Canada’s relationship with the Indigenous Peoples who first inhabited this land continues to be largely unresolved and fraught with controversy. While today’s reality is much improved from that of previous generations, there are currently a host of unresolved issues, ranging education reform in Aboriginal communities, proposed pipelines crossing native lands, treaty rights and land claims.
In 2018, where do we stand? The past few years have witnessed many expressed commitments of good will and intent, dialogues and discussions have taken place, and programs launched. At the same time, it is unclear what impact these efforts have had, and what progress has been achieved with respect to the awareness, attitudes and actions of individuals, both Indigenous and non-Indigenous. And, perhaps most importantly, what is the perspective of the country’s youth – the emerging generation on whose shoulders the promise and challenges of reconciliation rests most directly?
The Canadian Youth Reconciliation Barometer is a new social research study intended to establish benchmark indicators for the state of reconciliation among the country’s youth (ages 16 to 29), that can also provide a foundation for monitoring progress over time. The primary focus of this research will be on beliefs, attitudes, priorities, behaviors and experiences as they pertain to relevant dimensions of Indigenous-Non-indigenous relations, and reconciliation in particular. This initiative is a joint venture of the Environs Institute for Survey Research and the Canadian Roots Exchange (CRE).
This research will establish a benchmark to provide a definitive measure of the state of reconciliation among Canada’s youth as a whole and within specific population segments. It will produce a set of indicators that can then be used in future surveys to build upon the benchmark as a means of charting trends at a national level, as well as within specific communities of interest. A key feature of this initiative is to build “open source” indicators, that will be available to any organization choosing to do research in this area.
The project is now in the planning stages, and scheduled to launch in Fall 2018.