The first day of summer, June 21, marks National Indigenous Peoples Day, a day to recognize and celebrate First Nations people, Métis, and Inuit in Canada. The Canadian Constitution recognizes these three groups as Aboriginal peoples, also known as Indigenous peoples.
To learn more about National Indigenous Peoples Day, see National Indigenous Peoples Day on the Crown–Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada website.
Here are selected facts on First Nations people, Métis and Inuit in Canada from the 2016 Census and Projections of the Aboriginal Population and Households in Canada, 2011 to 2036, The Daily, September 17, 2015.
(Last updated: June 20, 2018)
- 1,673,785 — The number of people who reported an Aboriginal identity in the 2016 Census of Population.
- 4.9% — The percentage of the total population of Canada who reported an Aboriginal identity in 2016. This was up from 3.8% in 2006 and 2.8% in 1996.
- 977,230 — The number of people who reported being First Nations (including Status and Non–Status Indians) in 2016.
- 587,545 — The number of people who reported being Métis in 2016.
- 65,025 — The number of people who reported being Inuit in 2016.
- 32.1 years — The average age of the Aboriginal population in Canada in 2016, almost a decade younger than the non–Aboriginal population (40.9 years). Among the three Aboriginal groups, Inuit were the youngest with an average age of 27.7 years, followed by First Nations at 30.6 years and Métis at 34.7 years.
- 374,395 — The number of Aboriginal people in Ontario in 2016, which was the largest of any province or territory in Canada.
- 18% — The percentage of the total population of Manitoba who reported an Aboriginal identity in 2016. This was the largest of all of the provinces, followed by Saskatchewan at 16%.
- 86% — The percentage of the total population of Nunavut who reported an Inuit identity.
- 92,810 — The number of Aboriginal people in the census metropolitan area of Winnipeg, Manitoba in 2016. Winnipeg had the largest Aboriginal population of any population centre in Canada.
Source: "Aboriginal peoples in Canada: Key results from the 2016 Census," The Daily, October 25, 2017
Children and youth
- 1 in 4 — The proportion of Aboriginal people under the age of 15 years old in 2016. Children made up 33.0% of the Inuit population, 29.2% of the First Nations population and 22.3% of the Métis population.
- 17.9% — The percentage of Aboriginal children aged 0 to 4 sharing a household with at least one grandparent in 2016. This was the case for 21.2% of First Nations, 10.5% of Métis and 22.8% of Inuit children. By comparison, 9.5% of non‑Aboriginal children shared a household with a grandparent.
- 70+ — More than 70 Aboriginal languages were reported in the 2016 Census. These languages can be divided into 12 language families: Algonquian languages, Inuit languages, Athabaskan languages, Siouan languages, Salish languages, Tsimshian languages, Wakashan languages, Iroquoian languages, Michif, Tlingit, Kutenai and Haida.
- 208,720 — The number of Aboriginal people who reported an Aboriginal mother tongue. More people speak an Aboriginal language (260,550 speakers) than have an Aboriginal language as a mother tongue, especially among youth. This is evidence that people are learning Aboriginal languages as a second language.
- 175,825 — The number of people who spoke an Algonquian language in 2016. The Algonquian languages most often reported in 2016 were Cree languages (96,575 speakers), Ojibway (28,130 speakers) and Oji‑Cree (15,585 speakers).
- 64% — The percentage of Inuit speaking an Inuit language well enough to conduct a conversation. The Inuit language spoken by the largest number of Inuit was Inuktitut, with 39,475 speakers. This was followed by Inuinnaqtun (1,310 speakers), Inuvialuktun (595 speakers) and other Inuit languages (350 speakers).
- 2.0 to 2.6 million — The Aboriginal population by 2036.
- 4.6 to 6.1% — The percentage of the Canadian population reporting an Aboriginal identity by 2036.
- 34.7 to 36.6 years — The median age of the Aboriginal population by 2036. By comparison, the median age of the non–Aboriginal population would rise from 40.5 to 44.5 years during that same period. The Aboriginal population would remain younger than its non–Aboriginal counterpart because of its higher fertility and mortality rates.
Note to readers: The INAC's classification of Aboriginal identity was used for the purpose of these projections. The Aboriginal identity population includes people who reported having registered Indian status and, of those who did not report having registered Indian status, people who reported being First Nations people (non–Status Indians in this report), Métis, Inuit or other Aboriginal people. This classification differs from the one used in other Statistics Canada products.
Source: "Projections of the Aboriginal Population and Households in Canada, 2011 to 2036," The Daily, September 17, 2015.
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