Urbanization and Migration Patterns of Aboriginal Populations in Canada: A Half Century in Review (1951 to 2006)

Mary Jane Norris, Stewart Clatworthy



Within Canada, Aboriginal populations have historically experienced significantly different levels and patterns of urbanization and migration than mainstream populations have. This article uses data from selected censuses, along with earlier studies, to explore long-term trends in Aboriginal urbanization and migration from 1951 to 2006.Migration between reserves and urban areas, and its role in the rapid growth of Aboriginal populations in urban areas, are considered from both historical and demographic perspectives, including a "components of growth" approach that assesses the contributions of migration, natural increase, and non-demographic factors (such as ethnic mobility and Aboriginal identity). The analysis of twelve major urban areas over the fifty-five-year period, including nine Urban Aboriginal Strategy (UAS) cities, suggests a preliminary typology of Aboriginal population growth in urban areas and implications for assessing the characteristics and needs of Aboriginal populations across different urban areas and the services provided for them.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5663/aps.v1i1.8970