Introduction to GBA+

Illustrating the GBA+ process: Forest sector case study

4 - Gather the facts: Information sources

Now that you have begun to ask questions and challenge your assumptions, the next step is to seek out and review a variety of information sources. This involves gathering data on the target populations to understand how the issue might be experienced differently by different groups of people.

The disaggregated data you collect shows that:

The disaggregated data you collect shows that:

  • The forest sector is dominated by men. Women make up 12% of the forestry workforce and only 6% of supervisor positions.
  • This sector has a higher representation of Indigenous workers compared to all industries (3.5% of full-time workers and 6.4% of part-time workers, compared to 1.8% and 2.7%). Indigenous peoples tend to be concentrated in the lower skilled occupations of the sector, and in part-time and seasonal employment.
  • Indigenous women represent 14% of the Indigenous forest sector labour force, and have the lowest median income of all workers in the forest sector.
  • The Indigenous population is the youngest in Canada, with over 45% under the age of 25 (compared to 29% for the general population). Canada’s Indigenous population is growing much faster than the general population, increasing 20.1% from 2006 to 2011 (compared to 5.2% for the general population).
  • Compared to the general population, Indigenous women are more likely than non-Indigenous women to be lone parents, to be young mothers, and to have larger families, all of which are factors known to affect employment.

This tells us that we should consider the needs of women, Indigenous population, young workers and single parents.

Consulting additional information sources on forest-dependent communities shows that:

Consulting additional information sources on forest-dependent communities shows that:

  • Over 80% of Indigenous peoples live in forested areas and more than 800 Indigenous communities are located in Canada’s forests.
  • There are more than 1,500 Indigenous-owned forestry businesses in Canada.
  • Indigenous communities’ forest-dependence is an economic consideration but, for this particular group, it is also a cultural and spiritual one: Forests are considered homes, hunting grounds, and ceremonial lands.
  • Many Indigenous communities have developed ways to combine modern forest management models with traditional cultural practices, based on an intimate knowledge of local ecosystems.
  • To ensure their economic survival, some forest-dependent communities have been exploring opportunities in areas such as ecotourism, bio-energy, agroforestry, and non-timber forest products.

This tells us that we need to consider the socio-cultural and historical context of Canada’s forests.