Thousands share their thoughts on using data to address systemic racism (

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What communities are saying about race-based data collection

The Province has released five reports that capture key findings from the recent engagement on race-based data collection. These quotes highlight areas of concern and importance for engagement participants.

BC Aboriginal Association of Friendship Centres Engagement Report:

“Good data requires safety and transparency in the way that data is collected and for what purpose – people do not want to be recorded, especially programs for vulnerable/at risk people.”

“The process of categorization … raises concerns. People may not wish to be defined or categorized because this “othering” leads to harms, in the form of stereotypes and myths against First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples.”

“Safety was a concern raised during multiple conversations. Community members acknowledged that people who come to Friendship Centres will withhold identity information as a way to create safety for themselves and for their family.”

Community-led Engagement Report:

“Ninety-two percent of the community reports stated that the data could bring about a positive and concrete change within the province and be a positive step towards mending and rebuilding trust between the provincial government and racialized and Indigenous communities.”

“Participants believe race-based data could reduce racism, address gaps in services, resolve inequities, and identify barriers. They want to see the data used to reduce exclusion, allow for equitable opportunities, understand, and reflect the needs of communities, and acknowledge that change is needed.”

“Community reports showed that members want a criterion for the collection of data. Members want the collection to feel safe and secure, and suggested an outline for the data. These criteria include clear guidelines, a secure platform, an independent body to oversee the data, transparency, and culturally relevant training.”

“Communities want to be able to identify as they wish. This includes all their identities from gender, country of origin to religion. All these elements of identity make up the full person.”

First Nations 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.”

“The legislation must enhance First Nations governance of First Nations data, and this will both build trust and create higher quality data. First Nations participants noted that this recognition of data sovereignty must be done with a view not just at the provincial level, but with First Nations individually.”

“BC First Nations also see the potential to use data in accordance with their knowledge systems to govern and promote the well-being of their communities.”

Métis Nation BC Engagement Report:  

“Métis people have long been invisible to data collection. Often, Métis people are lumped under the category “Indigenous”, resulting in their unique identity being ignored. This has resulted in Métis communities not getting the services they require, and funding for “Indigenous” people sent to organizations that provide First Nations-focused services.”

“Métis community members want to ensure data is used in a strengths-based manner to elevate the community. This means the data is used to build capacity, increase funding, enrich the lives of Métis people, and advance the Métis Nation. Participants saw data as a path to form connections within communities, and to advocate for change.”

“Métis people are diverse, and intersecting identities are a part of Métis life. Sexual orientation and age were among the factors indicated by Métis peoples to be important to their identity. The Métis exist between two worlds (First Nations and colonial), so identifying intersections is vital to the Métis identity.”

Online Engagement Report:

“Creating a BC for everyone and being treated equitably were the most important outcomes for how government should use respondents’ data.”

“Respondents felt it is important to collect information on Race, Culture and Heritage, and Gender.”

“People overall felt that when collecting new data it is important that government equally ensures fairness in use and application, community involvement, and people’s safety.”

Facts about anti-racism in B.C.
  • In spring 2022, the Province will introduce anti-racism data legislation. Informed by extensive community engagement, the legislation will help government identify inequities in programs and services, address barriers and pave the way to a more equitable province.
  • Other government actions that are making B.C. a safer, more inclusive place for everyone include:
    • providing funding to support several anti-racism initiatives, including the Resilience BC Anti-Racism Network, and a provincewide anti-racism awareness campaign;
    • reinstating the B.C. human rights commissioner;
    • reviewing the Police Act, developing an anti-racism action plan for kindergarten to Grade 12, and tackling anti-Indigenous racism in health care;
    • working to introduce a new anti-racism act; and
    • developing a multilingual racist-incident hotline for British Columbians to report racist incidents and receive support and referrals.