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On April 2, 2008, Statistics Canada released 2006 Census data on Aboriginal ancestry. Aboriginal ancestry data are available by province, territory, sub-provincial geographies (census metropolitan areas, census agglomerations and area of residence) and selected characteristics.Aboriginal ancestry is one of several ways of counting the Aboriginal population in Canada using the census. Ancestry refers to the ethnic or cultural origin of a person’s ancestors, an ancestor being usually more distant than a grandparent. In the 2006 Census, respondents were asked to write in as many origins as applicable (up to a maximum of six).
The Aboriginal ancestry population in Canada
In 2006, 1.7 million people in Canada reported having some Aboriginal ancestry, up from 1.3 million in 2001 and 1.1 million in 1996. People with Aboriginal ancestries represented 5.4% of the country’s total population. First Nations ancestry was among the top ten most frequently reported of all the ancestries in Canada.
People with Aboriginal ancestries were more likely than the total population to report more than one ancestry. Multiple ancestries were reported by 81% of people who reported Métis ancestry, by 59% of people who reported First Nations ancestry, and by 38% of people who reported Inuit ancestry.
The Aboriginal ancestry population in Ontario
In 2006, in Ontario, 3% of the population reported at least one Aboriginal ancestry. The 2006 Census enumerated 317,890 with at least one First Nations ancestry; 87,090 persons with at least one Métis ancestry; and 5,250 persons with at least one Inuit ancestry in Ontario. Among the larger cities in Canada, Thunder Bay reported the third highest percentage of Aboriginal ancestry.
Where to find Aboriginal Ancestry Data
Statistics Canada provides Aboriginal ancestry data from the 2006 Census in the Census portal within the Statistics Canada website: www.statcan.ca.
To access tables showing the number of people with Aboriginal ancestry:
·Under Census 2006, click on Data Products.
·Then, click on Topic-based Tabulations, Aboriginal Peoples and Aboriginal ancestry.
·Then, choose from the list of the four tables which were released April 2, 2008
To access tables showing the number of responses for each Aboriginal ancestry or ethnic origin:
·Once you have reached the screen for Topic-based Tabulations, click on Ethnic Origin.
·Or in the Data products page, click on Highlight Tables, and then , Ethnic origin and visible minorities.
Statistics Canada’s previous Aboriginal peoples data release of January 15, 2008 provided data and analysis on the Aboriginal identity population, that is, those who self-identified as First Nations, Métis, or Inuit in the 2006 Census.
To access Aboriginal identity data and analysis from the January 15, 2008 Aboriginal Peoples release, please click on the link: http://www12.statcan.ca/english/census06/release/aboriginal.cfm
For more information on the definitions of Aboriginal ancestry and Aboriginal identity, see document “How Statistics Canada Identifies Aboriginal peoples”, catalogue No. 12-592-XIE;
Please contact me if you would like further information.
Aboriginal Communications Liaison Officer
Central Region – Statistics Canada
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