Raw Data, which data? How collecting primary data remains essential to unlocking pathways for community resiliency, Indigenous governments and sovereignty.
The Nisga’a Nation as represented by the Nisga’a Lisims Government (NLG) recently completed a nationwide household survey throughout the Province of British Columbia, similar to the long form census administered by Statistics Canada. Work undertaken by the Nisga’a Lisims Government provides a case study about how collecting primary data is important for Indigenous Governments in delivering programs and services and caring out responsibilities under a Modern Treaty. While non-Nisga’a statistical agencies already collect information to produce reports about Nisga’a (and other Indigenous peoples), NLG found it necessary to undertake its own household survey to supplement the information gathered, and associated analysis, to produce high-quality statistical data and data that qualitatively expands the understanding of statistical information gathered. In other words, we put together a survey that sees beyond numbers to the stories that make numbers more meaningful and useful for planning how NLG can undertake its activities more effectively. Supports through this project are assisting NLG with some of the associated costs of analysis of the data collected, as well as help to maintain a research assistant on this project for 2019/2010.