Author Topic: Alleged Institutional Racism/solutions in CAF (merged)  (Read 161224 times)

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Offline George Wallace

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Re: Diversity in Recruitment
« Reply #300 on: January 01, 2015, 11:54:30 »
Quotas.  We don't have to go far to see what affects quotas have on organizations.  We see them everywhere.  "Most Qualified" is overturned/overruled by "Visable Minority" in so many instances in our society today that we are often creating more problems than solutions.  We are promoting incompetence over competence with such philosophies.   Monty Python nailed this philosophy that our Government is promoting with Monty Python - Silly Olympics.
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Re: Diversity in Recruitment
« Reply #301 on: January 01, 2015, 12:38:18 »
Or, we accept the fact that there is little interest in those communities in serving Canada and move on.   If they aren't interested in serving, they aren't.  Let's stop trying to balance things from the PC side and recruit the best people.

I am not a fan of the "X-Canadian" terms.  I don't refer to myself as a Scottish-English Canadian. 
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Offline George Wallace

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Re: Diversity in Recruitment
« Reply #302 on: January 01, 2015, 13:01:54 »
Or, we accept the fact that there is little interest in those communities in serving Canada and move on.   If they aren't interested in serving, they aren't.  Let's stop trying to balance things from the PC side and recruit the best people.

I am not a fan of the "X-Canadian" terms.  I don't refer to myself as a Scottish-English Canadian.

For the most part I agree with you.  At the same time, we can look at Primary Reserve units and see that these statistics are skewed.  There are units in Toronto that prove these stats to be totally out to lunch.  The primary reasons for lack of recruitment across Canada from the various "minorities" is their lack of exposure to the CAF.  Where there are no military bases, nor Reserve units, there naturally is little interest or knowledge of the CAF.   Downsizing of the Reserves in the 1970's, with the closure of small town Armouries, and the successive closure of CAF bases across the nation over the last five decades have removed the CAF presence from the majority of communities in the country. 

Other points that factor into the equation would be the economic state of a Region that may encourage or discourage recruitment; as well as the amount of distractions and opportunities offered in major urban centers that direct potential recruits to other employment and activities.

The "face" of the CAF is no longer all "white".  If the changes that have happened in the last few decades are not fast enough, nor representative of the demographics of the nation; rushing it along with quotas is not the solution.   Time and events will more likely be the main contributors to the CAF more accurately reflective of the nation's demographics.   
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Offline Tcm621

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Re: Diversity in Recruitment
« Reply #303 on: January 01, 2015, 13:58:16 »
Many minority communities are openly hostile, distrustful or have very vocal elements of the same. In some cases, it is cultural based on behaviours of "the army back home"  in others it is based on perceived injustice by the government or it representatives. There is literally nothing the Cf can do to fix that besides what we are doing now. Be professional and awesome. We need to show these communities that their opinions of the military do not apply to today's Canadian Forces.

Offline George Wallace

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Re: Diversity in Recruitment
« Reply #304 on: January 01, 2015, 14:08:28 »
Many minority communities are openly hostile, distrustful or have very vocal elements of the same. In some cases, it is cultural based on behaviours of "the army back home"  in others it is based on perceived injustice by the government or it representatives. There is literally nothing the Cf can do to fix that besides what we are doing now. Be professional and awesome. We need to show these communities that their opinions of the military do not apply to today's Canadian Forces.

So very true.  Lack of exposure, as I mentioned, is not going to solve this.  Where a Reserve and/or Reg Force presence is found, you find more acceptance amongst the public.  Isolation from such exposure tends to allow such beliefs that our military is the same as that of their former country, just by association as being a military, only allows those beliefs to fester.
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Offline S.M.A.

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Re: Diversity in Recruitment
« Reply #305 on: January 01, 2015, 14:33:45 »
Or, we accept the fact that there is little interest in those communities in serving Canada and move on.   If they aren't interested in serving, they aren't.  Let's stop trying to balance things from the PC side and recruit the best people.

I am not a fan of the "X-Canadian" terms.  I don't refer to myself as a Scottish-English Canadian.

I just had to chip in and add that this National Post article strongly misrepresents the Filipino diaspora. Wherever Filipinos have immigrated, whether it is Canada, the US, Australia, or any developed country, there is a propensity to serve in the military of the adoptive country.

In contrast, while the article cites these three ethnic groups as being under-represented in the CAF, they are very visible in the US military.

In the case of Filipino-Americans, many of that diaspora group were actually the offspring of the thousands of Filipino recruits into the US Navy before Subic Naval base in the Philippines closed. Many thousands of their children have continued the tradition, to the point that one Filipino-American even became the commanding officer of the carrier USS Abraham Lincoln. Others have reached flag and general rank in the US military, such as General Antonio Taguba.

Even in Israel, which has its own Filipino diaspora, there are Filipino members of the IDF. This includes Sgt. Urilinda.

Going back to the Canadian context...apparently those who wrote this article had never heard of Riza Santos, the Filipino-Canadian beauty queen who not only won contests such as the Miss Universe Canada 2013 pageant, but was formerly in the Canadian Forces. Here are some pictures of her.





Those who wrote this article probably didn't bother to look at the reserve units in Winnipeg, Calgary or Vancouver, each of which have their own sizable Filipino diasporas. Riza Santos was an Army reservist from Calgary.

Eye in the Sky,

Also, to add to what you said about "hyphenated" Canadians, I agree with you. I don't identify myself as Filipino-Canadian, or Filipino-Chinese-Canadian, but just Canadian. However, in any western society, members of a minority group will often stick to labels more for the sake of just differentiating themselves from other minority groups, or to differentiate themselves from more recent arrivals of the same ethnic group who are not yet citizens. Citizenship, to those not born here, is seen as a badge of "having made it"...thus the need to add "-Canadian" to their ethnic group identifier

Of course, the issue of hyphenated-(place adoptive country name identifier here) may be seen as one of divided loyalties. I say it depends on the individual and while some immigrants do have divided loyalties (for example, Tamil-Canadians who covertly sent funds to the Tamil Tigers in Sri Lanka before), many others still identify themselves as Canadian first
« Last Edit: January 02, 2015, 12:21:03 by S.M.A. »
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Re: Diversity in Recruitment
« Reply #306 on: January 01, 2015, 15:47:33 »
Those who wrote this article probably didn't bother to look at the reserve units in Winnipeg, Calgary or Vancouver, each of which have their own sizable Filipino diasporas.
That's what happens when broad-stroke assumptions are made based on nationally-aggregated stats instead of detailed study - and that's not just a reporter issue, either.

Thanks for the REST of the story on the Filipino diaspora.
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Offline TCBF

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Re: Diversity in Recruitment
« Reply #307 on: January 01, 2015, 18:40:38 »
S.M.A.,

You provide more useful information than the original article does, that is for sure. In my years of service, I met Canadians from a lot of different ethnic and cultural backgrounds. I also came to believe that the urban Reserve units were best positioned to draw a good cross-section of their local communities.

When I was teaching at CFLRS in the late 1990s, at one point we had a series of good professional development briefings related to the shrinking pool of potential recruits and the necessary approaches needed to draw from what one might call 'non-traditional' sources. During a briefing by a recruiting officer, I suggested that we take successful examples from our operational units and send them back to their cultural communities to drum up some interest. She basically f_cked me off, going on a song and dance routine about limited funding and units not wanting to loan their troops out to a recruiting drive. Her CYA lost her what was initially a sympathetic audience.

I think our entire recruiting and selection bureaucracy is even more of a self-licking ice cream cone than VAC was. I see hope for VAC. Our recruiting and selection system is centrally staffed by those whom the DND is too lazy to fire.
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Offline Tcm621

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Re: Diversity in Recruitment
« Reply #308 on: January 01, 2015, 20:06:08 »
S.M.A.,

You provide more useful information than the original article does, that is for sure. In my years of service, I met Canadians from a lot of different ethnic and cultural backgrounds. I also came to believe that the urban Reserve units were best positioned to draw a good cross-section of their local communities.

When I was teaching at CFLRS in the late 1990s, at one point we had a series of good professional development briefings related to the shrinking pool of potential recruits and the necessary approaches needed to draw from what one might call 'non-traditional' sources. During a briefing by a recruiting officer, I suggested that we take successful examples from our operational units and send them back to their cultural communities to drum up some interest. She basically f_cked me off, going on a song and dance routine about limited funding and units not wanting to loan their troops out to a recruiting drive. Her CYA lost her what was initially a sympathetic audience.

I think our entire recruiting and selection bureaucracy is even more of a self-licking ice cream cone than VAC was. I see hope for VAC. Our recruiting and selection system is centrally staffed by those whom the DND is too lazy to fire.
That is great idea. As I said earlier a lot of communities are openly hostile or have vocal hostile elements. I knew a bunch of guys who used to instruct for the Raven program, one of the CF's programs to recruit more First Nations. The program requires the participation of Elders. Some of the Elders would actively work against the goal of recruiting these kids. They knew it was going to happen but they were the people who volunteer. What they need is people from that community who are enjoying a life in the CF to counter negative opinions from that community. 
If you want Natives, or Filipinos or Laotians , show them people like them who love the CF.

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Re: Diversity in Recruitment
« Reply #309 on: January 01, 2015, 20:58:28 »
Clearly they didn't bother to interview anyone at my unit. One of the most ethnically diverse units I've ever belonged to.
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Re: Diversity in Recruitment
« Reply #310 on: January 02, 2015, 00:06:06 »
An article about diversity in recruitment from 2008 that I found of interest.

"This does not mean that a draw towards military service is totally discarded. On the contrary, surveys have shown interest, but this interest is often higher in the reserves, where the primacy of family, higher education, and professional (respectable) careers can still be pursued within the civilian sector.":
http://www.journal.forces.gc.ca/vo8/no3/jung-eng.asp

Can the Canadian Forces Reflect Canadian Society?

by Captain (N) Hans Jung



Offline Eye In The Sky

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Re: Diversity in Recruitment
« Reply #311 on: January 02, 2015, 01:24:28 »
Maybe this whole "should reflect Canadian society" idea is for the birds.

People who are interested in joining, try to join.  Simple.

Stop trying to make everything so ******* politically correct.  It should be about one thing and one thing only, recruiting the BEST people of those who apply.

We have rusty LSVWs, 30 years old MPAs, ships that need replacing and never enough people to crew all of those.  Seems to me this whole topic should be on the back burner to FAR more important things.

I am tired of these PC attempts to 'make everything percentage perfect'.  Who gives a frig as long as we get the best people we can get.
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Visible Minorities
« Reply #312 on: January 21, 2015, 17:45:00 »
Hi Everyone,

Long time reader, first time poster.

I am very interested in joining the reserves as an Infantry Officer.

I have been thinking about it for a long time, I have read through the CF website and this forum but as you may have guessed from the title of the thread, I am a proud canadian citizen who is a member of a visible minority.

I am a little bit concerned about how I will be treated by my peers and superiors.

Can you please put my mind at ease by sharing your experiences?

Thank you.

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Re: Visible Minorities
« Reply #313 on: January 21, 2015, 17:55:29 »
If you are a decent person you'll be treated as such.  If you are an idiot...the same rationale applies.  Race is irrelevant. 

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Re: Visible Minorities
« Reply #314 on: January 21, 2015, 18:59:43 »
To add to what Schindler's Lift said, don't go in expecting to be treated any differently (including positive discrimination) since you're part of a visible minority. 

That being said, what specifically are your concerns?
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Offline MCG

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Report: Indigenous military members endure 'systemic' racism
« Reply #315 on: December 13, 2016, 13:29:03 »
I can't help wonder if the response of only 16 of 230 canvased individuals is not a sign that things are not as bad as the report suggests.  I don't doubt racism occurs and I agree all incidents are unacceptable, but I don't see the evidence supporting the conclusion that it is systemic.  I guess the next big investigation will be to confirm or refute this anecdote based report.
Quote
Indigenous military members endure 'systemic' racism, report claims
Draft report obtained by CBC News calls for investigation into allegations by Indigenous members
By Ashley Burke, CBC News
13 Dec 2016

Indigenous members of the Canadian military face "systemic racism," according to a draft report obtained by CBC News that calls for an external review.

"We strongly believe there is a systemic issue within the Department of National Defence (DND) and Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) that is rampant throughout all ranks and elements of Land, Air Force and Navy and this issue is serious enough that an external review is imminent," reads the document prepared by the Defence Aboriginal Advisory Group and handed to the former commander of the Canadian Army, Lt.-Gen. Marquis Hainse, in the spring.

Of the 230 Indigenous military members canvassed by the advisory group, only 16 responded, reporting 40 incidents.

Despite the low response rate, the group said the problem is widespread and many incidents go unreported over fear of reprisal.

The advisory group is calling for an independent investigation similar to the one retired Supreme Court justice Marie Deschamps conducted on allegations of sexual misconduct in the military.

Deschamps released a scathing report in April 2015 that found sexual misconduct to be "endemic" across the Forces. The military has since launched Operation Honour to eliminate inappropriate behaviour in the military.   

"There have been examples of abuse of authority," according to the Aboriginal advisory group's latest report.

"This is not the military our Aboriginal members signed up for and this is not the military they dedicated their lives to. Victims are being forced out of the military, yet the aggressors continue on — some excelling at their careers."

Hainse was briefed on the draft report, and on May 10 members of the advisory group met with the former commander to talk about issues raised in the document, the Canadian Armed Forces confirmed.

"The CAF does not tolerate discrimination and any instance of discrimination is one too many," wrote a Forces spokesperson in a statement to CBC News.

"Any case of [discrimination] is extremely serious," said military ombudsman Gary Walbourne.

"If this is actually as rampant as that report would lead you to believe, it needs to be stomped out of the organization."

Walbourne said his office stands ready to help Indigenous military members and could launch its own investigation if any of them file an official complaint.

News of the draft report comes at a time when the military is actively trying to recruit and retain Indigenous members. These allegations of racism won't help, Walbourne noted.

The draft report includes anecdotes and allegations branded "rather disturbing and undoubtedly inexcusable" by its author.

In one case, a man alleged he missed his son's birth when the military denied his request to attend a sacred naming ceremony.

"I was told by the course director that my religion is not recognized by the military," he wrote. "I was furious. I missed the birth of my only son."

Others reported encountering the worst racism they'd ever faced, and described being regularly singled out, harassed and called derogatory names.

"I was on a military … course and I had several guys call me a dirty wagon burner and a squaw, another called me Tonto. I told staff and nothing was done," one Indigenous member told the advisory group.

A former Inuk soldier told CBC News about the racial abuse she endured before leaving the military in 2015. Esther Wolki said she was treated like "trash" by her superiors during her career at CFB Shilo in Manitoba.

"Words like redskin, or brownie or savage," said Wolki by phone from Paulatuk, N.W.T. "I was mostly stunned because it was higher-ups that were saying stuff like that."

When Wolki reported the harassment she was told to toughen up. The military did investigate her allegations of racism, harassment and a sexual assault, but she said nothing was ever done about it.

"It did almost cause a successful suicide," said Wolki. "It felt really bad. I felt because it's been said to me so many times, I actually believed it, that I'm a worthless, horrible person and that I don't deserve to be in the military."

Since leaving the military her life has "gone downhill," Wolki said.

"I don't see a reason to get out of bed. It's been really bad," said Wolki, who claimed she's not getting the help she needs for depression and post-traumatic stress disorder from Veterans Affairs.

The military ombudsman said he has investigated three cases of discrimination against Indigenous members over the last year. In two of the cases, the military acted swiftly and corrected the problem, he said. The third investigation is continuing.

"I get angry, that I have a member of the Canadian Armed Forces who has signed a contract to lay his life on the line on our behalf and to experience this type of behaviour," Walbourne said.

He said he hopes members of the Aboriginal advisory group or the Indigenous community will come forward to his office with these new findings and evidence to support it.

CBC requested an interview with the Canadian Armed Forces, but no one was made available to discuss the draft report.

The advisory group's civilian co-chair who authored the report said she's unable to speak to the media. 
http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/ottawa/canada-military-indigenous-racism-report-1.3891862

Offline beachdown

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Re: Report: Indigenous military members endure 'systemic' racism
« Reply #316 on: December 13, 2016, 13:55:31 »
...well then, how does one going about establishing that "systematic racism" might actually be a thing within the CAF? I mean just because a survey  conducted only shows a small number doesn't mean it's not there, and lets not forget that not everyone will be willing to tell their story for the fear of repercussion.

As the saying goes...racism is OVERT in the US, but COVERT in Canada. Just like the other thread about sexual assault, unless someone actually walks in the shoes of the person(s) enduring that sexual assault / racist treatment, then you aren't actually in a position to speak to it.

On one hand we are saying "no doubt racism occurs", then the next we are asking for "evidence". Sounds like the old classic line that some people use....."I'm not a racist, but......"

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Re: Report: Indigenous military members endure 'systemic' racism
« Reply #317 on: December 13, 2016, 13:59:02 »
Its very easy, you use the Madam Deschamps model: Interview only your target demographic, ignore anyone who doesn't confirm your already defined conclusion, tar entire CAF with "systematic" problem in media because the people you are accusing can't defend themselves in the media.

Offline MCG

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Re: Report: Indigenous military members endure 'systemic' racism
« Reply #318 on: December 13, 2016, 14:01:40 »
...well then, how does one going about establishing that "systematic racism" might actually be a thing within the CAF?
Get results from a statistically significant, random sample of the population whose experience you want to understand.

On one hand we are saying "no doubt racism occurs", then the next we are asking for "evidence".
Yes because "occurs" does not equal "systemic" and the report concluded "systemic" despite 214 queried individuals who did not feel they saw/experienced anything worth responding about.

... but clearly you believe there is a systemic problem.  Do you have arguments or observations to support that theory?

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Re: Report: Indigenous military members endure 'systemic' racism
« Reply #319 on: December 13, 2016, 15:07:16 »
And to add to MCG, you also make sure, if you are going to rely on individual's "anecdotes" that you investigate fully the circumstances of those "anecdotal events" from all sides so you can confirm it corresponds to the "feeling" of the aggrieved party.

Just to give you an example: One individual claiming racism because he did not get to attend the "sacred naming ceremony" of his child, without proper complete picture, does not constitute an example of racism. I have friends in the Navy, white Anglo-saxon Protestants: they each missed the births and baptisms of their three, and in one case four, children because they were at sea. It's called operational imperatives (or as they put it in Master and Commander: "requirements of the service permitting ...").

So all we are saying here is before jumping to conclusions of "systemic" problems without a statistically significant sample and without, for  the anecdotes, knowing all the facts from all sides, do your home work.

BTW, it is interesting to see that the report from the committee is presented to Land Force Commander but pretends to cover the Air Force and Navy as well. We don't even know if any of the 16 people who agreed to participate include anyone from those two elements, or even if the some 230 people contacted to start with included any one from those two elements. I would normally conclude that a committee reporting to the commander of the Army would have investigated something in the Army only. 

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Re: Report: Indigenous military members endure 'systemic' racism
« Reply #320 on: December 13, 2016, 15:16:45 »
Why don't we fire up the Spanish Inquisition mindset?  Let's all whip ourselves senseless so we can send the proper virtue signalling to the powers that be.

Gawd, if society, and in particular, the military community continues to run down these politically correct rabbit holes we will be lucky to have a functioning military organization let alone a world class organization.
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Re: Report: Indigenous military members endure 'systemic' racism
« Reply #321 on: December 13, 2016, 15:20:43 »
Indigenous military members endure 'systemic' racism

See also,

Institutional Racism In The Canadian Armed Forces?! 
http://army.ca/forums/index.php?topic=315.0
13 pages.

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Re: Report: Indigenous military members endure 'systemic' racism
« Reply #322 on: December 13, 2016, 15:21:55 »
I'll add that there's definitely systematic racism in the CAF. Its so systematic, that 2 Bde sat in a drum circle on parade and was presented with a real old tomahawk from some First Nations elders to take with them on their next deployment.

An entire Bde of racists!

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Re: Alleged Institutional Racism/solutions in CAF (merged)
« Reply #323 on: December 21, 2016, 12:00:44 »
A new Class Action ...
Quote
Systemic racial discrimination and harassment are the basis of a class action filed in the Federal Court by Stewart McKelvey on behalf of three former members of the Canadian Forces. The Plaintiffs, who propose to represent all persons in Canada who have been enrolled as members in the Canadian Forces and who are or who identify as racial minorities, visible minorities or Aboriginal peoples, allege that the Canadian Forces, from top to bottom, has failed to protect racial minorities and Aboriginals from racism within the ranks.

"When individuals enroll in the Canadian Forces, they expect to serve, advance and protect the ideals we value and enjoy as Canadians – equality, fundamental justice and human dignity," said Scott Campbell, co-counsel representing the Plaintiffs. "But our clients allege that the very institution we trust to bring these ideals to the world, has denied them, and those they represent, these basic human rights."

The Statement of Claim outlines the racial harassment and discrimination the Plaintiffs endured while serving as members in the Canadian Forces across Canada and on international soil.  The Statement of Claim also details the resulting injuries, losses and emotional trauma they still endure.

"This filing is a defining moment for Canadian Forces members who have experienced racial harassment and racial discrimination," said Chris Madill, co-counsel representing the Plaintiffs. "We intend to shine a bright light on the alleged behaviours and institutional practices described in the Statement of Claim."

The Statement of Claim alleges that the Canadian Forces is liable for this systemic racial discrimination and harassment, in part because such conduct breaches the equality rights guaranteed by section 15 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

The Plaintiffs and their counsel will seek to have the action certified by the Federal Court as a class action and expect others who have experienced racial discrimination and harassment in the Canadian Forces will join the class action.
Statement of Claim (31 pg PDF) here - the allegations haven't been proven in court yet.
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Offline daftandbarmy

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Re: Report: Indigenous military members endure 'systemic' racism
« Reply #324 on: December 22, 2016, 01:48:30 »
I'll add that there's definitely systematic racism in the CAF. Its so systematic, that 2 Bde sat in a drum circle on parade and was presented with a real old tomahawk from some First Nations elders to take with them on their next deployment.

An entire Bde of racists!

Oh come on now, we know that you were just patronizing that poor old First Nations gentleman for your own selfish, white guy purposes, right?  :sarcasm:
"The most important qualification of a soldier is fortitude under fatigue and privation. Courage is only second; hardship, poverty and want are the best school for a soldier." Napoleon