more of us that get together and work as a community of people with each other and for each other, because lady here today from the Catholic board, she works with me, I work with French board, I work with all the boards, Universities and St. Clair. We're, when the kids get up they are a community not a St. Clair student or University student, they are a member of Windsor Essex, that’s what we should be doing as a collective force and the Ministry should be listening. You should get down here and talk to real people, talk to people that know this community inside and out and listening to them because they are our leaders, there will be an opportunity in this community to find cohesiveness, to find an answer based on respect for this young man here, that get respected to be a Hockey coach, doesn't matter what his colour is, it matters what his ability is. I would like us to leave with that message. I'm going to show with that young man, where did he go? From St. Clair, did he leave? Because I'm doing a show on gay and straight alliance next week and I got all kinds of people, not here to promote me, here to promote the idea that we have to work as a community.
>> Ginelle: Thank you so much.
>>Audience Member: People here tonight that are leaders and education community works with the folks we have good people in this community, let us work together and thank you for listening, I appreciate. [Applause]
>> Ginelle: Thank you. Okay so I'm just going to summarize a few of the comments that we've heard tonight so we heard about self-identification, shutting out the voices of authentic Indigenous people. And we heard about several people’s spoke about their culture, their identity, being ignored by things happening within the systems of government, the schools, the children aid society and employment. We heard stories and call for equity and employment and for addressing people who have trained and been educated and can't find work and they are being discriminated against. We failed to, heard support for the fact that the culture is constantly changing dynamic and that’s historical. We heard about the fact that one of the institutions that we need to start with is government itself and all of those Ministries within government working together more cooperatively and government asking itself about the role that has been played by some of the systemic barriers that prevent or that oppress people.
We heard about training for teachers and we heard about Canadian experience requirements which deprive people of the ability to bring their skills to benefit this country. We heard from someone who faced racism within Hockey for over 60 years, watching people with lesser qualifications get to coach and we heard similar stories of that being repeated in other employment situations. We heard the Canadian Confederation of Students can be a resource to the Directorate and which heard also about the several speakers mentioned the media being one of the institutions that needs to be addressed and we were told the story of what convinces or asked the question what convinces a five year old White child of the superiority they have. Talking about the omission and the commission of racial injustice as needing to be addressed. One comment I thought resonated, employers are insulted by workers, landlords by tenants and doctors by their patients, if those people in those positions are racialized. We need to have an organization in each community, that suggestion was supported by several speakers, to address the unique needs of each community on this question. We heard students, whether medical students, social workers or others need to have training in how to deal with marginalized populations, Indigenous populations, newcomers and people have been here for generations but may not enjoy privilege. We heard a call to involve businesses, namely Chrysler and Unifor, which is a Union I believe in this discussion. We heard we should be talking about cultural humility not just cultural competence and we, we heard an appeal by several speakers to look realistically at Islamophobia and sensitive to criminalization of people of the Islamic faith and how it impacts and affects woman differently of the Islamic faith because you can visibly see the Hijab. Concern a rise in power in US of racist views and a desire to include people who are interested and have a passion for making progress that may not be from marginalized groups, also concerns of LGTB + community and need to really take action and not just do another very long study that talks about this but we want to see direction with the Directorate. I want to thank you very much for being here today and I'm going to pass the microphone. [Applause]
>> Minister Coteau: Well thank you very much, you know, we appreciate people coming out to have these types of conversations and like I said at the beginning, sometimes they can be frustrating because people have been doing this for, for year after year after year and decade after decade but I know that change is possible. yYou know, and most of the meetings I told the story about the Toronto district school board when myself and another trustee back in 2004 brought a proposal to collect race-based data, the collection of the data has led to transforming the work it does, increased graduation levels and lowered suspension expulsion levels because of that data, because it can pinpoint with so much accuracy, where the issues are in the system and then allocate resources based on those needs. So change is possible, I think that together and if I had to put a number behind the amount of people that have come out to these consultations I would say easily 3 to 4 thousand people across the Province who have joined us. And we have, if you signed up when you came in, we have your information, we'll continue to send that information out to people and keep you in the loop. We can make change. I really believe in the spring when we come forward with our plan it will be a plan that people can be proud of. I know that I think there are a couple comments around government needs to start with itself, I acknowledge that. Government needs to look at itself and to really cast the light on what it is doing and how it can improve , itself. But most important thing is there is an acknowledgment that the system is broken and there are pieces within the system that need to be fixed. In Thunder Bay one of the councillors stood up and said they had to pass a motion stating racism exists in the city, it was a hard conversation to have. When myself and Trustee Davis brought forward the motion to collect race-based data it was because no one in the system would admit that the system was broken and no one knew to what extent the failure rate was among Black boys and young woman and other racialized groups in the system. So that data allowed us to, to get a number out to the public and start to benchmark that number so we could, we could make improvements and see if the change was going to happen. I want to say thank you again for being here, we did invite all of your government officials, it has been hard to get some people out in three cities out of the nine so far we had chief of police show up, three of the nine, so, you know, Waterloo, Thunder Bay and London. So to those communities I really want to say thank you. We have had in Thunder Bay, any city council here tonight, any elected officials, I know we have a director of education from the French board, let’s give him a big round of applause. [Applause] I think it shows real leadership to be here tonight as a system leader and sit through the entire meeting and take that information back to your board, thank you for being here. Anyone else from a public organization, I know two people over here from local Children Aid Society , anyone else? Yourself? Well thank you for being here. Anyone else? [speaker off mic] Okay, great. Anyone else? Well thank you very much to all of you for being here. Let’s continue the conversation, I don't know what’s next if there is a will to have a conversation and to continue this conversation I would suggest, you know, looking for ways as organizations to come together. You don't need us here in town to bring people together have these conversations. Continue the conversations, if you need help from us, if you want to invite us back we can come back and I just want to say thank you so much for being here and together I believe we can make a difference.
And a big round of applause to our facilitator tonight, who did a great job. [Applause] Such a polite way of telling people to hurry up [Laughter] I think it is always a good thing, respect is, is respect to everyone, obviously the best starting point and our Elder,our Elder who blessed the beginning of the meeting, it to say thank you for setting a very nice tone tonight. [Applause] And that’s it, thank you very much and I hope everyone has a safe drive home. Thank you.