4. Data collection

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4.1 Time frame

The 2012 Aboriginal Peoples Survey was conducted from February 6, 2012 to July 30, 2012.  As a postcensal/post-NHS survey, it followed the 2011 National Household Survey which was conducted between May and August 2011.

4.2 Mode of collection

The questions in the 2012 APS were administered in a computer assisted interviewing (CAI) environment. Two computer-assisted interview methods were used for this survey: Computer Assisted Telephone Interviews (CATI) and Computer Assisted Personal Interviews (CAPI). In most regions, CATI was used for individuals for whom there was a telephone number on the sample file. CAPI was used for individuals who did not have a telephone number or who could not be contacted by telephone even when a number was available. In the territories, the northern parts of many provinces and some Inuit communities, there were often very few telephone numbers available. In these cases, personal interviews were conducted.

Respondents were interviewed in the official language of their choice.  For Inuit regions, the questionnaire was translated as a paper copy into Inuktitut (Baffin dialect) and an Inuktitut audio recording of the questionnaire was made to assist interviewers with potential language barriers in the field.

The time required to complete the survey varied from person to person. In some cases, the 2012 APS interview took up to an hour or more to finish, but on average the survey took about 40 minutes to complete.

4.3 Supervision and quality control

All Statistics Canada interviewers were under the supervision of senior interviewers who were responsible for ensuring that interviewers were familiar with the concepts and procedures of the surveys to which they were assigned. Senior interviewers were also responsible for periodically monitoring the interviewers.

Interviewers were trained on the survey content and the computer-assisted interviewing application. In addition to classroom training, the interviewers completed a series of mock interviews to become familiar with the survey and its concepts and definitions.

4.4 Proxy interviews

Questions for most selected children and youth (aged 6 to 14) were completed by proxy interview, that is, by the Person Most Knowledgeable (PMK) about the selected person. The PMK was generally the parent or guardian of the child. For individuals between the ages of 15 and 17, interviews were conducted directly with the youth only with the prior approval of the individual‘s parent or guardian. Where approval was not provided (nearly half of the cases), the data were collected from the parent or guardian. 

The adult questionnaires were designed to be answered by the selected person him/herself. Proxy interviews were acceptable in some circumstances, such as when the selected respondent was not able to answer due to mental or physical health, due to a language barrier, or because the selected respondent was absent from home for the duration of the survey.

4.5 Communications strategy

In the months leading up to data collection, efforts were made to raise awareness of the 2012 Aboriginal Peoples Survey and to encourage participation. The communications strategy included the development of an APS brochure and posters. Statistics Canada’s team of 11 Aboriginal Liaison Program Advisors served as contacts for the APS in regions across the country. They put up posters, distributed brochures and circulated information about the survey by way of e-mail, newsletters and websites. They met with local and provincial organizations and Friendship Centres across Canada. All 119 Friendship Centres displayed APS posters and brochures and kept their websites updated on APS survey information. The Métis National Council (MNC) and the Congress of Aboriginal Peoples (CAP) also helped to promote the survey.

Prior to collection, introductory letters and brochures were mailed to selected respondents outlining the purpose of the survey and emphasizing the importance of their participation. Additional Inuktitut/English introductory letters were prepared and printed for hand delivery to houses in the North which could not otherwise be reached.  Public Service Announcements were prepared for broadcast over local radio stations.  They briefly announced the arrival of the survey in the community and explained that a Statistics Canada interviewer could be coming to their door.  These announcements were translated into the four main Inuit languages in each of the four Inuit regions. 

Once collection was complete, follow up thank you letters were sent to respondents who participated in the survey along with an APS calendar.

4.6 Special issues in the field

Interviewers were instructed to make all reasonable attempts to obtain a completed interview with the selected member of the household. Those who at first refused to participate were re-contacted up to two more times to explain the importance of the survey and to encourage their participation. For cases in which the timing of the interviewer’s call was inconvenient, an appointment was arranged to call back at a more convenient time. For cases in which there was no one home, numerous call backs were made.

Special issues arose in relation to data collection for the APS which were addressed with extra coordination in the field and corrective adjustments to survey methods. For instance, the collection of the 2012 APS occurred during the same time period as several other surveys conducted by Statistics Canada, creating a potentially heavy response burden for individuals who might be selected for participation in more than one survey. Careful planning and adjustments to survey design were implemented to address and minimize this type of respondent-burden (please refer to section 3.2.4(e) for more information) 

4.7 Final response rates

Approximately 38,150 respondents completed the 2012 Aboriginal Peoples Survey including those who reported being non-Aboriginal on the APS for a final response rate of 76%.  Excluding approximately 9,740 non-Aboriginal respondents, the total number of Aboriginal respondents included in the 2012 APS database was about 28,410. 

A detailed description of the sample design used and response rates obtained is provided in Chapter 3 of this guide. Table 4 in section 3.3 provides the final response rates and sample sizes for each of the geographic domains covered by the survey (e.g. provinces, territories).   

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