Aboriginal Statistics at a Glance

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Aboriginal Statistics at a Glance provides data users with a thematic guide to Aboriginal data at Statistics Canada. It includes data for the First Nations (North American Indian), Métis, and Inuit populations. Each theme is illustrated with a chart presenting key indicators, and a plain language definition of the indicator. Each theme is illustrated with a chart presenting key indicators, a plain language definition of the indicator and links to related data tables and published articles to further assist users in meeting their data needs. Data sources include the 1996, 2001 and 2006 censuses of population, the 2006 Aboriginal Peoples Survey, the 2005 Canadian Community Health Survey, and the 2007/2008 Adult Correctional Services Survey.

The guide has been prepared by Andrew Bisson, Carrie Hall, Shirley Li and Ida Trachtenberg of the Social and Aboriginal Statistics Division. The support and guidance of Jane Badets, Cathy Connors, Nancy Zukewich, the Production and Publication Unit, and other members of the Social and Aboriginal Statistics Division, is noted with appreciation.


There are various ways to define the Aboriginal population based on the four related questions asked in the census (Aboriginal ancestry (ethnic origin); Aboriginal identity; member of an Indian band/First Nation; and registered or Treaty Indian) depending on the focus and the requirements of the data user.

This guide focuses on the Aboriginal identity population. Aboriginal identity refers to those persons who reported identifying with at least one Aboriginal group, that is, North American Indian, Métis or Inuit, and/or those who reported being a Treaty Indian or a registered Indian, as defined by the Indian Act of Canada, and/or those who reported they were members of an Indian band or First Nation.

Data are presented for each of the three Aboriginal identity groups: Inuit, Métis and North American Indian. It was possible to report both single and multiple responses to the Aboriginal identity question on the census. Census data used in this guide for North American Indian, Métis and Inuit are based on the single responses only. The term 'First Nations' is used throughout the guide to refer to people who identified as North American Indian.

This guide also provides links to related data tables and articles for the Aboriginal ancestry and registered Indian populations.

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