The survey on Aboriginal peoples is an established Canadian survey dedicated to obtaining information about the demographic and socio-economic characteristics of Aboriginal populations in Canada. First conducted in 1991 to collect information not covered in the 1991 Census of Population, this voluntary, post-censal survey became an essential part of the Aboriginal data landscape and was repeated in 2001 and 2006.
As a unique source of information about Aboriginal peoples, the survey helps a wide range of policy and programming decision-makers focus on the real needs of Aboriginal communities. The collection of this data will ensure the ability of federal, provincial and territorial governments as well as the ability of Aboriginal organizations and other stakeholders to analyze trends over time and make informed decisions based on current data.
The fourth generation of the survey was modified from an omnibus to a thematic survey in order to increase the focus on two priority areas for governments and Aboriginal organizations and communities: education and employment. This thematic approach will allow for a better observation and understanding of the specific needs associated with these priority areas. Additional information on health, language, income, housing and mobility will also be collected to ensure the continuity of the data compiled in past years.
For the first time, Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada (AANDC) is partnering with the First Nation Information Governance Centre (FNIGC) who will be conducting the survey of First Nations living on-reserve and in northern First Nation communities. The results of the survey will be compiled by the FNIGC and shared with AANDC. As with past generations of the survey on Aboriginal peoples, Statistics Canada will be conducting a similar survey of First Nations living off-reserve, Métis and Inuit peoples.
The funding for the survey on Aboriginal peoples is provided by three federal departments: AANDC, Health Canada and Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC) who each share the common goal of improving the quality of life of Aboriginal Canadians. The survey conducted by Statistics Canada is set to begin in February 2012 and the FNIGC survey is set for Fall 2012. Results are expected to be made available incrementally between 2013 and 2016.