Self-rated health status (good, very good or excellent) among Indigenous and non-Indigenous children under 6 years of age, Canada, 2006

Source: CICH graphic created using data adapted from the Indigenous Children’s Health Report: Health Assessment in Action, 2009, Janet Smylie & Paul Adomako using data from the 2006 Aboriginal Children’s Survey and 2006 National Longitudinal Study on Children and Youth. -accessed July 28, 2017.

In 2006, the majority (96-97%) of parents and guardians of First Nations children living off reserve, Inuit children and Métis children under 6 years of age reported their child’s general health was good, very good or excellent.

This was very similar to that of non-Indigenous children under age 6.


Self-rated health status is a subjective assessment of health status used in the public health field to rate one’s perceived health on a scale ranging from excellent to poor. It is considered to be consistent with objective health status and an adequate global measure of health status in the general population because of its relationship to prevalence of diagnosed diseases and health-related factors regarded as risks.1 However, because self-rated health status is a subjective measure and different ethnic groups and cultures may assess self-rated health status differently,2 some people may perceive their health in positive terms and over-estimate their health due to other personal and environmental factors. In Indigenous populations, health is not necessarily perceived of in terms of the absence of illness, but rather holistically as maintaining a balance between physical, emotional, mental and spiritual/cultural dimensions.3

1Wu, S., Wang, R., Zhao, Y., Ma, X., Wu, M., &an, X,. & He, J. (2013). The relationship between self-rated health and objective health status: A population-based study. BMC Public Health, 13, 320.
2Bombak, A.E., & Bruce, S.G. (2012). Self-rated health and ethnicity: Focus on Indigenous populations. International Journal of Circumpolar Health, 71, 10.3402/ijch.v71i0.18538.
3Loiselle, M., & McKenzie, L. (2006). The wellness wheel: An Aboriginal contribution to social work. Waterloo, ON: Paper presented at Breaking barriers and creating common ground through a holistic approach: The Medicine Wheel, the First North-American Conference on Spirituality and Social Work, May 27. Retrieved October 10, 2017 from