Canadians Call for Real Action on Reconciliation with First Nations

More than half (53%) think a renewed nation-to-nation relationship with First Nations peoples can be achieved in Canada.
Vancouver, BC [October 14, 2021] – Significant majorities of Canadians believe the federal government should be taking specific steps to achieve reconciliation with the country’s Indigenous peoples, a new Research Co. poll has found.
In the online survey of a representative national sample, 89% of Canadians consider it “very important” or “moderately important” to end long-term drinking water advisories in First Nations communities.
More than four-in-five Canadians also think it is important to release all government records related to the residential school system (88%), take steps to end bias against Indigenous Canadians in the justice system (86%) and investigate all unmarked gravesites located near former residential schools (84%).
Just under four-in-five Canadians (79%) consider it important to demand an apology from the head of the Catholic Church for its role in the residential school system.
“A holistic approach to reconciliation with First Nations peoples is clearly favoured in Canada right now,” says Mario Canseco, President of Research Co. “Most Canadians believe it is equally important to repair the mistakes of the past and to deal with the problems of the present.”
Across the country, 45% of Canadians say they followed news stories related to the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls. Just under one-in-four Canadians (23%) consider the inquiry “a success”, down four points since a similar Research Co. poll conducted in February 2019.
In December 2015, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau stated: “It is time for a renewed, nation-to-nation relationship with First Nations peoples, one that understands that the constitutionally guaranteed rights of First Nations in Canada are not an inconvenience but rather a sacred obligation.”
More than half of Canadians (53%, +1) think a renewed nation-to-nation relationship with First Nations peoples can be achieved in Canada, while 30% (-4) do not and 17% (+3) are undecided.
Canadians who voted for the Liberal Party and the New Democratic Party (NDP) in last month’s federal election are more likely to believe that a renewed nation-to-nation relationship can be attained (65% and 55% respectively) than those who cast ballots for the Conservative Party (38%).
Results are based on an online study conducted from October 4 to October 6, 2021, among 1,000 adults in Canada. The data has been statistically weighted according to Canadian census figures for age, gender and region in Canada. The margin of error—which measures sample variability—is plus or minus 3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

Find our data tables here and download the press release here. 

For more information on this poll, please contact:

Mario Canseco, President, Research Co.