To make the data from the youth section of their Regional Health Survey (RHS) more accessible and engaging to youth, the First Nations Information Governance Centre (FNIGC) hired Ojibwe musician and media host Wab Kinew to create a rap music video explaining the survey results.
The FNIGC RHS collects information based on both Western and First Nations traditional understandings of health and well-being. This extensive survey covers on-reserve and northern First Nations communities, and is part of FNIGC’s national strategy to further the vision that every First Nation will achieve data sovereignty in alignment with its distinct world view.
Recognizing the importance of utilizing different media to report the data in an accessible and relevant way, the FNIGC hired Wab Kinew, an award-winning Indigenous rapper, journalist, and now politician, to present the findings in a rap song. Wab’s song covers some of the key statistics from the RHS Phase 2, but also grounds these in the realities of Indigenous youth’s lives – their cultures, relationships, recreation, and their challenges.
A fundamental part of data governance is ensuring that community members have access to the results of data analysis and an understanding of how their data is being used. This not only helps people to understand more about their community, but helps to build trust in data collection processes. It also helps build buy-in for programs/services that address needs shown by the data. For example, if more people in the community see data that shows that asthma in youth is a problem, they may be more willing to support programs that address asthma.
This video is a great reminder that not everyone will see (or wants to read) a detailed report about survey findings. To see the RHS Phase 2 Youth Section rap, click here.
 Wab Kinew is now leader of the Manitoba NDP, the Official Opposition in that province.
 As of 2021, there have now been three iterations of the RHS carried out. This survey is intended to be repeated every few years, so is a valuable source of comparable data over time (i.e., “longitudinal data”).