REEES data collection wraps up in the regions

We asked you to "Take the Time" and you didn't let us down!

It’s taken four years, visits to hundreds of First Nation communities, and thousands of completed surveys -- but FNIGC is pleased to report that data collection for the Regional Early Childhood, Education, and Employment Survey (FNREEES, or REEES) has officially wrapped up.

Congratulations go out to all of our Board of Directors, Regional Partners, Regional Coordinators, Regional Analysts and REEES Fieldworkers in 10 provinces and two territories for their diligence and hard work in making the REEES process the success it’s been to date.

Back in June 2011 FNIGC received a mandate to conduct the REEES from the Assembly of First Nations Chiefs in Assembly (per Resolution 19-2011) during their Annual General Meeting, kicking off a five-year country-wide effort to collect data in 250 First Nations reserve and northern communities.

Much of 2012 and 2013 were spent creating the survey questionnaire itself, which given the wide subject matter (Early Childhood, Education and Employment) meant the REEES was the most complex survey FNIGC has ever undertaken. After ample consultation with our Regional Partners and First Nations experts and stakeholders, the REEES kicked-off in November 2013 in Carcross Tagish First Nation in the Yukon. In the months after it rolled out across the country, braving freezing temperatures, sweltering weather, and seasonal activities, delays and impacts as a result of issues impacting  First Nation education—we eventually got the job done and gathered all of the required data! 

Now that the data has been collected FNIGC has moved on to the next step: the painstaking process of data “cleaning”. Cleaning takes place in FNIGC’s Ottawa offices and involves checking and correcting the Regional data and assigning statistical weights to each data set it so the results are representative of the First Nations population.

“This phase marks an exciting time for everyone that’s been involved in the REEES process as we look forward to what the data can tell us” says Derek Thompson, REEES National Project Coordinator. “And just as importantly, how First Nations will be able to utilize the data to their benefit.”

Led by Kyla Marcoux, REEES Technical Coordinator and Venkata Ramayanam, REEES Data Analyst, the cleaning stage will see the pair comb through the data for any imperfections and missing information. This includes filtering out incomplete surveys, eliminating duplicate surveys, and correcting faulty skip logic. FNIGC takes all measures to ensure that our data is sound and credible.

Once the cleaning is complete, then it has to be weighted. This basically means they assign a specific weight (or relevance) for the different levels of data, so that it more accurately represents the national population of First Nations reserve and Northern communities.

A chart which provides an overview of FNIGC's data cleaning process

A chart which provides an overview of FNIGC's data cleaning process

Once they have completed this process, they send the cleaned and weighted data back to each Region for them to use in the preparation of their Regional REEES reports. Once REEES data for all 10 Regions are finalized, FNIGC will begin to look at what the national numbers say — and these results will be used to create an overview of this information which will be released at FNIGC’s REEES National Preliminary Release Conference scheduled for  November 17-19,  2015, in Ottawa

Scheduled to take place over three days in Ottawa at the Downtown Westin Hotel, the REEES National Preliminary Release Conference will see the unveiling of preliminary results from the survey and will feature a series of innovative and creative presentations and workshops designed to explore the numbers and what they mean for First Nations people and the communities they live in. Please check back on in the coming weeks for more information about the exciting upcoming REEES release conference.