OTTAWA, May 8, 2013 /CNW/ - Assembly of First Nations (AFN) National
Chief Shawn A-in-chut Atleo says the Statistics Canada data released
today from the 2011 National Household Survey (NHS) underscores the
importance of investing in potential and opportunity of First Nations
in Canada. "While we have concerns about the new process for collecting
information, the results released today further highlight the
importance of First Nations as one of the fastest growing and youngest
population, and as drivers of and partners to economic development,"
said AFN National Chief Shawn Atleo, adding that a First Nations driven
approach to data gathering, holding and assessment based on respect for
First Nation jurisdiction, principles and priorities is required.
Released this morning by Statistics Canada, this is the first wave of
data from the 2011 National Household Survey and is focused on
Aboriginal peoples, immigration and ethnocultural diversity.
Some of the key data illustrates that the First Nation population
continues to grow at a much higher rate than the non-Aboriginal
population at almost 23 per cent compared to 5.2 per cent for the
non-Aboriginal population. The survey further outlines that the First
Nation population is much younger than the non-Aboriginal population
with a median age of only 26.
Some of the more staggering statistics, including Aboriginal children
representing almost half of all children under 14 years of age in
foster care, and 8 per cent of First Nations people reported losing
their traditional language. The Survey reports that while there are
more than 314,000 speakers of First Nation languages, this number has
declined since 2006.
"This echoes the clear statements by First Nations that we need support
for First Nation languages and it must come through education. There
are currently 58 immersion First Nation schools revitalizing
traditional languages through First Nation controlled education, we
must continue to support others driving the solutions to address this
and other challenges based on urgent need and long-term,
sustainability," said National Chief Atleo. "Information such as this
helps show the disparity between First Nations and other Canadians, and
further shows the opportunity and potential among our peoples to drive
change provided we have the required respect and supports for our own
governments and solutions."
The second release of NHS data will be on June 26, 2013 and the third
release on August 14, 2013. More information is available at http://www12.statcan.gc.ca/nhs-enm/2011/as-sa/99-011-x/99-011-x2011001-eng.cfm
The Assembly of First Nations is the national organization representing
First Nations citizens in Canada. Follow AFN on Twitter @AFN_Comms,
SOURCE: ASSEMBLY OF FIRST NATIONS
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