Aboriginal peoples

Aboriginal peoples is a Census Program topic that provides information used by federal, provincial/territorial and local governments, as well as by Aboriginal governments. These data are used to develop programs and services for Aboriginal peoples, to monitor changes over time in social and economic outcomes such as employment and education, and are analysed to understand Aboriginal population growth.

Examples of reported data usesFootnote1


At the federal level, Aboriginal peoples data underpin the Employment Equity Act and are used in Comprehensive Land Claims Agreements, self-government agreements and remittances to Aboriginal governments. In addition, the results from this Census Program topic are used in estimates required in the negotiation of the First Nations Goods and Services Tax and First Nations Personal Income Tax Administration Agreements.

Among the input received from the provinces and territories, these data are used to assess the outcomes of land claims treaties and resource management legislation, for activities associated with health-related legislation including Alberta's Regional Health Authorities Act, Ontario's Health Promotion and Protection Act and Quebec's Loi sur la santé publique (L.R.Q., chapitre S-2.2), as well as for the Aboriginal Healing and Wellness Strategy included under Ontario's Ministry of Community and Social Services Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. M.20. Other provincial and territorial laws for which these data were cited include Yukon's Recreation Act, British Columbia's First Peoples' Heritage, Language and Culture Act, and Alberta's Child, Youth and Family Enhancement Act.

The Government of British Columbia has commitments that rely on Aboriginal peoples results such as the Transformative Change Accord (signed with the First Nations), the Métis Nation Relationship Accord, the Off-Reserve Aboriginal Action Plan, and the Tripartite First Nations Health Plan which involve Aboriginal and government partners working together to close social, economic, quality of life and health-related gaps, among other objectives.

Resource allocation and service delivery

As reported for all topics, there is a need for data from multiple Census Program themes to support service delivery and/or resource allocation. Aboriginal peoples data are consulted by the Public Health Agency to calculate the incidence of HIV or tuberculosis among Aboriginals and non-Aboriginals, which provides evidence-based information when making decisions on resource allocation and determining priorities. These data are used for service delivery by the Status of Women Canada for their Women's Program, and for resource allocation by Agriculture and Agri-Food for their Business Development Program.

These data are consulted by the Ministry of Transportation of Ontario to inform the provision of transportation services to Aboriginal communities. Census Program results on Aboriginal peoples are used with other topics by local governments to determine resource allocation for affordable housing programs and for community outreach.

Planning, development, monitoring, evaluation and performance reports

At the federal government level, these data are required for strategic policy and planning, and for monitoring and/or performance reporting on the delivery of programs and policies related to Aboriginal peoples. For example, they are used by Health Canada for the First Nations and Inuit Home and Community Care Program and the Aboriginal Health Human Resources Initiative, and by Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development for the Management Resources and Results Structure.

Other examples of federal programs reported during consultation include the Aboriginal Peoples' Program, Katimavik Program, Youth Take Charge Program, and the Urban Aboriginal Strategy which seeks to reduce socioeconomic differences between urban Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal populations. These data are used by Canada Mortgage and Housing Canada to determine housing conditions and calculate core housing need estimates, by Employment and Social Development Canada for program and policy requirements in relation to Labour Market Development Agreements, and for multiple health programs.

These data are also used by provincial/territorial governments to assess the outcome of program initiatives as they relate to Aboriginals and non-Aboriginals and to ensure education and social policies are representative of the needs of First Nations, Métis and Inuits. They are consulted for workplace discrimination and harassment prevention, and for Aboriginal relations. British Columbia's Jobs Plan and Families First Agenda and Newfoundland and Labrador's Poverty Reduction Strategy are other examples of uses that require these Census Program results.

At the local level, data on Aboriginal peoples are crossed with other Census Program topics for comparative purposes (Aboriginal vs. non-Aboriginal population) in order to inform policy and program development, implementation and evaluation. These data are referred to when reviewing municipal/regional official plans, for economic development, social and strategic planning, and for cultural programming.

Research and other uses

Results from this Census Program topic are used by the federal government for public opinion research, evaluation and broadcasting, and by local governments for communications activities.

Aboriginal organizations use Census Program data for policy development, program monitoring, strategic planning, research, employment counselling, for the provision of supports for the successful transition from on-reserve to urban setting (e.g., affordable housing and leads to employment opportunities) and to inform federal consultation. These data are used by local health service providers to plan community outreach, and by the medical community to understand social determinants of health within the population.

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