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Aboriginal Population in Alberta

In the course of the Aboriginal Programs Project, a number of people asked for more information and clarification on “who are Aboriginal peoples”.  This component of the website was developed as a response to this question and provides an overview of the Aboriginal population in Alberta and a summary of key demographic trends.  It is intended to provide useful information that helps industry put Aboriginal programs and practices into a wider context with regard to existing demographics, how the Aboriginal population is changing and the implications this has for developing successful initiatives.    

The term “Aboriginal people” includes the Indian, Inuit and Metis peoples of Canada.  The Aboriginal population is growing.  In 1996, people reporting Aboriginal ancestry represented 3.8% of Canada’s total population.  In 2001, there were just over 1.3 million reporting some Aboriginal ancestry – accounting for 4.4% of the total population.

In 2001, the number of Albertans reporting Aboriginal ancestry was 199,015, which represented 6.7% of the total Alberta population.  This consisted of Indians (84,990), Métis (66,060), Inuit (1,090), Aboriginal Not Specified (4,080) and people who reported Aboriginal ancestry but did not self-identify as Aboriginal in the census (42,795). 

While people reporting Aboriginal ancestry make up 6.7% of Alberta’s population, this number is much higher in the northern and western areas of the province.  In northwest Alberta, the Aboriginal share of the population is 38%, the northeast ranges from 15 to 21% Aboriginal and western portions range from 7 to 18% Aboriginal.  The Aboriginal share of the population is even greater in northern Saskatchewan (83%), Nunavut (76 to 90%) and the Northwest Territories (43%).

The following documents provide access to demographic and socio-economic information on the Aboriginal population in Alberta. 

1. Demographic Overview – Aboriginal Population in Alberta 

PDF Document

This contains an overview of the Aboriginal population in Alberta including details of First Nations treaty areas and Métis Settlements and a summary of key demographic information.  This was prepared as a backgrounder for the ACR Aboriginal programs Project.

2. Alberta’s Aboriginal Population: Socio-Economic Characteristics 2001 

PDF Document

This document is a compendium of statistics and analysis which provide a socio-economic description of Alberta’s Aboriginal population including information by urban centre and comparisons with Alberta’s non-Aboriginal population.  This was prepared by Alberta Aboriginal Affairs & Northern Development.

3. First Nation Profiles

Link – http://sdiprod2.inac.gc.ca/fnprofiles/FNProfiles_home.htm

The First Nation Profile Site provides easy access to current First Nation community profiles across Canada.  Profiles include information of general interest about the First Nation, Governance, Tribal Councils, representative First Nation and Inuit political organizations and reserves.  The site extracts information from a number of databases at Indian & Northern Affairs Canada (INAC).

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