Dictionary, Census of Population, 2021
Indigenous group

Release date: November 17, 2021Updated on: September 21, 2022


Indigenous group refers to whether the person is First Nations (North American Indian), Métis and/or Inuk (Inuit). A person may be included in more than one of these three specific groups. Aboriginal peoples of Canada (referred to here as Indigenous peoples) are defined in the Constitution Act, 1982, Section 35 (2) as including Indian, Inuit and Métis peoples.

First Nations (North American Indian) includes Status and non-Status Indians.

Statistical unit(s)


Reported in

2021 and 2016 (25% sample); 2011Footnote 1 (30% sample); 2006, 2001 and 1996 (20% sample).

Reported for

Population in private households

Question number(s)

Direct variable: Question 24


Respondents could reply "Yes, First Nations (North American Indian)," "Yes, Métis," "Yes, Inuk (Inuit)" or "No, not First Nations, Métis or Inuk (Inuit)" by marking the appropriate circles in Question 24.


In the 2021 Census of Population, Question 24 asked "Is this person First Nations, Métis or Inuk (Inuit)?"

A note accompanying the question stated that "First Nations (North American Indian) includes Status and Non-Status Indians."

The following additional instructions were provided to respondents within the help button text:

Answer this question regardless of whether or not this person is First Nations, Métis or Inuk (Inuit).

Select "Yes, First Nations (North American Indian)," and/or "Yes, Métis," and/or "Yes, Inuk (Inuit)" for persons who meet the following two conditions:

Select "No, not First Nations, Métis or Inuk (Inuit)" for persons who:

This question provides information used by governments, including First Nations, Métis and Inuit governments and organizations, to develop programs and services for First Nations people, Métis and Inuit.

Users should be aware that the estimates associated with this variable are more affected than most by the incomplete enumeration of certain reserves and settlements in the Census of Population.

For additional information on the collection and dissemination of Indigenous data, including incompletely enumerated reserves and settlements, refer to the Indigenous Peoples Reference Guide, Census of Population, 2021 and the Indigenous Peoples Technical Report, Census of Population, 2021.


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