There are almost 300,000 Aboriginal people, or First Nations, Métis and Inuit, in Ontario.
According to the 2006 Census, the total population of Aboriginal people in Ontario rose from 188,315 in 2001 to 242,495 in 2006 - an increase of 29 per cent (Figure 1b).
However, there were seven First Nations that did not participate in the 2006 Census, and three others were incompletely enumerated. Based on information from Indian and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC), the estimated population of these 10 communities is about 54,000.
Including INAC's information, the total estimated population of Aboriginal people in Ontario is 296,495.
Ontario has the largest population of Aboriginal people of any other Canadian province or territory. According to the 2006 Census, 21 per cent of all Aboriginal people in Canada live in Ontario (Figure 2).
|Prince Edward Island||0.1%|
|Newfoundland and Labrador||2%|
Eighty per cent of Aboriginal people in Ontario live off-reserve.
According to the 2006 Census, 62 per cent of Aboriginal people, or 150,565 people, live in urban areas. Most urban Aboriginal people live in Census Metropolitan Areas (CMAs). CMAs are areas of neighbouring communities around a major urban centre with a population of at least 100,000.
Eighteen per cent of the Aboriginal population lives in rural areas.
Of the Aboriginal population included in the 2006 Census, 20 per cent, or 47,515 people, live in communities on First Nation reserves (Figure 3).
The Chiefs in Ontario identify 133 First Nations in Ontario, 127 of which are recognized by the Indian Act. One in four of the 133 First Nation communities are small and remote, accessible only by air or by ice road in the winter. Ontario has more remote First Nations than any other region in Canada.
|Rural Off Reserve||44,410|
The Aboriginal population in Ontario is young and growing. According to the 2006 Census, 27 per cent of Aboriginal people in Ontario were under the age of 15 (Figure 4). Only 18 per cent of non-Aboriginal people were younger than 15 in 2006.
The Aboriginal population in Ontario grew by 20 per cent between 2001 and 2006. In the same period, the Métis population, the fastest growing Aboriginal population in Ontario, grew by 52 per cent (Figure 1). This growth can be attributed to more Aboriginal people identifying themselves as Aboriginal, most notably Métis.
By comparison, the non-Aboriginal population of Ontario grew by about seven per cent from 2001 to 2006.
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Source: Data from Statistics Canada, 2006 Census and 2001 Census, and INAC Ontario Region
* Seven First Nations chose not to participate in the 2006 Census, and three First Nations were incompletely enumerated. Based on INAC data, the estimated total population that is either incompletely or non-enumerated is 54,000.
Notes: The Aboriginal identity population is comprised of 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. "Other" refers to those who do not fall within one of these categories, such as those who identified with more than one Aboriginal group. Any discrepancies between total percentages noted in text and breakdowns noted in charts are due to rounding.