BC Métis Federation is proud to share the first ever socio-economic study which outlines the needs of card carrying members of the BC Métis Federation. This study was a result of member feedback to the survey undertaken over the last few months.
The mandate of the British Columbia Metis Federation (BC Métis Federation) is to ensure the wellbeing of its members. In late 2016, discussions with government agencies and industry partners, as well as internal discussions and research, made it clear that basic research into the socioeconomic (SE) status and needs of BC Métis Federation members was needed to provide clear information for strategic direction to the actions of the organization. The BC Métis Federation Consultation Office approved the 2016 Brief SocioEconomic Survey. This brief, webbased survey was sent through the organization’s general mailing list and was open from midDecember, 2016 to early January, 2017 with a strong response from members. This report provides a very brief analysis of the survey results, process, and recommendations. Recommendations are presented in the discussion section following a high level analysis of some of the interactions between SE indicators. For example: How does level of education seem to influence income?
Methods and Materials
Background. There is little detailed research on the how Metis people in Canada, let alone BC Métis Federation members in British Columbia, are situated with regard to income, dependents, education, housing and Bill C31 status. Recent reports published by the government of Canada (i.e. the Isaac Report) make reference to disparities in health, income, and education for Metis people as one subset of Aboriginal people, but there is little detail published about Metis people. Statistics Canada has long collected and published socioeconomic data on Metis people that consistently shows inequities within SE indicators. Since 2011,the BC Métis Federation leadership has held the mandate of ensuring the wellbeing of its members. Great progress has been made, and continues to be made with regard to serving the members in this manner with the information that is collected through the BC Métis Federation qualitative and quantitative tools which continues to inform discussions with governments and various community services agencies in Canada on policy, and provisions in regards to the SE indicators..
The purpose of this brief survey was to gather highlevel, salient and meaningful socioeconomic data from BC Métis Federation members to inform and enhance leadership’s discussions with the Crown, with industry, and with service organizations to inform policy on socioeconomic matters. Consent for the survey was voluntary, and participants chose to disclose the information they provided willingly. Strict confidentiality and anonymity is maintained in this, and all related publications, in accordance with federal and provincial privacy legislation.
Materials. The survey used to collect information consisted of thirteen (13) questions, listed in order in the results section. These questions were broad, and primarily quantitative in nature. Analysis of responses done using simple tallies and ratios. Figures presented have not been analyzed using statistical methods.
Recruitment and Timing. The survey was published to the BC Métis Federation membership list via One Feather Consulting, which lists the emails of adult BC Métis Federation members who are eligible to vote in BC Métis Federation elections. Two email based recruitment notices were used to garner participation; an initial request, and a request in mid December, just before the holiday season. There was no deliberate strategy with regard to the timing of the survey. This survey was designed to take less than two minutes to complete, in order to minimize response burden.
The primary limitations of this survey include lack of detail in response categories and values an additional safeguard added to help ensure the privacy and confidentiality of our members; and sample size. Attributes of the sample (n=66) such as biological sex, geographic variation, income variation, and variation in educational achievement seems welldistributed. Data collected remain distinct: correlations between categories and values in data made in this report have been kept to a minimum; relationships between data presented are intended to be meaningful.
54% of respondents selfidentified as male. 46% as female. No respondents chose the option “I prefer not to say” in the survey. LGTBQ2SI members do not seem to be represented, and may need safe spaces to selfdisclose information. Otherwise, the sample appears to be balanced.
Full time work leads to over 77% (4 in 5) of respondents reporting “great” and “good” quality of life, with basic needs being met. About 1 in 6 members who works fulltime reports being unable to meet their basic needs.
7 of 10 respondents report a reasonable quality of life with parttime work, though a much lower proportion that those who work full time rate their quality of life highly, and a higher proportion (14% or about 1 in 6) of respondents feel there is nothing they would change relative to fulltime work. About 1 in 6 members who works parttime is unable to meet their basic needs.
4 in 5 respondents who work fulltime and work for themselves have what they consider “great” and “good” quality of life, and report feeling their basic needs are met. 1 in 4 respondents in this category feel that their basic needs are not met (23%). A higher proportion (about 1 in 4) selfemployed fulltime members are unable to meet their basic needs, relative to respondents employed full and parttime by others.
A much lower relative proportion of respondents in this category report high quality of life, opting instead to report that their basic needs are met. About 1 in 7 members who works parttime and is selfemployed is unable to meet their basic needs.
For members who are currently seeking work, 63% (about 3 in 5) cannot meet their basic needs. 30% state that their basic needs are met, and 10% state there is nothing they would change. Of note, not a single respondent reported on quality of life in for this question.
The breakdown of respondents’ reported beforetax income range is provided in Figure 5. This information was provided voluntarily.
An aggregate number of household dependents, which includes seniors and dependent children and adolescents, reported by respondents is presented in Figure 6. Most BC Métis Federation households have at least one dependent.
Overall, rates of postsecondary and journeyman training reported by participants are quite high, with clear foci on trades and undergraduate education.
Discussion and Recommendations
The data clearly shows that employment and education contribute to higher quality of life selfrated by respondents. Members who are employed fulltime and parttime, and those who are selfemployed report higher quality of life. While not directly correlated in the data, education in trades and at the postsecondary level broadly increases SE success.
Some BC Métis Federation members require support. Despite working full or parttime, or being self employed, many respondents report not meeting, or not being able to meet what they consider to be their basic needs. Further, most respondent households have at least one dependent. A small number households have a high level of dependents.
Programs that support BC Metis Federation member education and training, employment, and wellbeing are critical for reducing inequities that exist.
Recommendation #1: Provide central funding for BC Metis Federation education and training grants, grant administration, and outcome measurement.
Recommendation #2: Provide central funding for BC Metis Federation for economic and community development grants, grant administration, and outcome measurement.
Recommendation #3: Provide central funding for emergency relief grants for members who face extreme situations.
Many thanks to the BC Métis Federation members, board, and support staff who made this survey possible.
The information provided in this report represents the best professional judgement of the author(s), and the author(s) retain the right to modify the information presented herein. Copyright for this report is retained by the BC Métis Federation.
[ilink url=”http://bcmetis.com/wp-content/uploads/2016-BCMF-Brief-Socio-Economic-Survey.pdf” style=”download”]View the 2016 BCMF Socio-Economic Survey as a downloadable PDF[/ilink]