Statistics Canada will be conducting a number of post-census surveys this summer throughout Nunavut from May to October and they’re looking to bring on more Nunavummiut to collect information on the ground.
“The biggest, most important one is the Indigenous Peoples survey that’s coming out in the summer,” said Sri Kanagarajah, assistant director of operations for the western and northern regions, census, operations and informatics field, with Statistics Canada.
There will also be a disabilities survey also coming out in the same time period.
The response rate for Stats Canada surveys and the census is tied to having a physical presence in the places where they are collecting the information.
“If I knock on your door, you’re more likely to talk to me than if I was phoning in from Ottawa,” said Kanagarajah.
Statistics Canada is looking to hire roughly 80 people for all three territories and approximately 50 interviewers in Nunavut, who will be supervised by at least five data collection supervisors.
While Covid-19 has made an impact on operations, the long-form census for Nunavut still saw a majority of people take part.
“When you think about the pandemic and what we went through, the census was excellent. We have a 98 per cent response rate, 90 per cent for Nunavut. It’s been an excellent job by the people of Nunavut,” he said.
In his visit to Iqaluit, Kanagarajah met with officials from the Government of Nunavut and City of Iqaluit to help promote recruitment opportunities with Statistics Canada.
“I don’t want to send travel teams from down south to spend money,” he said, “I’d rather have our Canadians from local areas like people from Nunavut.”
This is particularly important with Nunavut’s small towns and hamlets, he said, where more people speak Inuktitut and more in-community knowledge is needed.
“The hamlets are very important for us to have staff in those locations. To have locals provide work there for us and also collect data, they know the community, they know the dwellings, they know where to go.”
Efforts have been made to integrate Nunavut’s Inuit languages into Stats Canada’s forms, however not all of the surveys are translated, which makes hiring Inuit in Nunavut all the more important.
“We have translated (the Canadian Census) into two languages, Inuktitut and Inuinnaqtun, but the questionnaires are not all in the system,” Kanagarajah said.
The census is used to help collect data to build infrastructure, address emergency response efforts, calculate taxes, pensions and to inform policy decisions, it is also particularly important in calculating the amount of money Nunavut gets every year.
“How much money will be grabbed by the Nunavut government is determined based on the (population) count. It’s very important to have the accuracy of that data so the money transfer is very easy. The federal government transfers the money over, if we don’t do a good job they get less money,” said Kanagarajah.
Anyone who is interested in working with Statistics Canada can check out the Government of Canada’s jobs website, under which they click on search and type in ‘interviewer’.