The indigenous peoples of Canada are sometimes referred to as Native or Aboriginal Canadians, and consist of the First Nations, Inuit, and Métis. These people account for roughly five percent of the population of Canada and the life quality of these indigenous peoples differs in many ways to the non-indigenous population. Indigenous peoples experience lower levels of education and income, higher rates of unemployment and incarnation, and poorer health, among other such disparities. Whereas around 60 percent of the non-indigenous population in Canada report their health as very good or excellent, only 49, 51 and 45 percent of the First Nations, Métis and Inuit peoples respectively perceive their health as such.
Some of the most common health conditions among First Nations adults are allergies, arthritis, high blood pressure, and diabetes. Among First Nations youth, around 8.3 percent reported having an anxiety disorder and 6.6 percent reported a mood disorder from 2015 to 2016. Mood disorders were most prevalent among the Métis and First Nations, while Inuits reported rates only slightly higher than the non-indigenous population.
The link between mental health disorders and substance abuse is well-known and substance abuse remains a relevant problem among the indigenous communities. Rates of binge drinking are higher among all three indigenous groups than among the non-indigenous population, with around 26 percent of Métis stating that they consumed five or more drinks on one occasion at least once a month in the last year as of 2011-2014. Among First Nations adults, about 30 percent stated that they used marijuana in the past 12 months as of 2015-2016, while 8 percent said that they had used cocaine or crack during this time. Nevertheless, only 5.5 percent of First Nations adults stated that they had sought and completed treatment for alcohol abuse or addiction.
Healthcare treatment is yet another aspect of health where disparities exist among indigenous groups. For example, in 2011-2014, 85 percent of non-indigenous Canadians had a regular medical doctor, compared to only 43 percent of the Inuit population. Around 85.5 percent of First Nation adults diagnosed with high blood pressure were receiving treatment as of 2015-2016, while 87.9 percent were receiving treatment for their diagnosed diabetes. The most common treatments used to manage diabetes among this group were pills, diet, exercise, and insulin, while smaller percentages used traditional medicine, traditional ceremonies, or help from a healer.
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In the following 6 chapters, you will quickly find the 46 most important statistics relating to "Indigenous health in Canada".