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Notes to users

About the survey
Definitions
APS population counts

About the survey

Statistics Canada, in partnership with several Aboriginal organizations, conducted the 2001 Aboriginal Peoples Survey (APS) to collect information on the lifestyles and living conditions of Aboriginal people in Canada. The Aboriginal organizations included: the Congress of Aboriginal Peoples, Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, Métis National Council, National Association Friendship Centres and Native Women’s Association of Canada and initially, the Assembly of First Nations.19

The survey was conducted between September 2001 and January 2002, from a sample of about 117,000 people. The APS was last conducted in 1991.

In this article, invalid and not stated responses were included when calculating percentages.

Definitions

APS Aboriginal Identity population

The APS sample was selected from respondents who had indicated on their 2001 Census questionnaire that they:

  • had Aboriginal origins and/or
  • were North American Indian, Métis and/or Inuit and/or
  • had registered Indian status and/or
  • had Band membership.

The Aboriginal identity population refers to those people who reported on the APS: 1) being North American Indian, Métis and/or Inuit , and/or 2) having registered Indian status as defined by the Indian Act, and/or 3) having Band or First Nation membership.

Aboriginal groups – North American Indian, Métis and Inuit

Three Aboriginal groups are cited in this report – North American Indian, Métis and Inuit. The APS asked an Aboriginal identity question that allowed for multiple responses, in other words, a respondent could identify as North American Indian, Métis and/or Inuit. A number of people identified with more than one Aboriginal group. Data in this publication represent both single and multiple Aboriginal identity populations. For example, an individual who identifies as both North American Indian and Métis would be included in the tables for both the North American Indian and Métis groups. However, such persons are only counted once in the total Aboriginal identity population.

Non-reserve population

Non-reserve population refers to those living outside of most First Nation or Band affiliated communities, such as Indian Reserves, Indian Settlements, Indian Government District, Terres Réservées, Nisga’a Villages, Teslin Lands and a set of communities which Indian and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC) designates as Band-affiliated communities. See the 2001 Census Dictionary for a full definition of these communities.

However, for the purposes of this report, the total Aboriginal population of the Northwest Territories is included, i.e. those residing in both reserve and non-reserve areas in the Northwest Territories.

For the purposes of this report, the following communities (listed with their census geographic designation) are considered as part of the non-reserve population:

  • In Québec, Chisasibi (Terres Reservées)
  • In Saskatchewan: Deschambault Lake (Northern Hamlet), La Loche (Northern Village), Pinehouse (Northern Village), Sandy Bay (Northern Village)
  • In Alberta: Fort Mackay (Indian Settlement)
  • In the Yukon Territory: Pelly Crossing (Settlement), Old Crow (Settlement) and Ross River (Settlement)

Canadian Arctic refers to the four Inuit regions as defined by the Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, where the majority of Inuit live 1) the northern coastal and south eastern area of Labrador; 2) Nunavik, which lies north of the 55th parallel in Quebec; 3) the territory of Nunavut, and; 4) the Inuvialuit region in the northwestern corner of the Northwest Territories. (See map below.) In this report, the Canadian Arctic is also referred to as the Far North.

Urban areas refer to those areas outside of the Canadian Arctic with a minimum population concentration of 1,000 persons and population density of at least 400 people per square kilometre.

All areas outside of urban areas and the Canadian Arctic are considered rural.

Map: Inuit regions of Canada. Opens new window. Inuit regions of Canada

APS population counts

There are some differences in the APS Aboriginal identity population and the 2001 Census Aboriginal identity population. Specifically, the APS Aboriginal identity population is larger, and many more respondents identified with more than one Aboriginal group.

Because APS is meant to provide an overview of characteristics of the Aboriginal population rather than provide a count of the Aboriginal population, the differences between the APS and the census counts have been left intact in the data tables to minimize distortion of the characteristics.

Respondents may have provided different responses regarding affiliation to the Aboriginal population on the census questionnaire and the APS questionnaire because of several factors:

  • The proxy effect has been removed for adults responding to the APS. Usually only one member of the household fills in the census questionnaire for the entire household. Because APS selected specific individuals, the person who answered the APS may not be the same person who filled in the census questionnaire.

  • The questions about Aboriginal origin and Aboriginal identity are asked slightly differently on the APS. The APS Aboriginal identity question follows three specific questions about North American Indian, Métis and Inuit origins, whereas the census Aboriginal identity question follows an open-ended question on ethnic origin in general.

  • The APS has an Aboriginal identity question that allows for multiple responses whereas the census Aboriginal identity question may lead to more single responses. A higher percentage of people identified with more than one Aboriginal group in the APS than in the census. The data in this publication represent both single and multiple Aboriginal identity populations. For example, an individual who identifies as both North American Indian and Métis would be included in the tables for both the North American Indian and Métis groups.

  • In addition, some respondents who reported only Aboriginal origins (and no Aboriginal identity) on the census reported Aboriginal identity on the APS. Conversely, people who reported identity on the census were less likely to change their response to Aboriginal origin without identity on the APS.

For more detailed information about the 2001 APS, the types of information it collected, and the populations for which data is available, clients should consult the Aboriginal Peoples Survey 2001: Concepts and methods guide.



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Date Modified: 2004-03-04 Important Notices