Thunder Bay Indigenous Population Far Larger Than Thought? – by James Murray ( – November 30, 2020)

Thunder Bay – Data released from a survey focused on Indigenous adults’ and children’s experiences with the health care system in Thunder Bay show communities deeply rooted in their cultural traditions and identities, while facing several systemic barriers that adversely impact their health and wellbeing.

The survey found that the size of the Indigenous population in the Thunder Bay CMA is far larger than the previous figures released by Census Canada. The survey results summarized in a set fact sheets, calculated the size of the FNIM adult population of Thunder Bay to be 29,778 (estimated range is 23,080-42,641).

These survey number are more than three times higher than the FNIM population size estimate of 9,780 reported by the 2016 census, which most FNIM in Thunder Bay reported they did not complete. Also highlighted are the strong ties that FNIM peoples in Thunder Bay have to their histories, traditions, and cultural identities.

This puts the figures at levels some have felt were more realistic, but the numbers not being reflected in official census figures mean that Thunder Bay is not going to get the federal, or provincial funding that these numbers suggest are the more accurate numbers in our population.

Among the findings:

The Indigenous adult population in Thunder Bay is 23,080-42,641, or more than three times higher than 2016 census reports.

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