Aboriginal Communities: Northwestern

Education, employment and low incomes are key challenges for Aboriginal people in Northwestern

woman in parade jpgThe Aboriginal community in Northwestern is substantial, in fact, 20%
of the population in Northwestern is Aboriginal. As of 2006, there were 46,455 Aboriginal people living in this area. The Aboriginal community experienced rapid growth between 2001 and 2006, increasing by
21.5% which far outpaced the growth of the general population. The largest group of Aboriginal people in Northwestern is First Nations. Northwestern is home to at least 67 First Nation communities and the majority live on-reserve, unlike other areas of the province where most live off-reserve.  

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Community Highlights

  • The Aboriginal community in Northwestern is younger compared to the general population -  more than half (52.4%) of First Nations people are under the age of 25 years.
  • While working-age Aboriginal people are better educated than older generations, close to half (46%) have not completed schooling.
  • In 2006, the unemployment rate for First Nations people was double that of the total Northwestern population.
  • There are substantial income gaps. First Nation people in Northwestern earn on average $14,500 less than the overall Northwestern population.
  • Nearly four out of ten (38.3%) Aboriginal children in Northwestern live in low-income situations.
  • In Northwestern, about one-quarter of First Nations people use an Aboriginal language at home. Our data finds that older Aboriginal people are the age group most likely to speak an Aboriginal language at home.