Demography of Canada’s and Québec’s Native Peoples
According to 2006 census data (Statistics Canada, 2008a), the number of persons who identified themselves as Native persons of Canada, that is, as Indians (members of First Nations), Métis or Inuit was 1,172,790. In 2006, the First Nations, Métis and Inuit accounted for almost 4% of Canada’s total population. There are currently 615 First Nation communities and 53 Inuit communities in Canada (AANDC, 2007).
In the entire Canadian Native population in 2006, around 698,025 individuals (about 70%) identified themselves as members of First Nations. The term “First Nations” applies to both Status Indians and Non-Status Indians. Some 40% of them were living on-reserve, and 60% were living off-reserve. Métis accounted for 389,785 individuals in 2006 (about 25%). It is estimated that around 7 out of 10 Métis (69%) were living in urban areas of Canada. Finally, the Inuit accounted for 50,485 individuals in 2006 (about 5%). In 2006, 49% of the total Canadian Inuit population was living in Nunavut, 19% in Nunavik (Nord-du-Québec), 6% in the Inuvialuite region (Northwest Territories), 4% in Nunatsiavut (Northern Labrador) and 22% in urban areas.
In 2007, there were 87,251 Native persons living in Québec, that is, 1,2% of the total population, which was about 7,500,000 (Secrétariat aux affaires autochtones, 2007). According to the 2006 census data, the Native population of Québec increased by 53% between 1996 and 2006, putting the province in fourth place for the highest rate of Native growth in Canada. Québec is home to 10 Amerindian nations (Abenaki, Algonquian, Attikamek, Cree, Huron-Wendat, Innu/Montagnais, Malecite, Mi’kmak, Mohawk and Naskapi), the Inuit and the Métis, and they are found in 55 Native communities and 14 Nordic villages. Appendix 1 shows the distribution of Québec’s Native communities and villages.