Youth more likely to see Aboriginal peoples as key founders of Canada: Poll

The Association for Canadian Studies out of Montreal recently commissioned a poll asking 1,500 Canadians “Which of the following groups played the most important role in founding Canada” — the British, the French, or, as they write, “the Aboriginals”?

Leaving to the side the annoying (if common) usage of the term ‘the Aboriginals’ to refer to some 50 distinct Indigenous peoples, I note with interest the generational gap in respondents’ answers. Turns out that, among young Canadians (i.e., age 18-to-24) holding a clear opinion on the matter, 25% felt Aboriginal peoples played the most important role to Canada’s founding, just 3% back of the British at 28% (the French were third at 19%). No other age category in the ACS study (free for the downloading) ranked ‘the Aboriginals’ quite as high. This result caused the Association head to ponder “whether the latest cohort of students is being offered a version of history that directs more attention at the ‘founding role’ of Canada’s First Nations.” And maybe the Inuit and Métis too perhaps. 😉

As for me, I wonder whether that version of history contains any mention of the fact that we ‘Aboriginals’ weren’t exactly given a choice when it came to ‘co-founding’ what was to become Canada, but maybe that’ll come out in a future poll.

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