#WeekendReads – Belonging and Racial Identity in Halton

Welcome back to the #WeekendReads series! On periodic Fridays throughout the year, the Oakville Community Foundation will share reports, data and information to help you stay informed when it comes to the community, the charitable sector and more. Click here for previous installments.

In the summer of 2020, discussions began around building a community-led report that would explore what can be done to better provide Black, Indigenous and People of Colour (BIPOC) members of the community with a greater sense of inclusion and belonging. The report would build upon existing research focused in Halton Region.

Together, Elder Peter Schuler of the Mississaugas of the Credit, the Canadian Caribbean Association of Halton, Mending the Chasm and the Oakville Community Foundation partnered with Sheridan College to complete the additional research. 

A few highlights include:

  • Survey respondents who identified as racialized indicated that some neighbourhoods in Oakville and Burlington were inaccessible and parts of Georgetown were “extremely exclusionary”
  • There is a noticeable willingness to accept and agree that racism happens on a personal level but an unwillingness from some to recognize the existence of systemic racism
  • The most common sentiment in the survey was that the traditional school system needs to be overhauled to reflect Canada’s true history and include more diverse voices
  • There was recognition that bias may exist in hiring practices and that international credentials are undervalued 
  • Most respondents felt there was a great need for better responses to mental health and better relationships between the police and the community

The report is accompanied by a list of recommendations that came directly from the survey respondents and touch on many aspects of education, the workplace, the justice system and more. A number of community organizations were invited to submit their responses or action plans to these recommendations, and are available alongside the report. 

We also invite other organizations to be part of the community conversation by submitting their response or action plan to communications@theocf.org.

To read the full report, its recommendations and the responses and action plans submitted by community organizations around Halton Region, click here