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Q: What is the Congress of Aboriginal Peoples?

The Congress of Aboriginal Peoples (CAP) is a nationally incorporated umbrella organization that advocates for the rights and interests of Aboriginal Peoples in Canada.  CAP also represents the interests, nationally, of its provincial and territorial affiliate organizations across Canada. Its head office in Ottawa is the center of operations for its National Chief and staff who work on a range of Aboriginal issues. The Congress itself does not have individual memberships or provide programs and services directly to individuals.

Q: How long has the Congress of Aboriginal Peoples been in existence?

CAP was originally called the Native Council of Canada and was founded in 1971. Throughout this time, the Congress of Aboriginal Peoples has been the voice for the rights and interests of the off-reserve Non-Status and Status Indians, Métis Peoples and the Southern Inuit of Labrador.

Q: How many Aboriginal Peoples are estimated to live in Canada?

An estimated 1.4 million people report an Aboriginal identity, based on the 2011 National Household Survey by Statistics Canada. This accounts for 4.3% of the Canadian population. Of these, 851,560 identified as a First Nations person; 451,795 people identified as Métis and 59,445 identified as Inuit.

Q: How many Aboriginal people currently live off-reserve?

As of 2011, over 1 million people of Aboriginal identity were living off-reserve.

Q: Who are the Métis?

The Métis are one of the Aboriginal peoples in Canada who trace their descent to mixed First Nations and European heritage. The term was historically a catch-all describing the offspring of any such union, but within generations the culture syncretized into what is today a distinct aboriginal group, with formal recognition equal to that of the Inuit and First Nations.