New video offers unique look inside FNIGC’s data collection work in First Nations communities

The latest video from the First Nations Information Governance Centre (FNIGC) explores the organization’s innovative approach to First Nations data-gathering, and looks at how this data supports programs and planning for First Nations people and the communities they live in.

FNIGC: Data by First Nations for First Nations is a new eight-minute video (available in English and French) that portrays a day in the life of Jamie Lee Gehue, a local Fieldworker as she conducts surveys in her home community of Sipekne'katik (Shubenacadie) First Nation in Nova Scotia.

Jamie Lee is just one of hundreds of First Nations people who play key roles helping FNIGC and its Regional Partners carry out their important data-collection initiatives which includes the First Nations Regional Early Childhood, Education and Employment Survey (FNREEES), the First Nations Regional Health Survey (FNRHS), and an forthcoming survey that will focus on First Nations labour and employment.

 For 20 years FNIGC has been collecting data in First Nations communities using an approach built on an inherent respect for data sovereignty as embodied by the First Nations principles of OCAP®.         

It’s this respectful, one-on-one approach to data collection that is at the core of FNIGC’s survey work in First Nations communities, and it has helped to set it apart as the premier source of information about First Nations people living on 634 reserve and northern communities across Canada.

FNIGC: Data by First Nations for First Nations also includes interviews with FNIGC’s Regional Partners from the Union of Nova Scotia Indians, Mindy Denny and Gerald Gloade, who lead its survey work in Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and Newfoundland, as well as Elizabeth Paul, Health Director for Millbrook First Nation, who speaks to the many practical uses of FNIGC data in First Nations communities.

“It’s really rewarding to see how they’re using this data to make a difference” Mr. Gloade says in the video. “It’s more than just a report that sits on a bookshelf. It actually means something.”

For two decades data from the FNRHS has been used to support policy, planning and critical programs in First Nations communities such as: the Aboriginal Diabetes Initiative, Aboriginal Head Start Program On Reserve and the Home and Community Care Program, to name a few.   

“To the people, what matters is the result of the work that we do” says Ms. Denny. “If it’s going to empower them or help provide them with better services, programs or access, that’s what matters. And I think at the end of the day that’s exactly what we’re doing.”

An incorporated non-profit operating with a special mandate from the Assembly of First Nations’ Chiefs in Assembly, FNIGC is committed to improving the health and well-being of First Nations people living in 634 communities across the country.