The number of aboriginals has exploded in Canada and Quebec in the last 10 years, according to new census data released by Statistics Canada on Wednesday.
Since 2006, the Aboriginal population – which includes First Nations, Métis, and Inuit – has jumped 42.5% nationally and 88% in Quebec, one of the fastest growing provinces in Canada.
The latter are obviously concentrated in the Montréal (35,000) and Quebec (11,500) regions, where their number has doubled, as well as in Saguenay (6,700) and Sherbrooke (2,430).
For the first time, more Aboriginal people live in one of Canada’s larger cities than elsewhere.
The explosion of the Aboriginal population is largely due to the growing number of people who declare themselves Métis (+ 150% in Quebec).
In addition to soaring, the Aboriginal population is also very young (average age 32) compared to non-Canadians (average age 41).
In terms of language, only 15% of Aboriginal people speak one of the 70 Aboriginal languages reported.
On the other hand, more and more people are learning an Aboriginal language as a second language.
The new census data also reveal that many Aboriginal people live in decrepit housing.
As a result, 20% of First Nations, Métis, and Inuit live in housing that needs major repairs.
In comparison, only 6% of the non-Aboriginal population lives in such conditions.
Aboriginal people living in cities are less likely to live in decrepit housing.
Brad is a former Senior Fellow at the Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism at Brandeis University, is an award-winning travel, culture, and parenting writer. His writing has appeared in many of the Canada’s most respected and credible publications, including the Toronto Star, CBC News and on the cover of Smithsonian Magazine. A meticulous researcher who’s not afraid to be controversial, he is nationally known as a journalist who opens people’s eyes to the realities behind accepted practices in the care of children. Brad is a contributing journalist to Advocator.ca