Aboriginal Peoples Survey-Nunavut Inuit Supplement
Detailed information for 2017
Every 5 years
The purpose of the Aboriginal Peoples Survey-Nunavut Inuit Supplement (APS-NIS) is to learn more about the availability, interest and level of preparedness of Inuit enrolled under the Nunavut Agreement for government employment.
Survey results will be used to help find ways to increase Inuit employment in government, as required by Article 23 of the Nunavut Agreement.
Data release - November 26, 2018
The 2017 Aboriginal Peoples Survey-Nunavut Inuit Supplement (APS-NIS) was conducted between January and August 2017 as a component of the 2017 Aboriginal Peoples Survey (APS). The APS is a national survey of First Nations people living off reserve, Métis and Inuit living in Canada. The survey provides valuable data on the social and economic conditions of Aboriginal people living in Canada. The theme of the 2017 APS is participation in the economy, and was designed to gain a better understanding of the opportunities and challenges facing Aboriginal people in the labour market. For more information about the 2017 APS please see https://www.statcan.gc.ca/3250.
The APS-NIS was targeted specifically towards Inuit enrolled under the Nunavut Agreement, aged 15 years and older, and comprised a large supplementary sample of Inuit in Nunavut. An additional set of questions was included to learn more about the availability, interest and level of preparedness of Inuit enrolled under the Nunavut Agreement for government employment.
The APS-NIS was conducted by Statistics Canada, with funding provided by Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada (formerly Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada) and Employment and Social Development Canada.
Survey results will be used to help find ways to increase Inuit employment in government, as required by Article 23 of the Nunavut Agreement.
The APS-NIS asked questions about:
- Availability and interest in government employment
- Government experience outside of Nunavut
- Reasons for ending government employment
- Perceptions of past government employment
- Previous government employment applications
- Plans to apply for government employment
- Interest in training for government employment
- Plans for further education
- Skill-relevant experiences
- Language fluency for work
As part of the 2017 APS, questions were also asked about a variety of other topics:
- Factors affecting economic participation
- Labour mobility
- Post-secondary education
- Targeted skills training
- Sources of income
- Financial well-being
- Physical and mental health
- Sense of belonging
- Aboriginal peoples
- Aboriginal society and community
- Education, literacy and skills
- Health and well-being
- Households, housing and environment
- Languages and cultures
- Population characteristics
- Work, income and spending
Data sources and methodology
The target population of the 2017 APS-NIS was Inuit enrolled under the Nunavut Agreement aged 15 years and over as of January 15, 2017, who were living in private dwellings in Nunavut (at the time of the 2016 Census).
The APS-NIS selected its sample from respondents who were living in Nunavut and who reported Inuit identity to the 2016 Census long-form questionnaire. Using the 2016 Census long-form questionnaire, it was not possible to directly identify Inuit enrolled under the Nunavut Agreement. However, past survey experience indicated that many individuals reporting Inuit identity on the Census and living in Nunavut also reported being enrolled under the Nunavut Agreement on the APS. Therefore, the APS-NIS sample was selected from respondents who reported Inuit identity to the Aboriginal self-reporting question (question 18) on the census long-form questionnaire and who were living in Nunavut at the time of the 2016 Census.
All respondents from both the main APS and the APS-NIS samples who reported that they were Inuit enrolled under the Nunavut Agreement were asked questions from the main APS as well as the additional APS-NIS set of questions. These questions were developed by a Technical Working Group which included representatives from Nunavut Tunngavik Incorporated (NTI), the Government of Nunavut (GN), ESDC and Statistics Canada. They were designed to learn more from Inuit government and non-government employees, as well as those who are unemployed and not in the labour force, about interest in and availability for government employment, future employment plans, interest in training and skill relevant experiences.
Once the questions were developed, they underwent qualitative testing to ensure that they were clearly understood by respondents and would yield valid results. The APS questionnaire, excluding the APS-NIS content, was tested with First Nations people living off reserve, Métis and Inuit across Canada. For the APS-NIS specifically, the first phase of testing was conducted in Spring 2015 in Ottawa, Ontario and Iqaluit, Nunavut. The questionnaire was then modified based on testing results and a second phase of qualitative testing was conducted in Iqaluit in the Fall of 2015. Again, survey questions were revised based on observations and feedback received from these interviews. The questionnaire was finalized in December 2015.
This is a sample survey with a cross-sectional design.
The APS-NIS sample was selected from the 2016 Census of Population long-form respondents who reported an Inuit identity and who were living in Nunavut (see target population). These census respondents make up the APS-NIS frame.
Sampling design and stratification:
An important part of stratification uses the survey's domains of estimation, which are groups of units for which estimates are targeted. These domains of estimation corresponded to combinations of communities and education groups for which estimates with an "acceptable" level of precision were targeted.
More precisely, there were two education groups that were targeted:
- Having a high school diploma or some post-secondary education (including trades certificate or apprenticeship, college, university)
- Not having a high school diploma and not having any post-secondary education
When possible, estimates were targeted for each education group within a community, otherwise community-level estimates were targeted. For the APS-NIS, the domains of estimation were as follows:
- 10 communities with education-level estimates within the community
- 13 communities with community-level estimates only.
Stratification will produce more precise estimates if units are homogeneous within strata and heterogeneous between strata. To increase the efficiency of sampling, each community in Nunavut was stratified by education group. For 10 communities, the stratification corresponds to the domain of interest. For the remaining communities, this will ensure that both education groups are represented in the sample.
The APS-NIS design can be considered a two-phase design in which the first phase corresponds to the selection of the 2016 Census long-form sample and the second phase corresponds to the selection of the APS-NIS sample.
A method for allocation between the substrata of a particular domain was used which takes into account different types of sample size loss, such as expected non-response and the probability of each unit belonging to the target population.
A supplementary sample of approximately 6,400 individuals was selected in Nunavut as part of the APS-NIS, in addition to the approximately 1,500 individuals selected in Nunavut as part of the 2017 APS.
For more details on the sampling design, the domains of estimation, the stratification and the allocation, please consult the Aboriginal Peoples Survey-Nunavut Inuit Supplement, 2017: User's Guide to the Analytical File which is available through Statistics Canada's Research Data Centres (RDCs) located across the country.
For more details on the sampling design, domains of estimation, stratification and allocation of the 2017 APS, please consult the Aboriginal Peoples Survey, 2017: Concepts and Methods Guide which is available at the Related Products on the APS Integrated Metadatabase (IMDB) webpage.
Data collection for this reference period: 2017-01-16 to 2017-08-15
Responding to this survey is voluntary.
Data are collected directly from survey respondents and extracted from administrative files.
Before the start of collection, introductory letters explaining the purpose of the survey were sent to the selected respondents.
The questions in the 2017 APS-NIS were administered in a computer assisted interviewing (CAI) environment. In Nunavut, Computer Assisted Personal Interviews (CAPI) were used.
The Computer Assisted Interviewing applications were programmed in English and French. For Inuit regions, the questionnaire was also translated as a paper copy into Inuktitut and Inuinnaqtun for reference. Survey questions and on-screen help instructions were also provided in the Inuit languages.
The time required to complete the survey varied from person to person. In some cases, the 2017 APS-NIS interview took up to an hour or more to finish, but on average the survey took about 40 minutes to complete.
The questionnaires were designed to be answered by the selected person him/herself. Proxy interviews were acceptable in some circumstances, such as when the selected respondent was not able to answer due to mental or physical health, due to a language barrier, or because the selected respondent was absent from home for the duration of the survey. Any member of the household over the age of 18 could act as a proxy for the selected respondent and answered the survey for them. For individuals between the ages of 15 and 17, interviews were conducted directly with the youth only with the prior approval of the individual's parent or guardian. Where approval was not provided the data were collected through proxy from the parent or guardian.
Content of analytical file:
The APS-NIS analytical file includes Inuit enrolled under the Nunavut Agreement, both living in and outside Nunavut, who were selected for the main APS, as well as those selected for the APS-NIS. The final data file includes a total of 6,117 respondents, which allows for the production of community level estimates that were targeted for the APS-NIS.
The sample for the APS-NIS was selected from respondents to the 2016 Census who reported that they were Inuit and living in Nunavut. At the time of data collection, all census respondents were informed that the information they provided might be used to support other Statistics Canada surveys. At the beginning of the APS-NIS survey interview, respondents were also informed about Statistics Canada's intention to combine information collected during the 2016 Census of Population with the information provided in the APS-NIS. Respondents were able to choose not to have their data linked to other surveys or administrative data sources.
The benefits of an APS-NIS-Census record linkage are reduced response burden for the target population of the APS-NIS, the derivation of survey weights which are crucial to providing valid estimates, and the creation of a comprehensive microdata file which can be used by data analysts to extend their learning and to inform policy and program development for Inuit enrolled under the Nunavut Agreement.
The final edited APS-NIS master microdata file was linked with the 2016 Census of Population Dissemination Database. More than 200 census variables were added to the final APS-NIS file.
All products containing linked data are disseminated in accordance with Statistics Canada's policies, guidelines and standards. Only aggregate statistical estimates that conform to the confidentially provisions of the Statistics Act are released.
View the Questionnaire(s) and reporting guide(s) .
Responses to survey questions were captured directly by the interviewer at the time of the interview using a computerized questionnaire. A computerized questionnaire reduces processing time and costs associated with data entry, transcription errors and it reduces data transmission.
Some editing of data was done directly at the time of the interview. Specifically, where a particular response appeared to be inconsistent with previous answers or outside of expected values, the interviewer was prompted, through message screens on the computer, to confirm answers with the respondent and, if needed, to modify the information.
Following survey collection, data were processed using a set of social survey processing tools developed at Statistics Canada called the "Social Survey Processing Environment" (SSPE). The SSPE involves SAS software programs, custom applications and manual processes to convert the electronic questionnaire responses from their initial raw format to a high-quality, user-friendly database involving a comprehensive set of variables for analysis. A series of data operations was executed to clean files of inadvertent errors, rigorously edit the data for consistency, code open-ended questions, create useful variables for data analysis, and finally to systematize and document the variables for ease of analytical usage.
For the 2017 APS-NIS, a series of important imputations was conducted in relation to Aboriginal identity classifications. For example, those with missing data for questions ID_Q10 on Aboriginal identity group, were imputed values based on their responses to the census. For those who self-reported as an Aboriginal person on APS question ID_Q05 but who did not report any specific Aboriginal group in ID_Q10, an imputation was also conducted based on the respondent's answer to the Census.
Before creating the initial weights, approximately 1,500 individuals reporting Inuit identity on the census and selected for the main APS sample in Nunavut were added to the Aboriginal Peoples Survey-Nunavut Inuit Supplement (APS-NIS) sample of approximately 6,400 individuals to form the combined sample.
The initial weight of a unit in the combined sample corresponds to the product of two components: the inverse of the selection probability for the combined sample (i.e. inverse of the probability of being selected for either the main APS or the APS-NIS) and the census long-form weight corrected for non-response and overlap with other surveys. Given the various complexities in combining the two samples, a simulation study was conducted in order to properly calculate the selection probability of a unit being selected in the combined sample. The inverse of this selection probability could then be multiplied with the census long-form weight in order to obtain the initial weight of units in the combined sample.
The weights were then adjusted for non-response. Two adjustments were made for two types of non-response: non-contact and non-response with contact (mainly refusals). First, a logistic regression model was constructed for each adjustment to predict the probabilities of being contacted or of responding when contacted on the basis of Census variables and collection variables known as "paradata" (number of contact attempts, for example). Second, respondents and non-respondents with similar predicted response probabilities were assigned to adjustment classes using cluster analysis. Third, the inverse of the weighted response rate in a class was used as the adjustment factor for that class, and the weights of the responding units within the class were adjusted accordingly.
Next, two post-stratification adjustments were made. The first post-stratification ensured that the sample did not under represent or over represent certain combinations of community and education group from the Census. The second post-stratification ensured that the Inuit identity population estimated from the APS-NIS questions corresponded to the population defined from the Census questions within each post-stratum defined by the cross-tabulation of community and education group. Note that although the analytical file only contains Inuit enrolled under the Nunavut Agreement, the post-stratification was done for all Inuit since this is the population for which Census counts are available.
The Sigma-gap method was then used to detect and reduce excessively large weights within each post-stratum. After the weights were sorted in descending order, the excessively large weights were reduced to the value of the first non-outlier weight. The mass of the reduced weights was then redistributed proportionally within the post-strata.
When removing Inuit who were not enrolled under the Nunavut Agreement from the analytical file, a final adjustment was made to account for non-response to screening questions identifying individuals enrolled under the Nunavut Agreement on the survey questionnaire. When answers to these screening questions were missing, it was not possible to know whether the individual reporting Inuit identity was enrolled or not under the Nunavut Agreement. Therefore, weights of respondents were increased proportionally within each post-stratum to account for the non-response to the screening questions.
Lastly, individuals enrolled under the Nunavut Agreement that were part of the main APS sample but who lived outside of Nunavut were added to the analytical file with their final weight, calculated for the main APS, and then adjusted to account for non-response to the screening questions identifying individuals enrolled under the Nunavut Agreement on the survey questionnaire.
For the APS-NIS, the bootstrap method was used to calculate the variance. For the sole purpose of calculating the variance, the 2016 Census was seen to have two phases: the initial sample of approximately 1 in 4 dwellings as the first phase and census respondents as the second phase. Although the final response rate was quite high for the 2016 Census (97.8% for the long form), this second phase ensures that the variance calculation takes into account the non-response that occurred. The two phases of the Census were later combined into a single phase. The combined sample was treated as a second phase, and then the general bootstrap method for two-phase sampling developed for the 2006 APS was used (see Langlet, É., Beaumont, J.-F., and Lavallée, P. 2008. "Bootstrap Methods for Two-Phase Sampling Applicable to Postcensal Surveys". Paper submitted to Statistics Canada's Advisory Committee on Statistical Methods, May 2008, Ottawa). When using the general bootstrap method for two-phase sampling, it should be noted that for the sole purpose of calculating the variance, individuals in Nunavut in the combined sample that were selected for the main APS sample were assumed to have been selected using the same stratification as the supplementary sample of the APS-NIS (community and education group).
For the APS-NIS, 1000 sets of bootstrap weights were generated using this method. The method can lead to negative bootstrap weights. To overcome this problem, a transformation was done on the bootstrap weights that reduced their variability. Therefore, the variance calculated on these transformed bootstrap weights has to be multiplied by a factor that is a function of a certain parameter, called phi. The value of the parameter corresponds to the smallest integer that makes all bootstrap weights positive. For the APS-NIS, this parameter has a value of 4. The variances calculated on the transformed bootstrap weights have to be multiplied by four squared, that is 16. In addition, the CVs obtained (square root of the variance divided by the estimate itself) have to be multiplied by 4.
Differences between the APS-NIS and other data sources:
Due to a number of differences in methodology between the 2017 APS-NIS and other Statistics Canada surveys, comparisons of data between these surveys are not recommended.
APS-NIS and the 2017 APS:
The Aboriginal Peoples Survey-Nunavut Inuit Supplement (APS-NIS) was conducted in 2017 as part of the 2017 Aboriginal Peoples Survey. Two analytical files were produced from the survey for release to the public due to differences in survey objectives, sampling design, survey questions and question order.
APS-NIS vs 2017 APS: differences in survey objectives
The Aboriginal Peoples Survey is a national survey of First Nations people living off reserve, Métis and Inuit living in Canada. The objective of the survey is to add to the knowledge on a broad range of topics, including employment, education, health, language, income, housing and mobility of Aboriginal people in all provinces and territories. Questions were asked of First Nations people living off reserve, Métis and Inuit.
While these questions are also important for Inuit enrolled under the Nunavut Agreement (also referred to as Nunavut Inuit), the primary objective of the APS-NIS is to learn more about the availability, interest and preparedness of Nunavut Inuit for government employment in Nunavut. To meet this objective, in addition to a supplementary sample of Inuit in Nunavut, a supplementary set of questions was developed and asked only of those who identified as Inuit enrolled under the Nunavut Agreement.
APS-NIS vs 2017 APS: differences in sampling design
There are many methodological differences between the 2017 APS and the APS-NIS. Most importantly, the populations covered by each survey are not the same. The APS-NIS only includes data for Inuit enrolled under the Nunavut Agreement while the main APS includes data for all Inuit (and all other Aboriginal identity groups).
Moreover, the domains of interest and sampling strata were not the same for the two surveys. The 2017 APS sample was selected based on domains of interest defined using geography (Inuit regions and provinces/territories), Aboriginal group and age group. In comparison, the APS-NIS sample was selected based on domains of interest defined by communities in Nunavut and education groups. In fact, the 2017 APS was designed to produce estimates at the Nunavut level whereas the APS-NIS was designed to produce community-level estimates where possible.
The domains of interest for each survey also impacted the weighting strategy. For the 2017 APS, the post-stratification produced weights so that population counts by geography (Inuit regions and provinces/territories), Aboriginal identity and age group matched 2016 Census totals. For the APS-NIS, the variables used for post-stratification were community and education group. The difference in the weighting strategies can create differences between the estimates produced for the two surveys.
More information on the methodology of the 2017 APS can be found in the Aboriginal Peoples Survey, 2017: Concepts and Methods Guide.
APS-NIS vs 2017 APS: differences in survey questions
The 2017 APS questionnaire collected information from First Nations people living off reserve, Métis and Inuit on topics related to labour, health, education, skills, training and economic well-being. Inuit enrolled under the Nunavut Agreement were asked the same questions but were also asked a set of questions designed to assess the availability, interest and preparedness of Nunavut Inuit for government employment. Responses to these questions appear only on the APS-NIS analytical file.
APS-NIS vs 2017 APS: differences in question order
As mentioned, Inuit enrolled under the Nunavut Agreement were asked an additional set of questions designed to assess the availability, interest and preparedness of Nunavut Inuit for government employment. For a given individual, the supplement questions were asked either at the end of the main APS questionnaire or in the middle of the questionnaire depending on whether they had been selected as part of the main APS sample or as part of the APS-NIS sample respectively. Decisions about the location of the APS-NIS questions were determined by the survey sponsors and were based on the different priorities for each of the survey samples (the main APS sample versus the APS-NIS sample).
Following survey collection, Statistics Canada conducted extensive analysis to evaluate whether any significant differences existed in the estimates produced from the two different question flows. The analysis showed that, although some differences were observed between the main APS estimates and the APS-NIS estimates, it was concluded that combining the main APS respondents with the APS-NIS respondents had minimal impact on the APS-NIS estimates.
APS-NIS vs 2017 APS: recommendations
The above overview of the different characteristics of the APS and the APS-NIS should be assumed to affect the ability to compare estimates between the two analytical files. For these reasons, comparison of APS data to APS-NIS data is not recommended.
All information that is publicly disseminated by Statistics Canada will reference the target population covered in the analysis (e.g., Inuit versus Inuit enrolled under the Nunavut Agreement, also referred to as Nunavut Inuit). It is strongly recommended that researchers do the same in any documents that are shared with the public.
2017 APS-NIS and the 2016 Census:
The Census and the APS-NIS are both rich sources of information on Inuit that complement each other. The APS-NIS takes concepts that are touched on in the Census and asks in-depth questions in order to provide more detailed information. For instance, the Census provides information about education and labour market activities (e.g. labour force status, class of worker, industry, occupation and work activity during the reference year). The APS-NIS provides an opportunity to obtain more detailed information from Nunavut Inuit about their experiences with government employment, interest in government employment, plans to apply, interest in training and language of work.
However, as with the main APS, a key difference between the APS-NIS and the Census is that the target population of the APS-NIS consists of Inuit enrolled under the Nunavut Agreement. Although the 2016 Census can provide information on Inuit across Canada, it is not possible to identify those enrolled under the Nunavut Agreement. For this reason, population estimates produced using the APS-NIS should not be compared with population estimates produced using the 2016 Census.
It is also important to note that, in some cases, for a given individual, the Aboriginal identity reported may differ between the Census and the APS-NIS. There are a number of reasons why Aboriginal identity may not be the same on both surveys. The differences could be the results of the following factors:
- Different interview methods
- Proxy effect
- Different questionnaires
- Different contexts
- Effect of time
The differences between the Census and the APS-NIS should be assumed to affect the ability to compare estimates between the two analytical files. For these reasons, comparisons should not be made between estimates from the 2016 Census and the 2017 APS-NIS.
Statistics Canada is prohibited by law from releasing any information it collects which could identify any person, business, or organization, unless consent has been given by the respondent or as permitted by the Statistics Act. Various confidentiality rules are applied to all data that are released or published to prevent the publication or disclosure of any information deemed confidential. If necessary, data are suppressed to prevent direct or residual disclosure of identifiable data.
Revisions and seasonal adjustment
This methodology type does not apply to this survey.
Two types of errors occur in surveys: sampling errors and non-sampling errors.
The sampling error measure used for the APS-NIS is the coefficient of variation (CV) of the estimate, which is the standard error of the estimate divided by the estimate itself. In this survey, when the CV of an estimate is less than or equal to 16.6%, the estimate can be used without restriction. When the CV is greater than 16.6% but less than or equal to 33.3%, the estimate will be accompanied by the letter "E" to indicate that the data should be used with caution. When the CV of an estimate is greater than 33.3%, or if an estimate is based on less than 10 units, the cell estimate will be replaced by the letter "F" to indicate that the estimate was suppressed for reliability reasons.
Non-sampling errors arise primarily from the following sources: non-response, coverage, measurement and processing. The response rate for the supplementary sample of the APS-NIS was 84.5%. Total non-response will produce a bias if non-respondents have different characteristics from respondents and if non-response is not corrected properly. Non-response adjustments, combined with a relatively high response rate, helped reduce this risk of bias substantially. Non-response to specific questions is often due to difficulty understanding the questions. Thorough quality reviews and questionnaire testing were carried out before the survey, which reduced the extent of partial non-response. Cases in which there was a large proportion of missing responses to key questions were treated as a special form of total non-response.
Coverage errors occur when there are differences between the target population and the sampled population (or survey population). In particular, under-coverage can be problematic. Because the APS-NIS sample was selected from those who had participated in the 2016 Census, individuals who did not participate in the census could not be sampled for the APS-NIS. If this group of individuals is significantly different than the ones who participated in the census with respect to the characteristics measured in the APS-NIS, a bias could be introduced. This bias is assumed to be relatively small given the very high response rate obtained in the census (97.8% response rate for the long form).
Measurement errors occur when the response provided differs from the real value. Such errors may be attributable to the respondent, the interviewer, the questionnaire or the collection method, for example. For the 2017 APS-NIS, every effort was made to develop questions that would be understandable, relevant and appropriate for respondents. Other measures were also taken, including the use of skilled interviewers, extensive training of interviewers, and observation and monitoring of interviewers.
Processing errors may occur at various stages, including data capture, coding and editing. Quality control procedures were applied at every stage of data processing to reduce this type of error.