Statistics Canada defines crowded housing as the proportion of persons living in homes with more than one person per room43. The number of rooms is calculated by counting the kitchen, bedrooms, living room and finished basement rooms but excluding bathrooms, halls, laundry room and attached sheds. Therefore, a typical three-bedroom house with a living room and a kitchen would be deemed able to accommodate five individuals and the same dwelling would be defined as crowded if six or more individuals were residing in it.
Figure 62 demonstrates the much higher proportion of First Nations living in crowded homes in comparison to their non-Aboriginal counterparts. While less than five per cent of the population in Alberta and Canada lives in a crowded house, 17.7 per cent of First Nations in Alberta do and the proportion is much higher for First Nations living on-reserve––almost one in three individuals.
Figures 63 to 65 provide information for First Nations communities in Alberta within each Treaty area. The graphs show that issues around crowded housing vary considerably by communities. Figure 60 provides the proportion of dwellings for each of the First Nations communities in Treaty 6 that participated in the 2006 Census. In Treaty 6, crowded housing varies from just under 10 per cent of the dwellings in Ermineskin and Samson to 38.5 per cent of the houses in Paul First Nation.
Figure 64 shows the results for the Treaty 7 First Nations communities. As with the Treaty 6 communities, the issues of crowded housing are felt quite differently across communities ranging from 7 per cent in Siksika to 30.8 per cent in Eden Valley.
Figure 65 provides the information for Treaty 8 communities. As with the other Treaty areas, the issues of crowded housing vary significantly across communities ranging from four communities where crowded housing is not an issue to Little Red River where 44.2 per cent of the dwellings are crowded.
43Aboriginal peoples in Canada in 2006: Inuit, Métis and First Nations, catalogue no. 97-558-XIE , 2006 Census, Statistics Canada, 2008