Fraser Forum

Metis achieve success in Canada without big money from government

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Statistics Canada recently released its 2015 Aboriginal Peoples Fact Sheet for Canada, which found that the Metis have the highest employment rate and the highest rates of post-secondary completion out of all aboriginal Canadians.

While the Metis still have employment and graduation rates that are lower than the non-aboriginal population, they are closer to closing those gaps than other aboriginal groups.

For example, in 2011, the First Nation population had an unemployment rate of 17 per cent while the Metis unemployment rate was much lower (nine per cent) and closer to the non-aboriginal rate of six per cent. Additionally, the Metis tend to have a better educational standing than the First Nations and Inuit. In 2011, 55 per cent of Metis had a certificate, diploma or degree from a trade school, college or university, whereas 45 per cent of First Nations people had completed post-secondary education (see table below). This translates into 78.4 per cent of Metis graduates that are able to find employment with some type of post-secondary education.

In contrast, 52.6 per cent of Metis without any type of certification were employed compared to 37.3 per cent for First Nations and 44.9 per cent for Inuit (see table below), further demonstrating the encouraging socioeconomic position of the Metis compared to other aboriginal populations.

Interestingly, Metis people in Canada have achieved these results without large funding transfers from governments. A 2013 Fraser Institute study on government spending for aboriginal people notes that Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada (AANDC) spent $25.6 million on Metis rights management and Metis and non-status Indian “organizational and capacity development” in 2011/12. This amounts to 0.3 per cent of AANDC’s $7.9 billion in spending on aboriginal affairs for that year.

The Statistics Canada data demonstrate that as the Metis reflect on their heritage and past, they can also look to the future—one which looks increasingly promising.


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