Indigenous Relationships Audit / 360° for Governments™

2 minute read


How strong are your organization’s relationships with the Indigenous communities and organizations with which it interacts? How do you measure your progress on reconciling historical relationships? The 2015 Report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) called on the federal, provincial, territorial, and municipal governments to adopt the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) as the framework for advancing self- determination and reconciling relationships with Indigenous peoples, by monitoring and evaluating progress on closing gaps in indicators such as child welfare, education, health, and incarceration. However, as valuable as these measures of socioeconomic progress are, they are only proxy indicators for the state of government-Indigenous relationships, and their reconciliation.

The 2018 First Nations Governance Project, a collaboration between the First Nations Financial Management Board (FMB) and the IOG, found that three factors are critical in achieving Indigenous self-determination: Autonomy, Capability, and Relationships (as depicted in the Self-Determination and Governance Framework, below). And yet while many programs and mechanisms exist to foster and measure the progress on Autonomy and Capability, there are no readily-available indicators to gauge the true nature of government-Indigenous Relationships, or evaluate progress on their reconciliation. Indigenous Relationships Audit/360 for Governments addresses this gap.

Using both qualitative and quantitative research methods, the IOG’s Indigenous Relationships Audit/360º for Governments™ provides an independent, arms-length and evidence-based approach to assess a government’s relationship with the Indigenous communities and organizations with which it interacts, and measure progress on reconciliation:

·      IOG Indigenous Relationships Self-Assessment Tool for Government

·      On-line engagement and community surveys

·      Interviews of Indigenous community and organization leaders, staff, Elders, and other key informants

·      OCAP (ownership, control, access and possession) - compliant research methodology, and fully transparent reporting.

FMB/IOG Self-Determination and Governance Framework

Target Audience

Indigenous Relationships Audit/360º for Governments™ can be used by all levels of government to assess relationships and measure progress on reconciliation:

·      on a regional basis, by Government of Canada departments and agencies with a high degree of interaction with Indigenous communities and organizations e.g. CIRNA, ISC, DFO, Parks Canada, IAAC, regional economic development agencies etc.;

·      by provincial and territorial Indigenous Relations ministries to assess relationships government-wide, or by line ministries with a high degree of interaction with Indigenous communities and organizations e.g. natural resources and regulatory organizations; and

·      by municipalities to assess their relationships with urban Indigenous organizations and surrounding communities.

Indigenous Relationships Audit/360º for Governments™provides assurance that your organization’s policy, program and reconciliation objectives are not unknowingly at risk due to less-than-optimal relationships with Indigenous communities and organizations.

How Does it Work?

IOG staff and local resources will work with your organization and its partners to understand the true nature of your relationships with Indigenous communities and organizations by:

·      Meeting with management and key engagement staff to gather data and administer the IOG Indigenous Relationships Self-Assessment Tool for Government;

·      undertaking a desktop study of publicly available relationship indicators e.g. media reports, news releases, etc.;

·      developing and administering a confidential, on-line survey of Indigenous communities’ citizens (where applicable and desired by participants);

conducting confidential interviews of leaders, staff, Elders and other key informants;

·      developing a Draft Report analyzing results of qualitative and quantitative data gathering for distribution to key informants for comment; 

·      and incorporating key informant comments into the Final Report, to which is appended the client’s Response.

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Ross Holden, Vice-President, Indigenous Governance and Self-Determination