From the Saskatoon Star Phoenix, writer Janet French gives us the results.
The study, to be published Thursday in the journal Paedeatric Child Health, found that after statistically eliminating risk factors, such as poverty, aboriginal kids were 20 per cent less likely to abuse alcohol than Caucasian kids.
The study's lead author, Mark Lemstra, is the director of research and evaluation for the Saskatoon Tribal Council, which represents seven First Nations in the Saskatoon area. Public health researchers at the Saskatoon Health Region were also involved in the study.
Before statistical adjustments, 16.7 per cent of aboriginal children reported abusing alcohol compared to 5.4 per cent of Caucasian kids.
About seven times more aboriginal kids than white kids said they'd used marijuana in the past year.
But when researchers compared poor kids to poor kids, and rich kids to rich kids, racial differences began to fade away. Slightly more than 30 per cent of poor aboriginal youth had abused alcohol, compared to slightly less than 30 per cent of poor white kids.
Two-and-a-half times as many poor aboriginal kids had tried pot compared to white kids.
The data comes from surveys distributed to all Saskatoon public and Catholic school students in grades 5 through 8 in 2007.