Friday, September 17, 2010

More Aboriginal Population Profile vs. INAC Questions


I have another couple of questions related to what I asked back in December re: geography on the INAC site vs. Statistics Canada.

INAC seems to have a new interactive map at The points represented on the map seem to be Bands. I notice that many of these Bands are included in the 2006 Aboriginal Population Profiles at However, they are not all included. For instance, the Lake Babine Nation is included in the INAC map but is not included in the Profiles. It seems that anything on the INAC site that has the attribute “Act Electoral System” is included in the Profiles, whereas anything with the attribute “Custom Electoral System” is not included. Could we get an explanation as to why this is so?

Also, when I compare the populations given for the bands on the INAC map with the populations for bands in the Profiles, they seem to totally disagree. The INAC figures are consistently inflated. For instance, the “Registered Population” for the Moricetown Band on the INAC site is 1889, whereas the population given in the profiles is 592. Why would that be?


Our Census contacts have provided the following details about the 2006 Aboriginal Population Profiles in response to your question:

"I can’t speak to the INAC figures, but I can give you some information on the Aboriginal Population profile. In this product, data are available for areas where the Aboriginal identity population count is 250 or more. This means that areas where the census enumerated fewer than 250 persons with an Aboriginal Identity are not included in this product. The Aboriginal identity population comprises those persons who reported identifying with at least one Aboriginal group, that is, North American Indian, M├ętis 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.

Additionally, the Indian band areas are included within this profile and are defined using census subdivisions. The data for the Indian band areas are for the total Aboriginal population living in the communities. People who live in the communities do not all belong to the specific Indian band/First Nation. The list does not include Indian band areas for communities (census subdivisions) which are associated with more than one Indian band/First Nation.

For more information on the concepts I mentioned, such as Aboriginal Identity and Census Subdivision, please consult the 2006 Census Dictionary at the following link or from the Statistics Canada home page by selecting Census > Reference materials > 2006 Census Dictionary > Complete A to Z. For more information on the Aboriginal population profile, please consult the Help/FAQs section in the left column of any web page of the product."

As a next step, you may wish to ask INAC for similar details about the "Registered Population" figures on their site. According to this Definitions page ( on the INAC site, registered population seems to be from a source called the Indian Registry System. The following table from the INAC site seems to further break down the registered population for Moricetown may also help: The First Nations and Northern Statistics Section at INAC can be reached at: 1-800-567-9604 or (contact details as listed on INAc website).

I hope that this information is helpful. Please let me know if you have any other questions as you continue to research this.

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