EXTERNAL DATA SOURCES
Real Case Study
The 2002 Public Review of the Inuvialuit Final Agreement, Section 16, found that the economic objectives of the Inuvialuit Final Agreement were insufficiently addressed and fulfilled. The review recommended that the federal government and the Inuvialuit Regional Corporation (IRC) develop a system to track social and economic measures.
Common problems with external data sources:
- SGIG citizens are not specifically identified.
- Geography-based subdivisions may need to be corrected to align with SGIG community locations.
- Geography-based subdivisions do not capture SGIG citizens living outside SGIG communities.
- Data is suppressed if respondent size is too low.
- Sampling in SGIG communities is limited.
- SGIGs are not included in the dataset.
- Data is difficult and/or expensive to access.
- Raw data is not accessible.
External data sources are organizations that hold information about your citizens. These may include:
- Organizations like Statistics Canada, provincial and territorial statistical agencies, and the First Nations Information Governance Centre (FNIGC)
- Resource companies
- Academic researchers
Although other organizations may hold significant data about your citizens, it will not always be possible to access the data in a way that suits your government’s purposes.
Organizations must protect the privacy of individuals. This means they are typically unable to release raw data, even if personally identifying information is not included in the dataset. Some organizations may be able to release aggregate (summarized) data for a specific population; however, it is a challenge to define a population that matches the SGIG citizen population.
Note that SGIGs may request information from other governments under their Access to Information statutes.
- Provides information about key sources of external data across Canada and regionally.
- Outlines the strengths and weaknesses of key data sources.
- Provides guidance on accessing data from key data sources.
National Data Sources
In Canada (Information Commissioner) v. Canada (Minister of Industry), 2006 FC 132 (CanLII),  4 FCR 241, government appeal dismissed by 2007 FCA 212 (CanLII),  1 FCR 231, the Chief Statistician of Canada refused to disclose to the Information Commissioner of Canada census returns requested by an Algonquin tribal council in order to support the tribal council’s land claim. Both the Federal Trial Court and the Federal Court of Appeal held that section 35(1) of the Constitutional Act, 1982 created a fiduciary duty requiring the Crown to release census records to validate an Aboriginal land claim. Section 35(1) recognized and affirmed the existing Aboriginal and treaty rights of Aboriginal peoples of Canada.
The downloadable resource document “Socioeconomic Data Landscape” provides information about key national socioeconomic data sources from Statistics Canada and the First Nations Information Governance Centre. It includes the following information:
- Data source/survey name
- Data type
- Subject matter
- Sampling method
- How to access
The Statistics Canada Indigenous data portal brings all Statistics Canada data on Indigenous people to one accessible place.
SGIGs may be able to access more statistical information from government sources rather than other organizations, based on their constitutional status and the Crown’s unique fiduciary relationship with Indigenous peoples.
Regional Data Sources
The provinces and territories have their own offices to develop demographic, economic, and social statistics. A list of these statistical offices is available here. Alberta and British Columbia have webpages dedicated to Indigenous statistics.
A document will be posted soon that discusses regional data in British Columbia, Yukon, Northwest Territories, Manitoba, and Newfoundland and Labrador. The document will outline data sources and processes to access data.
External Data Resources
- UBC Library has a helpful First Nations and Indigenous Studies webpage, with links to statistics and data.
- Data resources and challenges for First Nations Communities provides an overview of external sources of data, including challenges and potential solutions. This resource reviews issues with context, quality, jurisdiction, content, and community resources and capacity for data access. This paper was prepared for the Alberta First Nations Information Governance Centre.
- The Indigenous Services Canada and the Assembly of First Nations’ report Strengthening The Availability Of First Nations Data provides the current data landscape for First Nations people in Canada.
The webinar below is a presentation by Hannes Edinger and Rebecca Wortzman (Big River Analytics) on acquiring and working with data, including working with external data sources. For more webinars covering content in this toolkit click here.