WHY IS THIS TOOLKIT NEEDED
SGIGs have responsibilities to help support well-being among their citizens. Like all governments, they need reliable data to help them make informed decisions, allocate resources, set priorities, and be accountable to their citizens. SGIGs are at various stages of developing data governance and management programs to generate and track reliable, accurate data to understand community needs and guide decision making.
This Toolkit focuses on socioeconomic data. This data may be held in written, electronic, or oral formats. Socioeconomic data includes data about factors like physical and mental well-being, education outcomes, levels of food security, economic well-being, and living conditions. You may find the tools in this Toolkit to be relevant to other types of data, such as fish and wildlife habitat, water quality, or heritage resources. However, these types of data require different considerations that are not addressed in this Toolkit.
Supporting Data Sovereignty
Data sovereignty is about Indigenous governments’ rights to govern and manage data about their peoples. Data sovereignty empowers governments to put data to work for the benefit of their peoples. Together with this stewardship, data sovereignty shifts the power imbalances that have seen others control and use Indigenous peoples’ data. Since contact with Europeans, other governments and organizations have collected and used data about Indigenous peoples, often to assert control and to justify colonial practices. Through data sovereignty, Indigenous governments and communities can determine their own needs and paths to take towards greater well-being.
The Government of Canada has endorsed and committed to implementing the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP), including:
Article 3: Indigenous peoples have the right to self-determination. By virtue of that right they freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development.
Article 23: Indigenous peoples have the right to determine and develop priorities and strategies for exercising their right to development. In particular, indigenous peoples have the right to be actively involved in developing and determining health, housing and other economic and social programmes affecting them and, as far as possible, to administer such programmes through their own institutions.
Supporting Data Access and Management Capacity
Indigenous communities have a lot of information about their people’s well-being. There is also a lot of data about Indigenous peoples gathered by external organizations, such as Statistics Canada, provincial and territorial governments, and the First Nations Information Governance Centre (FNIGC). Accessing and analyzing this data requires specific skills and knowledge, and awareness of privacy restrictions. Often external datasets are incomplete and don’t cover everything of interest to Indigenous communities.
SGIGs will likely carry out their own surveys and other forms of data collection. SGIGs also collect a large amount of administrative data about their programs and services. This includes information such as the number of people enrolled in early childhood programs, or people who have been supported with post-secondary funding. However, administrative data is often not collected or stored in a format that is useful for decision making or for reporting to citizens.
This Toolkit will help your government to better gather, govern, and manage its data. This can then help service and program providers to address socioeconomic gaps and to track their delivery effectiveness.
YUKON FIRST NATIONS REGIONAL EARLY CHILDHOOD, EDUCATION AND EMPLOYMENT SURVEY (FNREEES): Data shows the outcomes of early childhood education
Real Case Study
The data from the Yukon FNREEES (First Nations Regional Early Childhood, Education and Employment Survey) gives a powerful example of how data can be used to track the effectiveness of programs. The survey showed that children who participate in early childhood education programs have higher high school grades and are significantly more likely to attend a trade or university.
Supporting Negotiations and Funding Partnerships
In addition to the need for data to guide decision making, reliable data helps provide evidence of need for investments in priority areas. Having reliable, accurate data about your communities’ social and economic needs (and associated costs) will strengthen your government’s position in funding negotiations with other governments and agencies.