Urban Aboriginal Population
- According to 2006 Census, 54% of Canada’s Aboriginal population lives in urban areas; demographic projections forecast this figure to grow. However, given the population growth in urban settings, there is a critical knowledge gap with respect to Aboriginal peoples’ current realities in the urban context.
- Significant well-being gaps remain between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people in urban areas, particularly in terms of education and labour market outcomes.
- A critical knowledge gap exists with respect to evidence-based policy options to address urban Aboriginal issues.
Providing services for urban Aboriginal people is rated as a high or very high priority by over 4 in 10 Regina and Saskatoon residents, and by:
- Over 35% of Toronto and Edmonton residents
- Over 30% of residents of Calgary and Winnipeg
- Over 25% of Vancouver residents
Urban Aboriginal Youth Facts
- Aboriginal residents rate quality of life in their city less highly than do non-Aboriginal residents.
- Aboriginal youth are considerably less likely than non-Aboriginal youth to have attended post-secondary educational institutions;
- About 15% of Aboriginal youth aged 20-24 years who reported university attendance had earned a university degree
- About one-half the completion rate of similarly aged non-Aboriginal youth;
- Young Aboriginal adults (25-29 yrs) university completion rate was about 2 times lower than for non-Aboriginal adults;
- Over 2/3 of Aboriginal youth who were not attending school reported an education level below high school certification;
- Educational levels among Aboriginal youth lagged behind non-Aboriginal youth by a wide margin in all provinces and territories and in both rural and urban areas.
- In 2006, Aboriginal youth with no certificates were less likely than non-Aboriginal Youth with no certificates to be active in the labour market;
- Aboriginal youth 15-24 were twice as likely to be unemployed as compared to non-Aboriginal youth;
- The unemployment rate of Aboriginal female youth was approximately 2 times higher than that of their non-Aboriginal counterparts;
- Male Aboriginal youth were nearly twice more likely than male, non-Aboriginal youth to report unemployment at that time.
Urban Aboriginal Research Facts
- 54% of Canada’s Aboriginal population lives in urban areas, and demographic projections suggest this figure will grow
- Research to date on urban Aboriginal issues supported by government is helpful but limited; more and better research is needed to better understand the serious challenges Aboriginal people face in terms of integration with the urban economy and society
- There is currently no shared analytic framework within the government to support research that responds to the challenges Aboriginal people face in urban settings
- Researchers, policy makers, other levels of government are looking for leadership from the federal government; lack of action may contribute to increasing disconnection from the real life experiences of Aboriginal people
- Effective urban Aboriginal policy in a post-Apology context requires urban Aboriginal people have the capacity to engage in evidence-based policy deliberations, with community-based research that complements national-level demographic, socio-economic analysis