HALIFAX -- A new report by the Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission says Aboriginals and blacks say they are treated more poorly than whites while shopping.

The 131-page study released today says Aboriginals, African-Nova Scotians and Muslims say they are the targets of offensive language, treated as physically threatening and seen as potential thieves.

The commission says its survey is the first in Canada to examine when staff treat customers poorly because of their race.

The commission says it concluded that consumer racial profiling is based on stereotypes and retailers may not even be aware that they are acting in a racist manner.

Data for the study was gathered through a survey of 1,219 people in face-to-face interviews in Halifax, Millbrook, Digby and Sydney between March and August of last year.

A smaller group of people took part in focus groups during the project.