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Whether on reserve or off, just under half of Indigenous kids live in poverty: report

Indigenous children play in water-filled ditches in a northern Ontario First Nations reserve on April 19, 2016.
Indigenous children play in water-filled ditches in a northern Ontario First Nations reserve on April 19, 2016. Nathan Denette / The Canadian Press

A new study being released today says Indigenous children are more than two times more likely to live in poverty than other children in Canada, with little improvement over the last decade.

The study from researchers at the Assembly of First Nations and the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives finds that just under half of First Nation children, both on- and off-reserve, live in poverty.

WATCH: Feb. 15 — Indigenous organization taking over CAS files involving First Nations families

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Indigenous organization taking over CAS files involving First Nations families – Feb 15, 2019

That figure rises to more than 50 per cent when looking at First Nations children living on-reserve – the highest rate of child poverty found anywhere in Canada.

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The on-reserve child-poverty rate is roughly three times the national rate of 17.6 per cent reported in the 2016 census.

READ MORE: 1 in 5 children in B.C. live in poverty — report

Taking a deeper dive into a decade of census data, the researchers find that poverty rates barely budged downward for most Indigenous communities between census counts in 2006 and 2016.

Official poverty statistics don’t examine on-reserve circumstances except during census counts, a situation the researchers say must change to better track anti-poverty efforts.