Dictionary, Census of Population, 2016
Aboriginal group

Release date: May 3, 2017 Updated on: October 25, 2017


'Aboriginal group' refers to whether the person is First Nations (North American Indian), Métis or Inuk (Inuit). These are the three groups defined as the Aboriginal peoples of Canada in the Constitution Act, 1982, Section 35 (2). A person may be in more than one of these three specific groups.

First Nations (North American Indian) includes Status and non-Status Indians.

Statistical unit(s)



Aboriginal group
Aboriginal group response

Reported in

2016 (25% sample); 2011Note 1 (30% sample); 2006, 2001 and 1996 (20% sample).

Reported for

Population in private households

Question number(s)

Direct variable: Question 18


Respondents could reply 'Yes, First Nations (North American Indian),' 'Yes, Métis,' 'Yes, Inuk (Inuit)' or 'No, not an Aboriginal person' by checking off the appropriate mark-in circle in Question 18.


In the 2016 Census of Population, Question 18 asked 'Is this person an Aboriginal person, that is, First Nations (North American Indian), Métis or Inuk (Inuit)?'

A note accompanying the question stated that:

First Nations (North American Indian) includes Status and Non-Status Indians.

As well, additional instructions were provided to respondents in the 2016 Census of Population Long-form Guide:

Users should be aware that the estimates associated with this variable are more affected than most by the incomplete enumeration of certain Indian reserves and Indian settlements in the Census of Population.

For additional information on the collection and dissemination of Aboriginal data, including incompletely enumerated reserves and settlements, refer to the Aboriginal Peoples Reference Guide, Census of Population, 2016 and the Aboriginal Peoples Technical Report, Census of Population, 2016.


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