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OTHER ITA SITES:
Aboriginal Elders Are Important In Canadian Aboriginal Heritage Preservation
While Canadian aboriginal seniors make up a very tiny percentage of the overall senior population in Canada they are a key link to culture and language in their communities. This trend will continue as Canadian Aboriginal Seniors increase in both numbers and percentages of the Canadian Aboriginal community with improvements in health care and life expectancy.
“Seniors are revered in many aboriginal communal cultures for their knowledge and experiences, and the integral rile that they place in the vitality and well being of their families , communities and nations “, says a Statistics Canada Government Report titled “ A Portrait of Seniors in Canada”.
“Aboriginal people turn to their elders as key sources of traditional knowledge, wisdom and community continuity”.
“The Portrait of Seniors “ Statistics Canada report used data in part gathered from the official Government of Canada 2001 census.
The government Stats Canada Report which used data from the official Canadian Government Census looked at the wellness of people aged 65 and over across Canada. The report included a section which specifically focused on Canadian Aboriginal Seniors.
What was found was that aboriginal languages are much more prevalent among Canadian Aboriginal Seniors and that is in part why they are a direct link and linkage to Canadian Aboriginal culture and heritage.
Though Canadian Aboriginals make up only one percent of the total Canadian Aboriginal population. However as life expectancy rates improve with improvements in healthcare and health infrastructure development as well as training these numbers are expected to rise while falling birth rates will tend to concentrate the existing group of Aboriginal Seniors as a percentage among the Canadian “First Nations”.
In total there are approximately 40,000 Aboriginal Seniors in Canada. The largest number live in the province of Ontario, followed by British Columbia, and Manitoba.
In terms of the percentage of Aboriginal Seniors in the total senior population, the provinces of Manitoba and Saskatchewan led the way among the Canadian provinces with four percent and three percent respectively.
“Aboriginal seniors made up a far greater percentage of the total senior population in the North of Canada in the Northwest Territories and the Yukon.”
But Aboriginal Seniors face lower life expectancies rates than non-Aboriginal seniors with aboriginal women outliving aboriginal men,
Although low in percentages and total numbers Canadian Aboriginal seniors will increase in both numbers and percentages over the coming years as life expectancy increases. This group has and will continue to expert an ever increasing important role in the cultural preservation of Aboriginal culture in Canada.
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