|1 Aboriginal Population
|Description | Specific Indicators | Ontario Public Health Standards (OPHS)| Corresponding Health Indicator(s) from Statistics Canada and CIHI | Data Sources | Survey Questions | Alternative Data Sources | Analysis Check List | Method of Calculation | Basic Categories | Indicator Comments | Cross-References to Other Indicators| Cited References | Acknowledgements | Changes Made|
Aboriginal population can be defined in a number of ways, and there are three indicators of aboriginal population available from the National Household Survey (NHS). The first is aboriginal identity, which counts those who reported being an Aboriginal Person; the second is registered or treaty Indian status as defined by the Indian Act of Canada; and the third is aboriginal ancestry.
Ontario Public Health Standards
- Percentage of the population who reported being an Aboriginal person
- Percentage of the population who reported being a Treaty Indian or a Registered Indian, as defined by the Indian Act of Canada
- Percentage of the population who reported having Aboriginal ancestry
The Ontario Public Health Standards (OPHS) establish requirements for the fundamental public health programs and services carried out by boards of health, which include assessment and surveillance, health promotion and policy development, disease and injury prevention, and health protection. The OPHS consist of one Foundational Standard and 13 Program Standards that articulate broad societal goals that result from the activities undertaken by boards of health and many others, including community partners, non-governmental organizations, and governmental bodies. These results have been expressed in terms of two levels of outcomes: societal outcomes and board of health outcomes. Societal outcomes entail changes in health status, organizations, systems, norms, policies, environments, and practices and result from the work of many sectors of society, including boards of health, for the improvement of the overall health of the population. Board of health outcomes are the results of endeavours by boards of health and often focus on changes in awareness, knowledge, attitudes, skills, practices, environments, and policies. Boards of health are accountable for these outcomes. The standards also outline the requirements that boards of health must implement to achieve the stated results.
Outcomes related to this indicator
Societal Outcome (Foundational Standard): Population health needs are anticipated, identified, addressed, and evaluated.
Assessment and/or Surveillance Requirements Related to this Indicator
The board of health shall use population health, determinants of health and health inequities information to assess the needs of the local population, including the identification of populations at risk, to determine those groups that would benefit most from public health programs and services (i.e., priority populations).
Protocol Requirements Related to this Indicator
The board of health shall analyze population health data and interpret the information to describe the distribution of health outcomes, preventive health practices, risk factors, determinants of health, and other relevant information to assess the overall health of its population. The board of health shall collect or access the following types of population health data and information:i) Socio-demographics including population counts by age, sex, education, employment, income, housing, language, immigration, culture, ability/disability, and cost of a nutritious food basket; http://www.ontario.ca/publichealthstandards
Corresponding Health Indicator from Statistics Canada and CIHI
Aboriginal IdentityThe Internet publication Health Indicators, produced jointly by Statistics Canada and the Canadian Institute for Health Information, provides over 80 indicators measuring the health of the Canadian population and the effectiveness of the health care system. Designed to provide comparable information at the health region and provincial/territorial levels, these data are produced from a wide range of the most recently available sources.A pdf copy of the Health Indicators e-publication report can be found on CIHI’s website (http://www.cihi.ca) at https://secure.cihi.ca/free_products/HI2013_EN.pdf
Data Sources (see Resources: Data Sources)
Numerator & Denominator: Canadian Census (pre-2011), National Household Survey (2011 and beyond)
Original source: Statistics Canada
Distributed by: Statistics Canada
Suggested citation (see Data Citation Notes):
[year] Census, Statistics Canada
[year] National Household Survey, Statistics Canada
|Survey & Question #||Question||Response Options||Accompanying Instructions to the Interviewer|
|National Household Survey Question 17||What were the ethnic or cultural origins of this person’s ancestors?||Open-ended, four eleven-letter spaces for responses provided.||An ancestor is usually more distant than a grandparent. (N1) For example, Canadian, English, French, Chinese, East Indian, Italian, German, Scottish, Irish, Cree, Mi’kmaq, Salish, Métis, Inuit, Filipino, Dutch, Ukrainian, Polish, Portuguese, Greek, Korean, Vietnamese, Jamaican, Jewish, Lebanese, Salvadorean, Somali, Colombian, etc.(N2) For example, Cree, Ojibway, Mi’kmaq, Salish, Dene, Blackfoot, Inuit, Métis, Canadian, French, English and German.|
|National Household Survey|
|Is this person an Aboriginal person, that is, First Nations (North American Indian), Métis or Inuk (Inuit)?||Yes, First Nations (North American Indian)|
Yes, Inuk (Inuit)
No, not an Aboriginal Person
|Answer this question regardless of whether or not this person is an Aboriginal person of North America.Aboriginal people are usually those with ancestors who resided in North America prior to European contact and who can identify with one of the three Aboriginal groups listed on the questionnaire—First Nations (North American Indian), Métis and Inuit.Persons who consider themselves to be East Indian or Asian Indian, or who have ethnic roots on the subcontinent of India, should respond “No” to this question.Individuals who refer to themselves as Métis in the context of mixed ancestry, but who do not have North American Aboriginal ancestry—for example, those from Africa, the Caribbean and South America—should respond |
|National Household Survey|
|Is this person a Status Indian (Registered or Treaty Indian as defined by the Indian Act of Canada)?||Yes, Status Indian (Registered or Treaty)|
|Select the circle “Yes, Status Indian (Registered or Treaty) for persons who:- Are Registered Indians under the Indian Act- Are Treaty Indians, only if they are Registered Indians under the Indian Act- Have become Registered since June 1985, when Bill C-31 changed the Indian ActAll other persons should mark “No,” including persons who may be entitled to register under provisions of the Indian Act, but for some reason have not.|
|National Household Survey|
|Is this person a member of a First Nation/Indian band?||Yes, member of a First Nation/Indian band|
|A First Nation/Indian band is a group of people for whom lands have been set apart and/or money is held by the Crown.A member of a First Nation/Indian band is an individual who is recognized as being a member of a First Nation/Indian band, as defined by either the band itself or the Indian Act.Individuals should report their First Nation/Indian band affiliation rather than their tribal affiliation—for example, “Chemawawin First Nation Band” instead of “Cree.”|
Alternative Data Sources
Numerator & Denominator: Canadian Community Health Survey
Original source: Statistics Canada
Distributed by: Statistics Canada
Suggested citation (see Data Citation Notes):
Canadian Community Health Survey [year], Statistics Canada
SDC_Q4_1: Are you an Aboriginal person, that is, North American Indian, Métis or Inuit?Note: In 2011, only respondents who indicated that they were born in Canada, the United States, Germany or Greenland were asked this question.
Numerator & Denominator: Rapid Risk Factor Surveillance System
Original source: Selected Public Health Units
Distributed by: Institute for Social Research, York University
Suggested citation (see Data Citation Notes):
Rapid Risk Factor Surveillance System [year], Participating Public Health Units
eth1: Is your ethnic or cultural background English, French, Polish, Chinese or something else?
eth2: In addition to being Canadian to what ethnic or cultural group did you, or your ancestors belong on first coming to this continent?
Numerator & Denominator: On & Off-reserve Registered Indian Population
Original source: Indian Register
Distributed by: Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada
Suggested citation (See Data Citation Notes):
Indian Register [year], Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada
Browsing instructions: visit http://www.aadnc-aandc.gc.ca/
Select your language (English or Français) to view the main site.
Under” All Topics” / “Tous les sujets”, select “About AANDC” / “A propos d’AADNC”
Select “Research and Statistics” / “Recherches et statistiques” from the menu at left
Select “Statistics” / “Statistiques” from the menu at left
Select “By Subject” / “Par sujet” from the main page
Select “Aboriginal Peoples & Communities” / “Peuples et collectivités autochtones” from the main page
Select the “Registered Indian Population by Sex and Residence” / “Population indienne inscrite selon le sexe et la residence” table for the year you wish to see.
Data are available in a comprehensive PDF document or in HTML tables accessible via links by region near the bottom of the webpage.
Use & LimitationsCCHS and RRFSS are most often used for stratification or weighting other indicators, rather than as a primary estimate of Aboriginal population. For RRFSS, ethnicity is not directly comparable to identity.On & Off-reserve Registered Indian Population data provide additional context to the NHS data, and can be used to complement those indicators. These data are available at the Indian reserve / band level. Some health regions have multiple bands within their geographic boundaries. Off-reserve registered Indians will not necessarily live within the bounds of the health region that contains their reserve.
Analysis Check ListNone
Method of Calculation
Percentage of the population that is Aboriginal: Aboriginal population
Percentage of population in private households who are Registered or Treaty Indians
Aboriginal identity population
|Total population in private households by Aboriginal identity |
Percentage of population in private households by Aboriginal Ancestry
Registered or treaty Indian
|Total population in private households by Reigstered or Treat Indian status |
|Total population in private households by Aboriginal ancestry|
- Aboriginal Identity (total)
- Aboriginal group: First Nation (North American Indian), Métis, Inuk (Inuit), or multiple Aboriginal identities. All four of these categories are mutually exclusive.
- Aboriginal ancestry (total)
- Aboriginal ancestry categories (First Nation, Métis and Inuit) are NOT mutually exclusive, and will therefore sum to more than the Aboriginal ancestry (total)Geographic areas: public health unit, census metropolitan areas, census agglomerations, census subdivisions.
|Aboriginal group |
Aboriginal group refers to those persons who reported identifying with at least one Aboriginal group, that is, North American Indian, Métis or Inuit, or with two or more of these groups.1,2 This is a subset of the aboriginal identity indicator, which also includes those who did not state that they belonged to an aboriginal group, but DID state that they either belonged to an Indian band/First Nation (see Member of an Indian band or First Nation, below) or were registered/Treaty Indians.
According to the Métis National Council, a ‘Métis’ is a person who ‘self-identifies as Métis, is distinct from other Aboriginal peoples, is of historic Métis Nation Ancestry and who is accepted by the Métis Nation.”3
Caution should be exercised in analyzing trends for Aboriginal peoples based on previous census data. Over time, patterns in Aboriginal self-identification have changed. In recent years, a growing number of people who had not previously identified with an Aboriginal group are now doing so. Changes in the participation of First Nations people living on reserve in the census over time also affect historical comparison.4
Prior to the 1996 Census, counts for Aboriginal persons were calculated using the ethnic origin/ancestry question.4
Member of an Indian band or First Nation
- Member of an Indian band or First Nation refers to those persons who reported being a member of an Indian band or a First Nation of Canada.1,2
- In 1991, band membership was a subcomponent of Question 16 on Registered Indian status.4
- In 1996, one direct question was developed to collect data on band/First Nation membership.4
- Many Indian bands choose to be referred to as a First Nation and have changed their band name to reflect this. With the 1985 amendment to the Indian Act of Canada (commonly referred to as Bill C-31), many Indian bands exercised the right to establish their own membership code, whereby it was not always necessary for a band member to be a Registered Indian according to the Indian act.4
Registered Indian or Treaty Indian
- Registered Indian or Treaty Indian refers to those persons who reported they were registered under the Indian Act of Canada. Registered Indians are persons who are registered under the Indian Act. Treaty Indians are persons who belong to a First Nation or Indian band that signed a treaty with the Crown. Registered or Treaty Indians are sometimes also called Status Indians.1
- Although the 1991 Census included a question on registration status, the layout of the question in the 1996 Census included two components: one asking about registration status and the other about band membership. The wording in the 1996 census includes the term ‘treaty’, while in prior Census, ‘treaty’ was not included in the question.4
Aboriginal Identity (derived)
- The derived Aboriginal identity concept refers to those persons who reported identifying with at least one Aboriginal group, that is, North American Indian, Métis or Inuit, and/or those who reported being a Treaty Indian or a Registered Indian, as defined by the Indian Act of Canada, and/or those who reported they were members of an Indian band or First Nation. The Aboriginal identity population is derived from 3 questions (Questions 18, 20 and 21).1,2,4
- Caution should be exercised in analyzing trends in Aboriginal identity based on data from previous censuses. Although the data have not been affected by changes in the question, the growth in the census counts of the Aboriginal identity population has been affected by both demographic factors (birth, deaths and migration) and non-demographic factors such as reporting changes in those identifying as Aboriginal and by the relative number of incompletely enumerated Indian reserves and settlements.1
- The 'on reserve' population is a derived census variable that is captured by using the censussubdivision (CSD) type according to criteria established by Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada (AANDC).1,2
- The 'on reserve' population includes all people living in any of six CSD types legally affiliated with First Nations or Indian bands.1,2
- 'On Reserve' includes legally defined Indian reserves, Indian settlements, other land types created by the ratification of Self-Government Agreements and other northern communities affiliated with First Nations, according to the criteria established by Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada (previously named Indian and Northern Affairs Canada).1,2
- The 2011 National Household Survey questions and definitions (i.e., Aboriginal group, Member of an Indian band or First Nation, Aboriginal identity, and on reserve) are the same as the one used in the 2006, 2001 and 1996 Census.1,2,4 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 National Household Survey (NHS).1,2
- The National Household Survey, first conducted in 2011, is voluntary while the 2006 and previous censuses gathered data on Aboriginal identity from a 20% sample of the population. To reduce non-response bias, Statistics Canada sent enumerators to ALL dwellings on Indian reserves to offer them the opportunity to respond. For differences between the NHS and the Census, see the National Household Survey User Guide.5
- In 2011, on some Indian reserves and Indian settlements, enumeration was not permitted, or was interrupted before it could be completed. For other Indian reserves and Indian settlements, the quality of the collected data was considered inadequate. Most of the people living on incompletely enumerated Indian reserves and settlements are Registered Indians. Consequently, the impact of incomplete enumeration will be greatest on data for First Nations people and for persons registered under the Indian Act. For lists of incompletely enumerated reserves, refer to previous Census and the National Household Survey documentation. The list of Incompletely enumerated Indian reserves and Indian settlements is currently available from the Aboriginal Peoples Reference Guide, 2011 National Household Survey.
- The comparison of data availability across the three census years should be done with caution. There have been changes in methodology over time which could affect the calculation of global non-response rates and would limit their comparability over time. Any comparison of Aboriginal data across census years must adjust for incompletely enumerated reserves and settlements.
- In 2011, a total of 36 Indian reserves and Indian settlements were incompletely enumerated (i.e., enumeration was either not permitted, or was interrupted before it could be completed).1 For 13 reserves in Northern Ontario, enumeration was delayed because of natural events (i.e., forest fires), and estimates for these communities are not included in national or provincial estimates. The impact may be more significant for lower geographic areas, such as census subdivisions. Incomplete enumeration of reserves impacts estimates for First Nations populations living on reserve as well as the Registered or Treaty Indian population living on reserve, among other populations.1 For lists of incompletely enumerated reserves as part of the Censuses, refer to the Aboriginal Peoples Technical Report, 2006 Census, 2nd edition produced by Statistics Canada.
- Aboriginal people living off-reserve were more likely to report poorer health outcomes (e.g., self-rated health, diagnosed with a chronic condition, smoking) compared non-Aboriginals.6
- Low income and education among Aboriginals living off-reserve is associated with poorer health outcomes.6 Income and education levels do not fully explain the differences in health status between Aboriginal adults living off-reserve and non-Aboriginal adults.6 Other indirect factors such as racism and social exclusion may play an important role in sustaining health inequalities.
- Differences in health outcomes may exist between First Nations, Métis, and Inuit groups because of factors that impact health.6
Cross-References to Other Indicators
- Statistics Canada. Aboriginal Peoples Reference Guide, National Household Survey, 2011. Available from: http://www12.statcan.gc.ca/nhs-enm/2011/ref/guides/99-011-x/99-011-x2011006-eng.pdf
- Statistics Canada. National Household Survey Dictionary. Available from: http://www12.statcan.gc.ca/nhs-enm/2011/ref/dict/index-eng.cfm
- Métis National Council. Citizenship. Available from: http://www.metisnation.ca/index.php/who-are-the-metis/citizenship
- Statistics Canada. Aboriginal Peoples Technical Report, 2006 Census, Second Edition. Available from: http://www12.statcan.gc.ca/census-recensement/2006/ref/rp-guides/rp/ap-pa_2/pdf/92-569-X2006001-Part2-eng.pdf
- Statistics Canada. National Household Survey User Guide, NHS, 2011. Available from: http://www12.statcan.gc.ca/nhs-enm/2011/ref/nhs-enm_guide/99-001-x2011001-eng.pdf
- Statistics Canada. The Health of First Nations Living Off-Reserve, Inuit, and Métis in Canada: The Impact of Socio-economic Status on Inequalities in Health. Available from: http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/82-622-x/82-622-x2010004-eng.pdf
|Date||Type of Review-Form Review or Ad Hoc?||Changes made by||Changes|
|May 2014||Formal||Social Determinants of Health Subgroup|
- Updated description
- Addition of Ontario Public Health Standards description
- Addition of outcomes related to the indicator, assessment and/or surveillance requirements related to the indicator, and protocol requirements related to the indicator
- Added the corresponding health indicator from Statistics Canada and CIHI
- Added corresponding indicators from other sources
- Updated the data sources
- Updated the survey questions with accompanying instructions to interviewers
- Added an alternative data source
- Updated the method of calculation
- Updated the basic categories
- Revised the indicator comments
- Updated the references
- Added acknowledgements
- Added changes made
Last Updated: May 7, 2014.
|Lead Author||Dinna Lozano, North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit|
|Contributing Author(s)||Cam McDermaid, Ottawa Public Health|
Luanne Jamieson, Hamilton Public Health ServicesVirginia McFarland, Grey Bruce Public HealthWilliam Kou, York Region Community and Health Services
|Core Indicator Reviewers||Cam McDermaid, Ottawa Public Health|
Luanne Jamieson, Hamilton Public Health ServicesSarah Edwards, Brant County Health UnitVirginia McFarland, Grey Bruce Public HealthWilliam Kou, York Region Community and Health ServicesZiad El-Khatib, Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario
|External Reviewers||Diana Withrow, Cancer Care Ontario Erica Clark, Huron County Health UnitHilary Blackett, Waterloo Wellington Local Health Integration Network|
Previous Revision: July 2, 2013.