A Statistical Profile on the Health of First Nations in Canada: Determinants of Health, 2006 to 2010

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This report presents a national description of the social determinants of health among First Nations adults living in First Nations communities in Canada, including community wellness, education, labour force characteristics, personal health practices, health services, culture, and the physical environment.

The following is a summary of the full publication.

Highlights

Community Wellness

  • When asked to identify the main strengths of their community, the most frequent response given by First Nations adults in First Nations communities was family values (61.6%), Elders (41.7%) and traditional ceremonial activities (37.7%).

Education

  • In 2006, 35% of First Nations adults living in First Nations communities aged 25 to 54 had a post-secondary certificate, diploma or degree while in 1996, the percentage was lower (30%).
  • Among First Nations people in First Nations communities who attended residential school, over half (53.4%) stated the experience had a negative impact on their health and well-being.

Labour Force Characteristics and Income

  • The 2006 unemployment rate for First Nations people living in First Nations communities was nearly four times the total Canadian rate (25.0% vs. 6.4%).
  • The 2005 median annual income for First Nations people in First Nations communities was less than half that of the total Canadian population ($11,210 vs. $25,767).

Personal Health Practices

  • The daily smoking rate for First Nations adults in First Nations communities was higher than the daily Canadian rate (43.2% vs. 19.0%).
  • The rate of reported alcohol consumption (at least one drink in the previous year) was lower for First Nations adults than for those in the total Canadian population. While 64.7% of First Nations adults living in First Nations communities reported drinking alcohol in the previous year, the figure for the total Canadian population was 81.7%.
  • The proportion of First Nations adults in First Nations communities who report heavy drinking on a weekly basis (9.8%) was somewhat higher than that for the total Canadian population (8.0%).

Health Services

  • The most commonly reported barrier to receiving health care was lengthy waiting lists.
  • A smaller percentage of First Nations women living in First Nations communities reported having a mammogram at some point in their lives than women in the total Canadian population (65.4% compared to 74.2% respectively).

Social Support Networks

  • When there is a need to talk about their emotional or mental health, First Nations adults living in First Nations communities were most likely to speak to friends and family members. A very small percentage spoke to professionals such as psychiatrists, psychologists or social workers.

Culture

  • Just under half (45.9%) of First Nations people in First Nations communities reported having an Aboriginal mother tongue compared to 13.3% of First Nations people living elsewhere.

Physical Environment

  • Over one-quarter (28%) of Registered Indian households in First Nations communities fell below the standard for major repairs. This was more than 10 times the figure of 2% for non-Aboriginal households outside of First Nations communities.
  • Half of First Nations adults in First Nations communities reported the presence of mould or mildew in their homes and this has increased over time.

Table of Contents

  • List of Tables and Figures
    • Table
    • Figures
  • Highlights
  • Introduction
    • Health Canada Activities
    • Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Activities
    • Provincial and Territorial Activities
    • Background
  • Data Sources and Methods
    • Data Sources
    • Comparisons with Previous Versions of this Report
    • Statistical Significance
    • Age Standardization
  • Results and Discussion
    • Age and Sex Distribution
    • Community Wellness
    • Education
    • Labour Force Characteristics
    • Income
    • Personal Health Practices
    • Health Services
    • Social Support Networks
    • Social Exclusion - Racism
    • Culture
    • Physical Environment
  • Acknowledgements
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