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Old Posted Jan 15, 2008, 9:22 PM
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Only The Lonely.. Only The Lonely.. is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Seattle
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Exclamation Significant increase in Winnipeg region's aboriginal population

An interesting article from the Free Press about the changing demographics of this city.

What do the rest of you think about this trend? What does it mean for this city down the road?



Significant increase in Winnipeg region's aboriginal population
The Winnipeg Free Press | Updated at 2:17 PM

OTTAWA -- The Winnipeg region has experienced a significant increase in the number of aboriginal people living in and around the city over the last few years, reflecting a national trend that indicates more Canadians than ever who identify themselves as aboriginal are living in the country's urban centres.

Statistics Canada released new data today from the 2006 census on Canada's aboriginal population and it showed that 68,380 people living in the Winnipeg census metropolitan area identified themselves as aboriginal -- a 22.3 per cent increase in the region's native population since the last census.

The new census data shows that across Canada, 72.1 per cent of the country's off-reserve aboriginal population lives in urban centres, compared to only 26.3 per cent who live on reserves. The number of aboriginals living off reserve since the last census was taken in 2001 has increased by 3.0 per cent.

Canada's aboriginal population tends to gravitate toward cities in search of jobs and a better life. However, they often find it difficult to access the services they need to prosper. Off-reserve, they can no longer access the federally funded services once available to them and provincial governments are often unwilling to take financial responsibility, leaving those in need in a vacuum.

The 2006 census is the most detailed enumeration of Canada's Indian, Metis and Inuit population. Historically, aboriginal people have been reluctant participants in the census for a variety of reasons. Statistics Canada made an extra push to get a higher participation rate for the latest census, hiring communications staff to visit reserves in advance to appeal for co-operation.

As a result, more Canadians than ever have identified themselves as aboriginal -- 1,172,785 compared to 976,305 in 2001.

The increase can be explained by reasons besides the higher participation: aboriginal Canadians tend to have a higher birth rate than non-aboriginals and more people of mixed ancestry are coming forward to identify themselves as aboriginal.

The census shows the aboriginal population of Manitoba increased between 2001 and 2006: from 150,040 to 175,395. Of the total 2006 native population for the province, 32.4 per cent live on reserves and 74.0 per cent of those living off reserves live in urban areas.

While Manitoba has a total of 86 reserves, the latest census figures do not include statistics from 21 reserves in the province. Statistics Canada said either not enough people on those reserves chose to participate in the census or for those that did, the quality of the data received was questionable or the reserves were small. For privacy reasons, detailed census information is not released on any community with a total population of fewer than 40 people.

In the Winnipeg census metropolitan region, 25,900 (37.9 per cent) of the aboriginal population identified themselves as Indian, while 40,980 (59.9 per cent) were Metis.

Census metropolitan areas do not conform to established municipal boundaries. Statistics Canada determines its own geographic definition of a metropolitan area with a population of at least 100,000, but it also includes surrounding urban and rural communities based on analysis of commuting patterns and other factors.

The census is conducted every five years by Statistics Canada and is based on information filled out by Canadians on May 16, 2006. The data released Tuesday on aboriginal people follows a series of releases last year on immigration, language, overall population growth, families, as well as the age and sex breakdowns of the population. Future census information to be released over the coming months will give demographic breakdowns of visible minorities, labour force activity and education.
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