Each of our Trustbuilding Program project teams are working on issues in their local communities and are adapting their strategies to the local context. These issues are not static and are greatly influenced by current events. At the beginning of the year the following events influenced the work of the Canadian team, who are addressing the topic of racial discrimination.
Quebec City Mosque shooting
The broader context of the Trustbuilding Program project in Canada involves the commemoration of the Quebec City Mosque shooting. On 29 January 2017, six people were shot by an individual while they were praying, indicating that this could be an act motivated by islamophobia. This act is part of an ongoing struggle where Muslim citizens are not treated as a part of the Quebec French Canadian majority. The recently passed legislation banning religious signs worn by public servants, teachers and workers in public institutions is another case of this divide being worsened by the present government, the media and other institutions.
Reports on racial profiling by police have been published recently, underlining how African-American, Arab and Indigenous citizens are still predominantly targeted. Incarceration statistics reflect this discrimination as well, with Indigenous inmates representing close to 30% of the incarcerated population, when they are only 3% - 5% of the overall population.