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Half of NWT population aboriginal
Study shows 17 per cent can speak traditional language

Kassina Ryder
Northern News Services
Published Monday, May 13, 2013

The percentage of Canadians identifying as aboriginal jumped from 3.8 per cent in 2006 to 4.3 per cent in 2011, according to the most recent survey released by Statistics Canada.

The number identifying as aboriginal people increased by 232,385 from 2006 to 2011, according to the report.

The 2011 National Household Survey found that more than 60 per cent of those individuals identified as being First Nations, while 30 per cent identified as Metis and four per cent identified as Inuit. An additional 1.9 per cent identified as belonging to other aboriginal groups and 0.8 per cent identified with more than one aboriginal group.

Roughly half of all people living in the Northwest Territories are aboriginal, compared to more than 86 per cent of Nunavut's population. Only 23 per cent of Yukon's population is aboriginal.

The survey found only 17 per cent of aboriginal people in Canada reported the ability to have a conversation in an aboriginal language, with Inuktitut being the most prominent. It also found aboriginal children under the age of 14 made up almost half of all Canadian children living in foster care.

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