Aboriginal Conditions in Census Metropolitan Areas,
1981 to 2001
By Andrew J. Siggner* and Rosalinda Costa*
This report is the eighth in a series that develops statistical measures
that shed light upon issues of importance for Canada’s largest cities.
Using data from the 1981, 1996 and 2001 Censuses of Canada as well as
the 2001 Aboriginal Peoples Survey, this report examines the demographic
and socio-economic characteristics of the Aboriginal population residing
in selected Census Metropolitan Areas (CMAs) over the 1981 to 2001 period.
A broad holistic framework has been employed to guide the analysis. This
framework has been called the “Community Well-being Circle”
and is grounded in four major pillars: acquiring knowledge, decent standard
of living, living long and health lives, and building better communities.
This report examines the demographic dynamics and composition of the Aboriginal
population, and then focuses on the first two pillars of the well-being
The Aboriginal population in these large urban cities has grown dramatically
over the 20-year period. Among those who have moved into selected CMAs,
40% did so for family-related reasons. The shares of Aboriginal youth
acquiring higher levels of schooling in selected CMAs
have also increased over the period. Overall employment rates
have improved for Aboriginal people in most CMAs.
Nevertheless, huge challenges still face urban Aboriginal peoples, especially
those in western CMAs
and large gaps with their non-Aboriginal counterparts
* Social and Aboriginal Statistics Division
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