The Aboriginal population is growing at a rate four times faster than the rest of Canada. With children ages 14 and under making up 28 percent of the total Aboriginal population and seven percent of all children in Canada, this generation plays a key role in Canada’s future.
But many Aboriginal families face barriers to accessing the necessities that most people take for granted: quality education, clean water, housing, and food security. Schools on First Nations reserves are underfunded, and housing for both First Nations and Inuit communities is often overcrowded or in need of repair. As of April 2015, 94 First Nations communities were under advisory not to drink the contaminated tap water. Food insecurity in Canadian Arctic communities is five to six times the national average, with many people struggling to feed their families.
Despite these challenges, Aboriginal individuals and communities are a vibrant part of Canadian society, innovating in the field of arts, business, athletics, politics and the environment. Since 1994, the Indspire Awards have honored more than 300 First Nations, Métis and Inuit Canadians for their outstanding contributions. First Nations, Métis and Inuit people continue to represent Canada nationally and internationally as Olympians, Members of Parliament and award-winning artists, scientists and entrepreneurs.