Re-Working Statistics: An Indigenous Quantitative Methodological Approach to Labour Market Research

  • Author / Creator
    Lindquist, Kelsey
  • Indigenous labour market statistics are a key technology through which the Canadian nation-state reaffirms its possession of Indigenous land. Colonizing settler norms, values, and racialized understandings inform the dominant methodological approach to Indigenous labour market statistics resulting in the persistent production of deficit-based, racialized statistical depictions of Indigeneity. The purported objectivity and neutrality of quantitative data, however, obscures the racialized origins and parameters of dominant statistical research on Indigenous labour market outcomes. This thesis denaturalizes the dominant methodological approach to Indigenous labour market statistics.
    The process of denaturalizing the dominant quantitative methodology undertaken in this thesis is twofold. First, I explicate colonizing power relations at three different levels of abstraction to expose the dominant social, cultural, and racial terrain from which Indigenous labour market statistics emerge. I engage with Marxist theories of capitalism and Aileen Moreton-Robinson’s (2015) theorization of patriarchal white sovereignty to construct a general framework for theorizing colonizing settler societies, before drawing on Indigenous labour histories and critical Indigenous demography to refine this framework to the particular Canadian context. Using this framework, I conduct a critical analysis of quantitative academic research on Indigenous labour market outcomes. Second, I explore the development of an Indigenous quantitative methodology in the context of work and labour research. I discuss three strategies for advancing an Indigenous quantitative research agenda on work and labour, before translating one of these strategies into practice. Specifically, using data from the General Social Survey 2016, I explore the development of a statistical model that focuses on structural inequality rather than Indigenous deficit.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Fall 2022
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Master of Arts
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Library with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.