Dictionary, Census of Population, 2021
Indigenous identity

Release date: November 17, 2021Updated on: September 21, 2022


Indigenous identity refers to whether the person identified with the Indigenous peoples of Canada. This includes those who identify as First Nations (North American Indian), Métis and/or Inuk (Inuit), and/or those who report being Registered or Treaty Indians (that is, registered under the Indian Act of Canada), and/or those who have membership in a First Nation or Indian band. Aboriginal peoples of Canada (referred to here as Indigenous peoples) are defined in the Constitution Act, 1982, Section 35 (2) as including the Indian, Inuit and Métis peoples of Canada.

Statistical unit(s)


Reported in

2021 and 2016 (25% sample); 2011Footnote 1 (30% sample); 2006, 2001 and 1996 (20% sample).

Reported for

Population in private households

Question number(s)

Derived variable: Questions 24, 26 and 27


Indigenous identity is derived from data collected in three questions: Indigenous group (Question 24), Registered or Treaty Indian status (Question 26), and membership in a First Nation or Indian band (Question 27). In Question 24, respondents could respond "No, not First Nations, Métis or Inuk (Inuit)," "Yes, First Nations (North American Indian)," "Yes, Métis," or "Yes, Inuk (Inuit)" by marking the appropriate circle. In Question 26, respondents could respond "No" or "Yes, Status Indian (Registered or Treaty)." In Question 27, respondents could respond "No" or "Yes, member of a First Nation or Indian band."


Indigenous identity is a derived variable. For more information on the input variables for the Indigenous identity variable in the 2021 Census of Population, refer to the definitions for Indigenous group, Registered or Treaty Indian status and Membership in a First Nation or Indian band.

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

For additional information on the collection and dissemination of Indigenous data, including incompletely enumerated reserves and settlements, refer to the Indigenous Peoples Reference Guide, Census of Population, 2021 and the Indigenous Peoples Technical Report, Census of Population, 2021.


Related 2021 data products

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