Urban Indigenous peoples
The term — urban Indigenous peoples — refers primarily to First Nation, Inuit and Métis individuals currently residing in urban areas. According to 2011 Census data, off-reserve Indigenous people constitute the fastest growing segment of Canadian society. In 2011, 56% of Indigenous peoples lived in urban areas, up from 49% in 1996. That’s a 7% increase over 14 years.
The cities with the largest Indigenous populations in 2011 were Winnipeg (78,420), Edmonton (61,765), Vancouver (52,375), Toronto (36,995), Calgary (33,370), Ottawa-Gatineau (30,570), Montreal (26,280), Saskatoon (23,895) and Regina (19,785).
Urban Aboriginal Strategy
Budget 2016 proposes $23.7 million for 2016-2017 for the Urban Aboriginal Strategy. In 2016-2017, the Government of Canada will identify ways to strengthen the strategy to effectively meet the needs of urban Indigenous peoples.
The Urban Aboriginal Strategy provides project funding for programs and services that help increase the participation of Indigenous peoples in the economy. From 2014 to 2016, the Government of Canada provided $51 million each year to the strategy.
Through the strategy, Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC) provides support to the National Association of Friendship Centres to administer two programs:
The Urban Aboriginal Strategy:
- promotes long-term, sustainable urban Indigenous programming
- develops partnerships that leverage financial support from provincial and municipal governments, educational institutions and private and not-for profit sectors
Through a regional strategic planning process with stakeholders, the strategy will support initiatives that:
- help Indigenous peoples develop the skills required to enter professional and training programs, and enter the labour market
- build understanding and appreciation of Indigenous cultures among potential employers
- help Indigenous youth aged 15 to 24 complete high school, transition to post-secondary school and gain work experiences
- provide support services that assist Indigenous peoples to transition from rural to urban centres including, access to affordable housing and family and health care services
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