MA Research Paper


Master of Arts




Patrick Denice

Delay of Publication



Research has demonstrated that Indigenous peoples are economically disadvantaged relative to the rest of the Canadian population. However, research on the Indigenous wage gap specifically has received little attention until recently. In this article, I draw on data from the 2016 Canadian Census to investigate differences in wages between Indigenous peoples and White Canadians, and among Indigenous groups. First Nations face the widest residual gap in wages when compared with White individuals, followed by those with Indigenous ancestry. While Indigenous women experience an 11% to 14% wage gap, only registered First Nations men experience a wage gap of approximately 16%. Additionally, Indigenous workers living in cities with a large Indigenous population face a particularly severe gap in wages. Since these findings demonstrate that sociodemographic and employment-related characteristics are unable to fully explain the gap in wages between Indigenous and White individuals, this suggests the need for broader employment equity initiatives.

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