Honouring all our relations: Advancing health and wellness of uncounted Indigenous peoples in BC through addressing gaps in population health and wellness reporting

Reporting on population health is important to monitor trends, identify priorities, and track progress to address inequities. All Indigenous peoples have the right to be counted. Yet, over 88,000 Indigenous people in British Columbia (BC) who do not have ‘Status’ under the Indian Act or are not registered with Metis Nation BC are currently ‘uncounted’ in population health reporting.

Responsibility for reporting on health of BC residents lies with the Office of the Provincial Health Officer, including collaborative reporting on health of diverse Indigenous peoples in BC. Currently, there is no process to report on health of uncounted Indigenous peoples. Gaps include: lack of formal relationships with those representing uncounted Indigenous peoples; no way of identifying this population in BC health data; absence of research frameworks reflecting uncounted Indigenous peoples’ perspectives; and no implementation plan for province-wide surveillance involving uncounted Indigenous peoples.

This study aims to support health of uncounted Indigenous peoples in BC by addressing current gaps in population health reporting, through partnerships that uphold Indigenous self-determination, decision-making and perspectives of health and wellness.