I think one of the saddest things I've heard from someone was from a repeat offender who explained that she kept resorting to criminal behaviour and a poor way of living because she was absolutely convinced that she was worth nothing in our society.
I do think there ought to be social programs for Aboriginal groups in Canada* in order to counteract some of the inherited barriers they have to social mobility, such as intergenerational poverty. Aboriginal groups will often have subsidized tuition fees at post-secondary institutions. They also have access to programs that help them out as first generational post-secondary students (they are more likely not to have parents who have gone to post-ed and cannot tap into their wealth of knowledge) and so on.
It is not just a matter of throwing money at the problem though, I would agree with that much. You are talking about a group of people who grew up in a disempowered culture that has been impoverished for multiple generations and are absolutely convinced that they are worth nothing in a 'white', western society. They may not have families and friends that encouraged healthy habits, like going to school on a regular basis, finishing their homework, aspiring for greater things because they are worth it.
First and foremost, I think psychological barriers have to come down before marginalized populations will take advantage of the opportunities they have for them. Otherwise, you'll still get large groups of Aboriginal people who don't finish high school and so on despite their opportunities. I think Aboriginal people would benefit a lot from mentorship community programs that are funded by some form of government (probably would have to be Fed).
* Just a side note, some of the money that Aboriginal groups in Canada receive are not 'hand outs'. That money legally belongs to them due to legally-binding treaties that were set up in the past. Basically, it was a 'we'll give you this much money every so often for the right to use your land'. Most people in the general public do not know this and some of them will begrudge Aboriginals for receiving 'free money' that was never 'free' to begin with.
Originally Posted by elucidate
Yeah exactly. It's done massive amounts of damage to their collective psyche and they have basically lost their culture, their identity and their connection to the land and been forced to become white...which they aren't. There's just such an unwillingness to really think about it and consider things from their point of view...which reflects the lack of caring and sense of superiority that white 'culture' has displayed towards them. It's really shameful.