First Nations Anti-Racism Engagement Report
“One of the needs expressed by BC First Nations is the use of data as a tool to uncover how racism and colonialism unjustly impacts and oppresses First Nations peoples. For this reason, BC First Nations have called for greater access to, and use of, race and identity data.”
Government engaged BC First Nations from December 2021 to March 2022. The intention of the engagement was to provide an opportunity for BC First Nations participants to share knowledge and provide input into the anti-racism data legislation. Between early December 2021 and March 2022, 58 First Nations participants took part in 26 events, including First Nations leaders, First Nations government officials, Chiefs, Councillors, staff, as well as Elders and community members.
The key themes emerging from the engagement included:
- First Nations data sovereignty and data governance
- First Nations data ownership and rights to control access and possession
- The importance of taking a distinctions-based approach to recognize the unique identity of First Nations in B.C.
- Alignment of data with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and B.C.’s Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act
- Actioning of data and existing commitments to combat racism
- Co-development of legislative processes with BC First Nations
- Institutional data capacity
- Data collection, data standards, and data quality
- The engagement also highlighted that there is a lack of trust between BC First Nations and the Province when it comes to data collection, management, access. There are concerns that the Province will use data against BC First Nations, or give itself more authority to collect data that rightfully belongs to First Nations.
Addressing these concerns and building trust between BC First Nations and the Province can be advanced through the recognition of Indigenous data sovereignty, and data governance in alignment with OCAP® (Ownership, Control, Access and Possession), UNDRIP, and DRIPA. The collection and sharing of data also needs to be trauma-informed and grounded in cultural safety.