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ISBN (Print) : 978-1-988862-76-7 | ISBN (Online) : 978-1-988862-77-4


Poverty as a social determinant of First Nations, Inuit, and Métis health

March 2020

Poverty and ill-health are inextricably linked. The lower an individual’s socio-economic status, the poorer their health. The burden of poverty falls most heavily on certain groups, including women, children, lone-parent led families, ethnic and minority groups, including Indigenous peoples. Due to the enduring impacts of colonialism, Indigenous peoples are among the poorest populations in Canada. As a result, they experience a disproportionate burden of ill-health.

This fact sheet explores poverty as a determinant of health for First Nations, Inuit and Métis individuals, families and communities. It provides an overview of the various ways poverty can be measured. It then examines the prevalence of poverty among Indigenous peoples, the various ways it can be manifested and experienced by Indigenous peoples, and how these manifestations influence Indigenous health and well-being. The fact sheet concludes with a discussion of various types of poverty reduction strategies that have had some success in Indigenous contexts.

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