A new poll commissioned by the non-partisan Indigenous Resource Network found that a majority of Indigenous respondents supported natural resource development.
According to a press release from the Network:
The poll found that a majority, or 65 per cent, of Indigenous respondents said they supported natural resource development, while only 23 per cent indicated that they were opposed. Asked if a new project were to be proposed near their own community, supporters outweighed opponents 2 to 1 (54 per cent to 26 per cent).
When asked more specifically about types of resource development, majorities supported both mining (59 per cent support vs. 32 per cent oppose) and oil and gas development (53 per cent support vs. 41 per cent oppose). The reason for such high levels of support are clear: job opportunities from resource and economic development were tied with access to health care as the most urgent priority for respondents, as compared to other issues including governance, education, traditional activities, and federal transfers.
Other results from the poll found that working age respondents are are more likely (70 per cent) to support development compared to their younger cohort (56 per cent), and that women (19 per cent) were less likely than men (28 per cent) to oppose development.
The Indigenous Resource Network commissioned the poll by Environics Research, which surveyed 549 self-identified First Nations, Métis and Inuit persons living in rural areas or on reserve across Canada in the spring of this year.