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Health Equity

Indigenous Status



… of Simcoe Muskoka’s population, reported identifying themselves with at least one Indigenous group.*

In Canada, people who identify as being part of the First Nations, Métis, or Inuit communities experience an unequal burden of ill health compared to non-indigenous people. These differences in health are the result of colonialization (residential schools, government assimilation policies) leading to physical and emotional harms to children, lower education, and loss of culture and language. Indigenous people experience higher rates of obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

*Includes persons who reported being an Aboriginal person, that is, First Nations (North American Indian), Métis or Inuk (Inuit) and/or those who reported Registered or Treaty Indian status that is registered under the Indian Act of Canada and/or those who reported membership in a First Nation or Indian band. Aboriginal peoples of Canada are defined in the Constitution Act, 1982, section 35 (2) as including the Indian, Inuit and Métis peoples of Canada.

What can be done?

You can: Learn about the effect of colonialization on Canada’s indigenous people.

Communities can: Make a territorial or land acknowledgement as an act of reconciliation that involves making a statement recognizing the traditional territory of the Indigenous people who called the land home before the arrival of settlers, and in many cases still do call it home. This can be done publicly to pay tribute to these Indigenous groups during opening ceremonies at civic events or educational lectures.

Governments can:

  • Implement the Calls to Action from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission report
  • Provide culturally appropriate health care.


National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation

A Knock on the Door: The Essential History of Residential Schools from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada

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