Aboriginal youth unanimously stated that racism was one of the largest factors influencing their lives. Upon questioning them for ways to begin to deal with the issue, they largely felt that the problem was out of their hands. What can be gleaned from their comments however, is the identification of specific domains of service where they felt most influenced by systemic discrimination. By and large the Justice System and the Educational System represented areas where they were impacted the greatest.
"Police came over after my bike was stolen to do a report. They said why don't you steal another bike; you're Native." Aboriginal male - 14 yrs
In the 1999, Removing Barriers: A Listening Circle Report, Systemic Racism and Discrimination was noted as a common theme in not only the Justice and Educational systems but in Housing, Health, Social Services, Employment and Human Rights. Aboriginal youth told us that the daily impact of mainstream expectations for them to walk a negative path continues to damage their self-esteem, and ability to succeed, as well as invalidating their culture and history. This theme has been recorded in many documents, reports and studies over the decades. Many recommendations have been suggested yet the implications and harm, which is caused to Aboriginal young people, their families and communities, remains the same.