(Image / Royal BC Museum Facebook)

In its inaugural year, National Day of Reconciliation was both a success and a failure for some.

While the day has been crowned as a symbol for a renewed relationship with Indigenous peoples, a recent poll shows that Canadians believe more needs to be done.

In a recent Research Co. poll of 1,000 Canadians, a significant majority believed there are significant steps the federal government needs to take to achieve reconciliation with Indigenous peoples.

Whether it’s the search for missing and murdered Indigeous women, excavation at former residential school sites, or terminating boil water advisories, there are serious issues that Canadians still believe the federal government needs to tackle.

Long-term drinking water advisories in Indigenous communities are of a significant concern to a majority of Canadians (89%), who either believe it’s very important or moderately important.

In light of a shocking year which has seen many unmarked graves found at sites of residential schools, four-in-five Canadians think it’s important to release any records related to the residential school system (88%) and investigate all gravesites located near former residential schools (84%).

Under four-in-five Canadians (79%) think it’s important for the federal government to demand an apology from the Catholic Church for its role in residential schools.

About 86% of Canadians polled believe there steps need to be taken to end bias against Indigenous Canadians in the justice system.

While the search and inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women across Canada persists, surprisingly, only 45% of Canadians say they follow the story. Meanwhile, one-in-four believe it’s been a success.

More than half of Canadians (53%) believe a renewed relationship can exist between Canada and First Nations—30% of Canadians polled do not believe it and 17% were undecided.

Research Co. also polled Canadians on which party they voted for in the last election.

Those findings uncovered that Liberal Party and NDP voters were more likely to believe in a renewed nation-to-nation relationship (65% and 55%, respectively), while a minority of Conservative voters believed it was attainable (38%).

“A holistic approach to reconciliation with First Nations peoples is clearly favoured in Canada right now,” said Mario Canseco, President of Research Co.

“Most Canadians believe it is equally important to repair the mistakes of the past and to deal with the problems of the present.”

The data has been statistically weighted according to Canadian census figures for age, gender and region in Canada. The margin of error—which measures sample variability—is plus or minus 3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

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