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Six Nations ponders childhood survey

By Michael-Allan Marion, Brantford Expositor

OHSWEKEN – Six Nations elected band council is pondering whether to join a national survey on early childhood development, education and employment.

Council members said this week that they want to know more before joining an ongoing First Nations Regional Early Childhood, Education and Employment Survey.

Council's committee of the whole listened Monday to a presentation about the survey from social services director Arliss Skye.

She was responding to a request from the Chiefs of Ontario that Six Nations help provide information in a database that would include 250 First Nations across Canada.

Six Nations would be one of 39 First Nations invited to be involved with the survey.

The survey is dedicated to collecting data from 2011 to 2016.

“It is designed to generate evidence-based results to support First Nation policy, program development and advocacy efforts in these priority areas at the local, regional and national levels,” the organizers explain on their website.

“This valuable data will support policy and program development with informed decision making that reflects the needs of First Nations communities.”

Skye said the data would be kept safe, maintaining the confidentiality of individuals. A random selection of 640 individuals from the Six Nations band membership list would be needed. The survey would take from 30 minutes to an hour to complete.

However council decided to wait for more information before making a final decision.

The survey's organizers say the data will assist a variety of stakeholders including First nations organizations and communities, federal, provincial and territorial governments and department, as well as academic institutions and professionals in policy research.

The organizers spent 2012 and the early part of 2013 preparing for the survey's launch. Last year, they began collecting data as First Nations joined the survey. They hope to be in a position to provide preliminary results in 2015 or early 2016.

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