More than two thirds of the province’s residents support promoting resources and education opportunities for Indigenous people.
Vancouver, BC [December 5, 2023] – While almost two thirds of British Columbians hold positive opinions on reconciliation with Indigenous peoples, only half favour the concept of economic reconciliation, a new Research Co. poll has found.
In the online survey of a representative provincial sample, 65% of British Columbians have a “very positive” or “moderately positive” view of reconciliation, defined as establishing and maintaining a mutually respectful relationship between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples in Canada.
When British Columbians ponder the concept of economic reconciliation—or the process of making economic amends for historical injustices to Indigenous Peoples—the results are different. Half of the province’s residents (50%) have a positive opinion of the concept, while 38% hold negative views and 13% are undecided.
“Almost three-in-five British Columbians aged 18-to-34 (59%) favour economic reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples,” says Mario Canseco, President of Research Co. “The proportions are lower among their counterparts aged 35-to-54 (49%) and aged 55 and over (43%).”
A majority of British Columbians (55%) hold positive views on the concept of self-determination, or the right of Indigenous people to determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development, and to dispose of and benefit from their wealth and natural resources.
The concept of self-determination elicits positive opinions from 65% of British Columbians who voted for the BC New Democratic Party (NDP) in 2020. The proportions are lower among those who cast ballots for the BC Green Party (54%) and the BC Liberals (46%) in the last provincial election.
Half of British Columbians (50%) hold positive views on self-government, or the existence of negotiated agreements that set out law-making authority in areas such as governance and economic development. Indigenous laws operate in harmony with federal and provincial laws.
Just over two thirds of British Columbians (68%) support promoting resources and education opportunities for Indigenous people across the province, while more than half (53%) would increase Indigenous representation on boards of directors.
Across British Columbia, majorities of residents agree that Indigenous communities should decide what type of housing projects can be built on their territories (62%) and if natural resource projects can be established on their territories (54%).
Just over half of British Columbians agree with the idea of creating an advocacy committee to advise the federal House of Commons (54%) and the provincial Legislative Assembly (also 54%) on policies affecting Indigenous people.
British Columbians are less enthused about establishing a specific number of candidates of Indigenous descent to run for the federal House of Commons (40%) or the provincial Legislative Assembly (41%).
About three-in-ten British Columbians believe their municipal (31%), provincial (30%) and federal (also 30%) governments need to do more to foster economic reconciliation.
Methodology: Results are based on an online study conducted from November 4 to November 6, 2023, among 800 adults in British Columbia. The data has been statistically weighted according to Canadian census figures for age, gender and region in British Columbia. The margin of error—which measures sample variability—is +/- 3.5 percentage points, nineteen times out of twenty.
Photo Credit: Jamfam1000
For more information on this poll, please contact:
Mario Canseco, President, Research Co.