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Saskatchewan Métis-specific Census Data

By Desirae Barker

Dec 2, 2020

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Back in 2014, the Gabriel Dumont Institute (GDI) purchased specialized Census data from Statistics Canada. The specialized data took the information from the 2011 Census and provided a demographic breakdown of Métis by each Métis Nation—Saskatchewan (MN—S) region. As this data worked as an essential tool in research, reporting, and planning for the Institute, GDI has again ordered specialized data with updated numbers from the most current Census in 2016.

The data itself is a custom demographic profile for the population of the province of Saskatchewan and its 12 Métis Nation regions. Each region shows the population of Métis and demographics including; age and gender and socio-economic information including education, employment, and income.  Since 2014, GDI has used this statistical data in a number of ways. Some examples are detailed below:

The census data helps to identify Métis labour market trends, information on graduates, and potential gaps in Métis education, skills, and training. It has also been a medium for creating community profiles for each of the 12 regions. These community profiles enable the Institute to better understand various characteristics of the Saskatchewan Métis population. In terms of reporting, the census data has been used to calculate growth, prepare annual and quarterly program reports, and is extremely helpful as a metric for year-over-year comparisons. Overall, the data makes for better planning and implementation of programming as it can be used to identify the need and demand for new programs and services.

Having the data set from 2011 and 2016 will provide an effective comparison tool. However, it should be noted that the census process is a dynamic one, and for the same reason, it changes from one cycle to the next. Since the regions are stable in terms of geography, changes are minimal and would affect only a small proportion of the population. Another point to consider is that the data from 2016 is derived from a mandatory survey that had a high response rate of 96.9%, while the data from 2011 had a response rate of 68.6%. This means that the information cannot be identical but, for practical use, they are considered the same, as the most recent bordered definitions are applicable for all the data that concerns that region.

Although using data from over four years ago may seem out-of-date, it is important to know that data is typically behind by the time it becomes available. According to the Statistics Canada website and Wikipedia, after a census is conducted, it is released in data sets over the course of the following year. Statistics Canada conducts a census every five years, meaning the next available census will not take place until 2021.

The 2016 data discussed above has been purchased by the Dumont Technical Insitute (DTI) and is currently being compiled by Statistics Canada. If you are interested in these statistics and have a use for them in your department, they will be available by January 1, 2021. Please contact me at desirae.barker@gdins.gdi.org for more information.

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