FN Community Wellness: Not Reported on Since 2004

Weblog #2: Entry #4

In my attempt to refine my understanding of how different FN communities define culture I happened upon this Federal 2004 report by the Strategic Research and Analysis Directorate Indian and Northern Affairs Canada which aimed to do 4 things:

  1. [Identify] prosperous First Nations communities which could serve as role models and sources of best practices for less developed communities.
  2. [Identify] those communities whose particularly serious socio-economic difficulties demand immediate attention.
  3. [Create a] system of scores can be used in myriad other research projects to expeditiously and cost-effectively assess the determinants and correlates of wellbeing in First Nations communities.
  4. [Examine] wellbeing in First Nations communities relative to other Canadian communities.

At first I was surprised by the fact that such a report existed but then I quickly bought into the need to establish present benchmarks upon which future research could be compared and referenced. Recognizing that this 2004 report was based on 2001 data, it seemed logical to me to expect subsequent reports deriving from the 2006 and 2011 censuses. I would estimate that completed reports would be published in 2009 and 2014 respectively as per the 3-year research and publishing window of the 2001 census and 2004 report. I have not been successful in finding any such reports. As a result, the following questions have emerged in my mind:

  1. Did Strategic Research and Analysis Directorate Indian and Northern Affairs change it’s name?
  2. Was the Directorate quietly removed in a post 2004 Federal Budget and thus ceases to exist?
  3. Did the Directorate determine that such research was not longer needed or important?
  4. Did the census stop asking questions that produced relevant data?

Part of me hopes that questions a. is the reason why I have not found any subsequent reports. Sadly, if any of the remaining questions are the reason for the lack of follow up reports, then we may be doing our society and collective culture a disservice.


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