Statistics Canada conducts Aboriginal Peoples Survey

CANADA—Between January and June 2017, Statistics Canada is conducting the Aboriginal Peoples Survey (APS).

The 2017 APS is a national survey of First Nations people living off reserve, Metis and Inuit aged 15 years and older. The 2017 APS represents the fifth cycle of the survey and focuses on transferable skills, practical training, use of information technology, aboriginal language attainment and participation in the Canadian economy.

“The 2017 APS collects unique and detailed data on employment, education, and health which are not available from any other source,” Tina Chui, chief of post-census surveys, Social and Aboriginal Statistics Division, told The Expositor. “For example, although the 2016 Census of Population collected data on certain aspects of labour market participation, the 2017 APS addresses additional topics such as job satisfaction, multiple employment, past job attachment, and willingness to move to improve career opportunities.”

Ms. Chui said the APS provides key statistics to inform policy and programming activities aimed at improving the well-being of aboriginal peoples.

“It is a valuable source of information for a variety of stakeholders including aboriginal organizations, communities, service providers, researchers, governments, and the general public,” she said. 

The survey is carried out by Statistics Canada with funding provided by three federal departments: Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada (formerly called Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada), Health Canada and Employment and Social Development Canada.

Manitoulin residents, along with approximately 48,000 individuals across Canada with aboriginal identity or aboriginal ancestry in the Census of Population, were sampled.

“The APS sample was selected from individuals who answered “yes” to one of the three Census questions defining the identity population (questions 18, 20 and 21) or those who reported aboriginal ancestry to question 17,” said Ms. Chui.

Ms. Chui explained that the 2017 Aboriginal Peoples Survey will provide valuable insights into employment, skills and training, education, and health of First Nations people living off reserve, Métis and Inuit.

“The information will be used to provide information about employment and unemployment, skills and training, educational success, labour mobility, sense of belonging to aboriginal communities, Internet use, aboriginal languages, housing and physical and mental health,” she added. “Data collection for the APS is done every five years, following the Census of Population. The 2012 APS was conducted following the National Household Survey in 2011. The 2017 APS selected its sample from reported answers to the 2016 Census of Population long-form questionnaire. The data release for the 2017 APS is scheduled for the fall of 2018.”

For more information about the APS, call 1-800-263-1136 or go to