Canadian Environmental Health Atlas

Understanding Our Environment is Key to Promoting Health and Preventing Disease

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Key Points

Aboriginal Community Well-Being

• To capture the multiple social and economic factors associated with community
   well-being, researchers have used indices based on composite indicators to measure
   well-being at national and regional levels.

• The Community Well-Being (CWB) Index was developed to measure well-being in
   Canadian Aboriginal communities, which are populated by First Nations, Metis, and
   Inuit peoples.

• The CWB Index combines Canadian Census data about income, education, housing,
   and labour force activity, and uses this information to calculate a community
   well-being score from a low of 0 to a high of 100.

• Large disparities exist between non-Aboriginal and Aboriginal communities; many
   First Nations, Metis, and Inuit have substantially lower standards of living than other

• Overall scores for well-being in Canada increased between 1981and 2006, but a large
   gap still exists between the non-Aboriginal and Aboriginal communities, with 96 First
   Nations communities scoring among the lowest 100 Canadian communities.