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Production of Additional Election Information Products in Indigenous LanguagesCEO appearance on the Main Estimates 2022-2023 before the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs

Key Messages

  • Elections Canada already develops some election information products, such as the undated Guide to the Federal Election and the Voter Identification Tear-Off Sheet, in 16 Indigenous languages (in digital format only).
  • Additional election information products, including products at local offices and polling locations, could be adapted and translated into Indigenous languages to further reduce information barriers to voting.
  • Election information products for local offices and polling locations are developed months in advance and are included in kits ready to be shipped to each electoral district (ED) once an election is called.


Election information products currently available in Indigenous languages

  • The undated Guide to the Federal Election and the Voter Identification Tear-Off Sheet are offered in the following 16 Indigenous languages on the Elections Canada website and through our outreach partners:
    • Atikamekw
    • Blackfoot
    • Dene
    • Gwich'in
    • Innu (Montagnais)
    • Inuktitut
    • Michif
    • Mi'kmaq
    • Mohawk
    • Moose-Cree
    • Nisga'a
    • Ojibway
    • Oji-Cree
    • Plains Cree
    • Saulteaux
    • Stoney

Selection of Indigenous languages for additional election information products

  • Based on Statistics Canada data on mother tongue and using the hypothetical threshold of 1 per cent of electors in an ED to offer products in an Indigenous language, election products would be developed in 17 languages spread out over 27 EDs. Based on the same data, these EDs would cover 72%-78% of Indigenous electors who have an Indigenous language as their mother tongue.
  • If measured by the use of language spoken most often at home, again using Statistics Canada data, 12 languages spread out over 18 EDs would meet a hypothetical 1 per cent threshold. These EDs would cover 82%-86% of Indigenous electors who speak an Indigenous language most often at home.
  • Elections Canada currently develops products in 11 of the 17/18 Indigenous languages mentioned above.

Election information products for local offices and polling locations that could be adapted, translated, and printed in multiple Indigenous languages ahead of an election:

  • Eligibility poster (Canadian citizens, 18 years and older...)
  • Accepted ID poster
  • Accessibility Feedback poster (+ form and box)
  • Health and safety measures posters – if required
  • Directional signage
  • Voter Identification tear-off sheets (pads)
  • Welcome to your polling place cards
  • Tent cards indicating language spoken at each table

Timeline / Considerations

  • Developing products in multiple Indigenous languages would require a longer production period and will generate minimal additional costs for translation and printing. It would make the assembly and distribution of the kits a bit more complex as they would need to be customized based on the Indigenous languages spoken in each ED.
  • Consultations with stakeholders representing Indigenous communities will be required to determine which products would best meet their needs.
  • Overall, it is estimated that approximately 6 to 8 months would be required to complete the production cycle.

Additional communication products could be developed in Indigenous languages (in digital or printed format) in the longer term. An analysis and consultations would be required to determine which products would best meet the needs of Indigenous electors.

Communication/Outreach Products:

  • Explainer videos available on the general election (GE) website
  • Infographics available on the GE website
  • Customized handbook for Indigenous Community Leaders

Other public facing products for electors:

  • On-line registration form
  • Vote by mail kits, including instructions

Tools and manuals for election workers
  • Depending on the policy, Elections Canada headquarters (ECHQ) may produce tools and manuals for election workers in Indigenous languages. This is out of scope for now.

Other Considerations

  • In some cases, contracts with suppliers may need to be amended or awarded.
  • Given the relatively low volume of documents to print, we expect minimal economies of scale, resulting in a higher cost per unit (when compared to EN/FR equivalent products).
  • Guidelines and further analysis would be needed to determine which products can be developed in the short, medium and long term.
  • ECHQ would have to carefully plan the distribution of material with returning officers ahead of the next GE. This will be particularly important for instances where kits would be specific to particular polling divisions or polling site (as opposed to a blanket distribution across the ED).