Greater Victoria’s 4.6 per cent share of individuals who identify as Indigenous is just below the national share of 4.9 per cent (Black Press Media File).

Greater Victoria home to some 17,000 individuals with Indigenous identity

Victoria’s share of 4.6 per cent Indigenous population is below the national average of 4.9 per cent

Just over 17,000 individuals claiming Indigenous identity lived in the Victoria Census Metropolitan Area in 2016, according to Statistics Canada.

The agency released the figure as part of a new study into the housing conditions of Indigenous Canadians in Canada. Just under half (44 per cent) of Canada’s population of 1.67 million lived in one of 49 urban areas large enough to be divided into neighbourhoods or census tracts.

Winnipeg had the largest number of Indigenous people living within a CMA, with 92,810 people reporting an Indigenous identity — just under 12 per cent of the local population. Victoria’s share meanwhile was 4.6 per cent, just below the 4.9 per cent national share of peoples who identify as Indigenous (First Nation, Metis, and Inuit).

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Other CMAs with sizable Indigenous communities included Edmonton (76,205), Vancouver (61,460), Toronto (46,320), Calgary (41,645), Ottawa-Gatineau (38,120) Montréal (34,750), Saskatoon (31,350) and Regina (21,650).

When accounting for differences in population, CMAs with shares of Indigenous people higher than the national share of 4.9 include the aforementioned Winnipeg, Saskatoon (10 per cent), Regina (9.1 per cent) and Edmonton (5.7 per cent) with higher shares in smaller census units.

Broadly, the report found that the housing conditions of Indigenous Canadians in urban areas differ significantly than those from non-Indigenous Canadians. They are more likely to rent by a margin of 2-1 compared to non-Indigenous Canadians, with one of five Indigenous Canadians renting in subsidized housing.

Just over one in 10 Indigenous people living in these urban areas lived in housing needing major repairs in 2016, and Indigenous people who lived in a rented dwelling were almost twice as likely to be in housing that needed major repairs (14 per cent) compared with those who lived in a dwelling owned by a member of the household (eight per cent).

Looking at neighbourhoods where at least 10 per cent of the population had an Indigenous identity in 2016, 14 per cent of Indigenous people lived in a dwelling that was in need of major repairs, while seven per cent lived in a crowded dwelling.

“These results reflect the more difficult income situation of Indigenous people living in these neighbourhoods,” the report read. “About one-third of the Indigenous population living in a neighbourhood where at least 10 per cent of the population had an Indigenous identity lived in a low-income household, compared with about one-fifth of Indigenous people living in other neighbourhoods.”


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