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Grande Prairie’s Aboriginal population tops 10 per cent

The Aboriginal population of Grande Prairie is more than twice what’s seen across Canada. An estimated 6,550 people in the city identified as Aboriginal in the 2016 census, which was just over 10 per cent of the city’s population.

Of Grande Prairie’s Aboriginal community, 56 per cent identified as Métis, 40 per cent as First Nations or North American Indian, and one per cent as Inuk or Inuit. Some identified as more than one. The city also had 2,110 residents with Registered or Treaty Indian status.

In the County of Grande Prairie, 1,515 residents identified as Aboriginal in the census, which was just under seven per cent of the total population. 63 per cent were Métis, 32 per cent were First Nations, and three per cent identified as both. There were no Inuk residents, and 420 with Registered or Treaty Indian status.

Only 25 per cent of households received the long-form census, so the totals have been estimated by Statistics Canada.

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The census data shows Canada’s Indigenous population is growing four times faster than rest of country. Nearly 1.7 million people identified as Aboriginal in 2016, which is a 4.9 per cent share of the total population and a 42.5 per cent increase since 2006.

The population was largely concentrated in the western provinces, with 14 per cent in Alberta. While Ontario held one-fifth of the country’s Métis population, Alberta also had the largest in western Canada, making up 19.5 per cent of the total overall.

Statistics Canada also found the Aboriginal population is young, with the average age 32.1 year old in 2016. That’s almost a decade younger than the non-Aboriginal population at 40.9 years old. Just over one-third of Aboriginal children aged 0 to 4 years lived with a lone parent, and about one in six lived with at least one grandparent.

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