Statistics Canada Data Collection on Inuit: The Importance of Consultation and Context

Keywords: Inuit, statistics, demography, cities, Indigenous

Abstract

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission underlined the importance of knowing the history and context of Indigenous peoples in Canada, and how today’s institutions continue to be shaped by this legacy with detrimental effects. This article applies that lens to Statistics Canada data collection and reporting on Indigenous groups, particularly Inuit. Statistics Canada has already made strides in terms of consultations with national Indigenous organizations, but improvements can be made in more accurately capturing and describing Indigenous populations. These include: reviewing the definition of Métis, developing methods to include reserves and institutions (“collective dwellings”) fully, outreach strategies and methodologies to include transient and homeless persons, and providing both past and present contextual information to understand better the data and to avoid inadvertently contributing to stereotypes. 

Author Biography

Marika Morris, Carleton University
Adjunct Research Professor, School of Canadian Studies
Published
2016-01-31