Supporting reconciliation

Publication Date: November 22, 2023

Indigenous little boy smiling with family

In the past, government has not collaborated with Indigenous Peoples on data collection. There are times when this data has been collected without input into the approach from First Nations, Métis, and Inuit Peoples. 
Improvements are needed to better reflect the diversity, perspectives, and interests of Indigenous Peoples. Given B.C.’s commitments under the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) and the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act (Declaration Act), the Province will co-develop with Indigenous Peoples new approaches to Indigenous data governance that recognize and support their rights. 

Additionally, working towards reconciling the history of colonization of Indigenous Peoples, we must update our data systems to include Indigenous languages and naming practices so that First Nations, Métis, and Inuit Peoples’ identities are recognized in their own language and can be used when accessing government services.

Key actions:

  • Introduce new approaches for data initiatives prioritized by First Nations and Métis Nation BC
  • Approach Indigenous data governance with a commitment to co-development. This will align with or
    exceed the Interim Approach to Implementing the Requirements of Section 3 of the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act
  • Release a technology standard that requires all new investments into IM/IT systems within the public service to support Indigenous languages 
  • Develop and deliver data standards and guidelines for including Indigenous language names in data systems and services 

Project example: Including Indigenous Peoples’ languages in systems and services

Canada’s colonial legacy includes a history of policies and practices that were devastating to Indigenous Peoples causing profound and ongoing harm to their cultures, languages, communities and connections. The Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act Action Plan was introduced in March 2022. Along with other important commitments, it includes an action to “adopt an inclusive digital font that allows for Indigenous languages to be included in communication, signage, services and official records.” 

We are working to ensure Indigenous Peoples can register for government ID and access services using their preferred language that reflects their identity. This work is extremely complex, must include extensive engagement with Indigenous Peoples, and requires collaboration and cooperation across many organizations. 

Government is coordinating across program areas, the public sector, and beyond to identify impacts to service areas and related systems, and the dependencies among them. With guidance from Indigenous Peoples on priority areas of focus, we will develop policies, standards, tools, and technology to make the needed changes. Indigenous Peoples will continue to be engaged in decision making to ensure government is implementing options that reflect Indigenous Peoples’ needs, while accounting for systems and services dependencies. 

Learn more about how government is Including Indigenous languages in government records, systems and services.

Next up:

Learn more about how the Provincial Data Plan increases evidence-based decision making.


For more information

For more information on the Provincial Data Plan and guidance on how you can move the needle on data management and evidence-based decision making in your area  open a service ticket.