Discrimination is when the government does not believe you’re worth the money.
- Cindy Blackstock.
Blackstock is a member of the Gitksan First Nations of British Columbia. Her mission is to change the discriminatory policies and actions toward Frist Nations children in Canada. Her work advocates against the systemic racism and underfunding of Indigenous healthcare and education, and the misconceptions — lack of education about the statistics of the fastest growing population in Canada.
I came across her work when I was doing my masters’ research on Indigenous Education in the documentary called We Can’t Make the Same Mistake Twice by Alanis Obomsawin; Cindy Blackstock’s court case against the federal government of Canada for underfunding social services to children living on First Nations reserves. This documentary affected me in so many ways.
I felt the anger and the pain that came from silencing the Indigenous Peoples in Canada. I realized that one can draw a direct correlation between government funding of healthcare, education models, and systemic racism in our society. Blackstock’s work compelled me take a closer look at education and political platforms. I started to see the patterns. In order to create an inclusive society, we need to look at systemic policies and funding that continue to marginalize certain groups of people.