We call upon all levels of government to provide annual reports or any current data requested by the National Council for Reconciliation so that it can report on the progress towards reconciliation. The reports or data would include, but not be limited to:

  • The number of Aboriginal children—including Métis and Inuit children—in care, compared with non-Aboriginal children, the reasons for apprehension, and the total spending on preventive and care services by child-welfare agencies.
  • Comparative funding for the education of First Nations children on and off reserves.
  • Educational and income attainments of Aboriginal peoples in Canada compared with non-Aboriginal people.
  • Progress on closing the gaps between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal communities in a number of health indicators such as: infant mortality, maternal health, suicide, mental health, addictions, life expectancy, birth rates, infant and child health issues, chronic diseases, illness and injury incidence, and the availability of appropriate health services.
  • Progress on eliminating the overrepresentation of Aboriginal children in youth custody over the next decade.
  • Progress on reducing the rate of criminal victimization of Aboriginal people, including data related to homicide and family violence victimization and other crimes.
  • Progress on reducing overrepresentation of Aboriginal people in justice and correctional systems.

Indigenous Watchdog Status Update

Current StatusAug. 17, 2020NOT STARTED
Previous StatusJune 15, 2020NOT STARTED

Why “Not Started?”

The government response does not directly address this Call to Action. Their response does not identify any specific strategies and actions it will undertake in each of the identified areas in child welfare, education, health and justice. The response instead lists the interim report’s recommended “mandate” for the National Council that the government “will take into consideration.” (C2A # 53 Government Response).

Interim Board appointed on Dec. 14, 2017 delivered their report to Minister Bennett on June, 12, 2018. The process for ongoing reporting from all jurisdictions – federal, provincial, territory – has not been defined nor have any timelines been established for process and protocols.

Significant Deletion on official federal government response

Deleted reference to “legislative requirements necessary for the council to operate and obtain the information necessary to carry out its work”

Canadian Bar Association Response

The Canadian Bar Association endorses Call to Action # 55 v, vi and vii

In 2013, the CBA called for an end to the social and systemic normalization of violence against Indigenous women by funding targeted programs and services, a national strategy to address violence against Indigenous women and a national inquiry into the issue of murdered and missing Indigenous women and girls. We endorse call to action 41, which recommends a public inquiry into the disproportionate number of murdered and missing Indigenous women and girls in Canada and applaud the current government for beginning that work. As well, we support data collection and annual reporting by government on progress in reducing the rate of criminalization of Indigenous Canadians.

Colonialism of the Curve: Indigenous Communities and Bad Covid Data: Yellowhead Institute

May 12, 2020 – The following highlights some of the significant barriers to the availability of accurate and reliable Indigenous specific data for First Nations, Métis and Inuit people.

Why the Data Discrepancy?

Publicly accessible data makes it easier for Indigenous people to seek accountability from leaders, and to independently evaluate and measure the efficacy of interventions by all levels of government, including our own Indigenous leadership. In fact, this is probably one of the reasons why we don’t have it.

There is a significant difference in the reported data. According to our research, there are more than triple the cases reported by ISC. How can there be such a discrepancy?

OrganizationReported CasesReported Deaths on Reserve
Indigenous Services Canada1752
Yellowhead Institute4657
COVID-19 Reported Cases and Deaths as of May 10, 2020

NOTE: ISC data only represents BC, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Ontario  and Quebec and does not include off reserve or the urban Indigenous population (over 50% )

  • First, there is no agency or organization in Canada reliably recording and releasing Covid-19 data that indicates whether or not a person is Indigenous.
  • The public health agencies that report on the number of Covid-19 cases, deaths, recovery, and tests vary in their structure and relationship to local Indigenous people and their communities.
  • And since very few First Nations actually have local control over the delivery of public health, the majority rely on provincial public health services, regardless of whether or not they live on-reserve.
  • Many public services that Indigenous people’s access do not collect disaggregated data that includes racial or ethnic identity of clients, which makes it almost impossible for any racialized community to seek accountability for poorer outcomes or service based on racial discrimination.
  • The jurisdictional fight between provinces and the federal government, where both claim the other is responsible for services, more often than not leaves Indigenous people without any services.

This patchwork of service is a direct result of colonialism. The establishment of provinces and division of powers between provincial and federal government has gradually displaced and disrupted Indigenous governance over time. Canadian federalism was established to serve Canadians and consequently maintains discrimination and sub-standard service delivery in on-reserve communities.

These data issues are not limited to the health sector. The same gaps in data collection exist in child welfare and were a primary reason why the National Inquiry on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls were unable to definitively identify the number of Indigenous women who have been murdered or are missing.

Official Federal Government Response: Sept. 5, 2019

In December 2017, the Government of Canada announced the creation of an interim board of Indigenous leaders to provide advice on options for the creation of the National Council for Reconciliation and define the scope and scale of the mandate of the council.

In June 2018, the Interim Board of Directors presented its final report, which provides advice and recommendations on the National Council for Reconciliation and the related endowment fund.

In response to Call to Action 55, the interim board suggested that the national council focuses its actions on:

  • researching on reconciliation progress
  • monitoring and overseeing government programs, policies and laws that touch Indigenous peoples and reconciliation
  • reporting to Parliament and the people of Canada on existing, future and generative (decisive, instrumental and enabling) possibilities to advance reconciliation
  • advocating for and educating about reconciliation across all governments and sectors of Canadian society
  • initiating innovative dialogue, thought and action on reconciliation
  • recommending approaches on how to promote, prioritize and co-ordinate reconciliation efforts

Significant Deletion:

  • Deleted reference to “legislative requirements necessary for the council to operate and obtain the information necessary to carry out its work”