Monetary Poverty in Inuit Nunangat
Keywords: poverty, income, measurement, methodology, Inuit Nunangat, Inuvialuit, Nunavut, Nunavik, Nunatsiavut, Canada
AbstractThis article measures for the first time the scope of poverty in Inuit Nunangat, the four regions of the Canadian Arctic where Inuit people live. On the basis of a monetary definition of poverty, we propose and apply a method adapted to key characteristics of the Inuit condition. For each region, we developed a low income measure (LIM) that takes household composition and consumer prices into account, using data from the master file of the 2006 Census of Canada and surveys by Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada on the Revised Northern Food Basket. For Inuit Nunangat as a whole, the low income measure was $22 216 and the low income rate (LIR) was 44%. Values vary among regions: in Nunavik, for example, the low income rate is 37.5%. However, throughout Inuit Nunangat, poverty rates are significantly higher than those observed in Canada. We recommend further statistical exploration to better identify not only the factors correlated with households living in poverty, but also a qualitative approach to produce an Inuit emic perspective. Both tools are necessary for informed policy to fight against poverty.