Percentage of parents or guardians of children under age 6 who responded ‘excellent or very good’ when asked how they felt about members of their community being actively involved, by Indigenous identity, Canada, 2006

Source: CICH graphic created using data adapted from Statistics Canada, Aboriginal Children’s Survey, 2006. -accessed August 2, 2017.

In 2006, under half – 45% – of parents/guardians of Métis children under age 6 answered “Excellent or Very Good”. When asked how they felt about members of their community being actively involved,   The proportion was smaller for First Nations living off reserve and Inuit parents/guardians of children under age 6.

Twenty-one percent of parents/guardians of First Nations children under age 6 living off reserve felt “fair or poor” about that question. That was the case for 16% of the Métis and 23% of the Inuit parents/guardians.1

1Statistics Canada, Aboriginal Children’s Survey, 2006. August 2, 2017.


Community involvement and citizen engagement is considered key to building capacity to improve community health and well-being.2 Building community capacity is especially important in Indigenous communities for re-establishing the self-reliance and self-determination that was lost through colonial policies and practices. Community involvement and citizen engagement can strengthen collective identity and enhance a sense of belonging which contributes to the health and well-being of communities. It also builds the skills and facilitates access to the resources that are necessary for communities to be able to move forward in improving local conditions. Active involvement in the community allows communities to build on local strengths, including culture, to manage their own services and develop programs that are better able to respond to community needs.

2Ontario Health Communities Coalition. (n.d.). The healthy communities approach: A framework for action on the determinants of health. -accessed September 23, 2017.