2022 Vital Signs Report

A close look at systemic racism in Edmonton

Edmonton Community Foundation (ECF), together with Edmonton Social Planning Council, is pleased to launch the 2022 Vital Signs report, which focuses on systemic racism in Edmonton. The 32-page document is Edmonton’s largest Vital Signs Report to date.

Edmonton’s Vital Signs is an annual research project that explores an important and timely topic significant to our local community. This year’s multifaceted report delves into topics including the history of racism in Edmonton and the ways that systemic racism affects housing, safety, health, education, civic engagement, and more.

“For almost a decade Vital Signs has provided insights into issues and opportunities relevant to all Edmontonians,” says ECF’s Chief Executive Officer, Tina Thomas. “We hope this report will encourage discussion and provide useful, current statistics that can be used to spur meaningful change.”

The reports’ findings include:

  • The unemployment rate for Indigenous peoples living off-reserve in the working population was 11.2%, compared to 5.7% in Canada overall.
  • 35% of respondents indicated they had no knowledge about the Sixties Scoop, and 18% had no knowledge about Canada’s history of slavery.
  • 74% of respondents who are members of a minority group reported that racism is a problem in Edmonton, compared to 58% reported by people who are not members of a minority group.

Although the report is rich with data, it also reveals that the unique experiences of Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour are often not considered in research studies. For instance, the report identifies that there is a lack of race-based data within the 2SLGBTQ+ population, “which makes the challenges they face invisible.”

“This topic is so broad, and we quickly realized that there isn’t enough research available to paint a complete picture of the effects of systemic racism in Edmonton,” says Susan Morrissey, Co-Chair of Edmonton’s Vital Signs. “We relied on our advisory committee to help fill the gaps through their lived experiences. Their input was invaluable, and we’re so grateful for the time they dedicated to this year’s report.”

View the full digital report below. An abridged version of the report will be inside the Edmonton Journal print edition December 8.