Canadian Reconciliation Barometer project tracks shifting Canadian attitudes


Ry Moran of UVic Libraries. Credit: Nardella Photography

The first report of the Canadian Reconciliation Barometer released on Tuesday highlights areas of agreement and disagreement between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Peoples when it comes to reconciliation––findings the project team hopes will inform public policy.

A key finding showed that Indigenous Peoples and non-Indigenous Peoples experience Canada in a significantly different manner. One example of this gap is the difference in understanding of the harms inflicted by residential schools. This gap suggests that despite the clear gains in education, much more needs to be done to educate Canadians about the impact of residential schools, as well as Indigenous Peoples experiences more broadly.

Other key takeaways from the report include the view that Indigenous Peoples do not think that we have built true nation-to-nation relationships, there is a lack of progress in equality of personal outcomes, as well as a significant concern that Indigenous cultures are not sufficiently thriving today. Findings also showed Indigenous respondents did not believe groups that harmed Indigenous Peoples have showed remorse, provided sincere apologies or accepted responsibility.

The report was developed by a team of Indigenous and non-Indigenous researchers in response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s (TRC) Calls to Action. "This barometer represents an effort to better determine how Canada is fairing in the establishment and maintenance of mutually respectful relationships. It shows us that we still have a lot of work to do,” says Ry Moran, a co-investigator of the project and UVic’s Associate University Librarian – Reconciliation.

The report is also intended to draw attention to other Calls to Action issued by the TRC. “The TRC was clear that ongoing monitoring and transparency of data is paramount specifically calling for the creation of ongoing statistical reports, a National Council for Reconciliation and an annual report on the state of reconciliation in this country,” explains Moran. “This ongoing monitoring is essential to ensure the vital work of closing the inequities present in society continues to be informed by the sound information and data.”

The researchers from the University of Manitoba, UVic and University of Winnipeg polled 3,225 Indigenous and non-Indigenous people on 13 indicators of reconciliation. The team also carefully reviewed what residential school Survivors said about reconciliation in their statements to the TRC. Focus groups with people and organizations working in this field provided further grounding.

The Barometer Report is supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation, Probe Research Inc., Mitacs Accelerate Industrial Fellowship and others. Learn more about the funders supporting the Canadian Reconciliation Barometer.

This project reflects UVic’s commitment to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs), specifically the UN SDGs on reducing inequalities and on fostering peace, justice and strong institutions.

Read the University of Manitoba news release.

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Keywords: research, community, Indigenous, partnerships, administrative

People: Ry Moran

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