Strategic Foresight: 5 Trends for Indigenous Communities

Futures studies is a field in which foresight professionals and/or futurist study alternative futures through a diverse set of framework and tools. This post explores trends that will affect the future of indigenous communities in Canada. (More information about the process)

1. Haunted by the Past

Despite the effort of members of indigenous communities, addressing the problems regarding identity, culture, and pride is still a challenge. Residential schools and the 60 scoop did strong harm to the communities’ culture. The system by which they are managed in Canada seems to have been designed for these people to not prosper, and currently, they are dealing with the consequences.

  • They are going to be instances when some indigenous people will hold views and commit actions against their culture and values.
  • A lot of indigenous people are going to be racist against white people and that will lead to conflicts and affect negatively the relation between the two groups.

2. Unification of US Natives and African — American

By looking at the historical context regarding colonization, we see that what we identify as indigenous people will evolve to including more races. According to recent discoveries, US Natives and African — Americans are in fact the same race. In addition to that, both groups fought the United States confederation while not getting any recognition from it.

  • Black communities will join to fight against systematic racism towards indigenous people.
  • An alliance representing indigenous people and black people will put pressure on the government to change the history class curriculum in order to include recently discovered history.

3. Concrete Actions Raising Awareness

Members of indigenous communities are working really hard to promote their culture and share their story. Despite residential schools being an awful part of their history, one of the interviewee (residential school survivor) felt that telling what happened is a strong way of raising awareness. Indigenous speaker panels, protest, small and large scale cultural events, and press conferences are some of the ways they use to raise awareness.

  • As indigenous people continue to raise awareness and repeat their message, they will gain power politically and economically.
  • Indigenous culture and history will become more popular. This will lead to non-indigenous to empathise more with those groups.

4. Lack of trust in government

In part due to the 60 scoop and residential schools, a lot of indigenous people grew up not trusting the government and the educational system. This lack of trust is sometimes a reason for their lack of access to electricity, internet and water. One interviewee said that the risk of government imposing their own regulation on reserves is a reason why they lack of connectivity, water and electricity access.

  • All the Canadian government levels are going to try to build relationships with those communities to understand and fulfill their needs.
  • Indigenous people will rely more on the United Nations to claim their rights and it might lead to more conflicts between indigenous people and the Canadian government.

5. Emerging sympathy from the government

The Prime Minister Justin Trudeau acknowledged publicly the atrocities regarding Canada’s history with First Nations people. The current treatment of indigenous people is against Canadian values and efforts are being made to solve some of these issues. Moreover, efforts are made in order to provide them with more energy, clean water, and education.

  • More indigenous people will go for office in order to gain in political power and influence.
  • Due to political pressure, the government will make more efforts to help the indigenous communities.

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