Statistics Canada reports high rates of disability among Inuit, Métis, and off-reserve First Nations people

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      Canada's Indigenous population is significantly younger, on average, than the population as whole.

      Yet First Nations, Métis, and Inuit people living off reserve still have high rates of disability, according to a new study by Statistics Canada.

      Based on information gathered from the 2017 Aboriginal Peoples Survey, four in 10 First Nations living off reserve and Métis had a "severe" or "very severe" disability. One in three Inuit reported having this.

      Moreover, one in five First Nations people living off reserve and Métis had a pain-related disability, compared to just over one in 10 Inuit.

      "Mental health-related disabilities were the second most common type among all three Indigenous groups, with 14% of First Nations people living off reserve and 13% of Métis having this type of disability," Statistics Canada stated. "Among Inuit, the proportion was 6%."

      People with disabilities are defined as those "who experience limitations in their everyday activities as a result of a long-term condition or health-related problem".

      The average age of Inuit people was 28 years old in 2017, according to Statistics Canada, whereas the average age of First Nations people was 31 and Métis was 35. 

      The average age of non-Indigenous people was 41.

      "Disability increased with age among First Nations people living off reserve, Métis and Inuit," Statistics Canada stated. "Among all three Indigenous groups, disability rates among men and women aged 40 and older were higher than those of people aged 15 to 24. Exceptions to this were found among Métis women and Inuit men, where an increase in disability was observed among those aged 55 years and older."

      Statistics Canada has previously reported that 22 percent of Canada's population of people 15 years of age or older had a disability in 2017, with those related to pain, flexibility, mobility, and mental health being the most common.

      "Persons with more severe disabilities (28%) aged 25 to 64 years old were more likely to be living in poverty (as measured by the Market Basket Measure) than their counterparts without disabilities (10%) or with milder disabilities (14%)," the agency stated last year.