Population Identifying as Aboriginal


According to Statistics Canada, Aboriginal identity refers to persons who self-identify as First Nations (North American Indian), Métis or Inuk (Inuit) and/or those who are registered or Treaty Indians (that is, registered under the Indian Act of Canada) and/or those who have membership in a First Nation or Indian band. Aboriginal peoples of Canada are defined in the Constitution Act, 1982, section 35 (2) as including the Indian, Inuit and Métis peoples of Canada (Statistics Canada, 2017).

Why This Matters

Winnipeg has the largest population identifying as Aboriginal of any major city in Canada, according to the latest census data.  However, there is a significant gap between Canada’s Indigenous and non-Indigenous population when it comes to socio-economic indicators such as education, employment and income. To make sure no one is left behind in Winnipeg, it is important to have data to understand how different groups in Winnipeg are experiencing the changes in the city.

Measurements and Limitations

Some indicators use differently defined areas or boundaries. This is why different population and population estimates are available. The population presented in these indicators are based on the Statistics Canada Census of the Population. Other population or per-capita based indicators reported in Peg come from the City of Winnipeg’s economic and demographic information (City of Winnipeg, 2018).

A note from Statistics Canada states that in some cases ‘aboriginal identity’ may be derived or estimated to determine the population. Where the population is derived three variables are used: Aboriginal group, Registered or Treaty Indian Status and Membership in a First Nation or Indian Band. These three components are also used when estimates are made (Statistics Canada, 2017).

Data Source

Statistics Canada Census of the Population, Winnipeg [Census metropolitan area], Manitoba


Statistics Canada (2017). Aboriginal Identity of a person. Retrieved from

Statistics Canada (2017). Winnipeg [Census metropolitan area], Manitoba and Manitoba [Province] (table). Census Profile. 2016 Census. Statistics Canada Catalogue no. 9803160X2016001. Ottawa. Retrieved from

CBC News (2017, Oct 25). Winnipeg’s Indigenous population highest in Canada, but growth rate is slowing. Retrieved from


Population Identifying as Aboriginal Sustainable Development Goals