Map of Simcoe Muskoka

Determinants Of Health

Indigenous Identity

Key Messages
Simcoe Muskoka
Technical Notes
Further Reading

Key Messages

  • In the 2021 Census, 4.6% of the population or 27,200 residents in Simcoe Muskoka self-identified as Indigenous. This is a higher proportion than the 2.9% or 406,590 residents of Ontario that self-identified as Indigenous.
  • The self-identified Indigenous population living in Simcoe Muskoka grew by 12.8% from 24,115 in 2016 to 27,200 in 2021, while the overall population of Simcoe Muskoka grew by 11.0% in the same time period.
  • Of the 27,200 people who self-identified as Indigenous in Simcoe Muskoka, 13,040 (47.9%) reported a First Nation (North American Indian) identity only, 12,930 (47.5%) reported a Métis identity only, 180 (0.7%) reported an Inuk (Inuit) identity only, 500 (1.8%) reported having more than one Indigenous identity and 550 (2.0%) reported other Indigenous identities. It is important to note that identity can be complex, and individuals may identify themselves within a particular family, clan, band, Nation or in another way (Joseph, 2018; Kesler, 2020).

Simcoe Muskoka

  • The highest percentage of the population self-identifying as Indigenous in Simcoe Muskoka resided in local First Nation communities including Beausoleil First Nation, Chippewas of Rama First Nation, and Moose Deer Point. Census data are not available for Wahta Mohawk Territory.
  • Outside of First Nations communities, Census subdivisions with the highest percentage of the population self-identifying as Indigenous in Simcoe Muskoka include Penetanguishene (22.4% or 2,010 people) and Midland (14.3% or 2,495 people) in Simcoe County, and Georgian Bay (9.8% or 335 people) and Muskoka Lakes (4.3% or 325 people) in the District of Muskoka.
  • Simcoe Muskoka is also home to a large community self-identifying as Métis, with 2.2% of the total population (or 12,930 people) self-identifying as Métis. Municipalities within Simcoe Muskoka with the highest percentage of the population self-identifying as Métis included Penetanguishene (19.1% or 1,715 people), Tiny (10.9% or 1,395), Tay (10.3% or 1,135) and Midland (10.1% or 1,750).
  • Throughout Ontario, Penetanguishene (1st) is the Census subdivision with the largest Métis population, while Tiny (15th), Tay (17th), and Midland (20th) all fall within the top 20 Census subdivisions with the largest population self-identifying as Métis.

Census Subdivision with Highest Percentage of the population self-identifying as Indigenous Simcoe County

Census Subdivision with Lowest Percentage population self identifying as Indigenous Simcoe County

Percentage of Population Self-Identifying as Indigenous Muskoka

Additional analysis of Indigenous data by age, knowledge of Indigenous language, mother tongue, home language, education, employment, housing, and income will be updated as it becomes available.

Technical Notes

It is important to note that some people may identify differently from one data collection period to another. The following are some factors that may influence how people self-identify: changing attitudes about Indigenous identity, judicial decisions or anticipated legal changes, and the social climate (Statistics Canada, 2022).

Census subdivision (CSD) generally refers to municipalities (e.g. Clearview Township) as well as areas considered equivalent to municipalities for reporting census data, such as First Nations  communities (e.g. Chippewas of Rama First Nation).

Statistics Canada uses the names Moose Point 79 and Christian Island 30 and 30A to describe the geographic area of two local First Nation communities, however, we will refer to these communities by their commonly known names, Moose Deer Point and Beausoleil First Nation, respectively. These names are what most local Indigenous groups or individuals use and what we expect our readers will understand while accessing HealthSTATS. 

Census data for Wahta Mohawk Territory is not available.

Further Reading

For more information on the geographies in Canada, see:

For more information about local Indigenous communities, see:

Page last updated May 2, 2023