Stats rate Inuit well-being as close to First Nations

Nunavik communities rack up worst score


The “well-being” levels of Inuit in Canada are closer to First Nations than to other Canadian communities, says a report called The well-being of Inuit communities in Canada, which was released earlier this week.

It found that since the 1991 census-measured levels of well-being have increased in Inuit communities, although gaps between Inuit and First Nations and other Canadians have also increased.

The study was paid for by the federal government and used statistics from 1991, 1996 and 2001. Researchers determined the level of well-being by looking at income, education, housing and employment in 51 Inuit communities.

The study used the United Nations Human Development Index. Overall, Inuit communities’ rated about the same as the “middle-developed” countries of Saudi Arabia or Brazil.

Of the four Inuit regions, the Inuvialuit settlement region’s well-being ranked highest, followed by Labrador, Nunavut and Nunavik.

Of the four Inuit regions, Nunavik’s score, .67 out of 1.00, was the worst.

That’s because Nunavik had the lowest scores of all in income, education and housing. Nunavik also had half of the 14 lowest-scoring communities.

The largest variation between the regions were for education and housing, and in both of these areas Nunavik ranked the lowest.

Nunavik did, however, score highest with respect for involvement in the labour force. Labrador had the highest level of education, but lowest participation in the labour force.

Overall, the research found Inuit communities tend to share more “even levels” of well-being than First Nations, for which the study says the gap between the “have” and “have not” communities is wider.

But levels of well-being in Inuit communities are closer to those found in First Nations communities than in other Canadian communities overall.

The well-being of Inuit communities fall about midway between First Nations and other Canadian communities with respect to income, slightly behind First Nations on education, slightly above First Nations on housing and very close to other Canadian communities on involvement in the labour force.

The vast majority of Inuit communities saw an increase in their well-being, although a few communities experienced a decline.

But the largest increase of well-being in Inuit communities was less than that found in both First Nations and other Canadian communities.

The research found that the average Inuit community scored lower with respect to the quantity of its housing than First Nations communities. “This pattern highlights the significance of the issues associated with crowding in Inuit communities.”

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