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Information for Indigenous Electors

Making sure that Indigenous electors can easily exercise their right to vote in a federal election is a priority for Elections Canada. Since 1990, we have been working with national and regional Indigenous organizations to make the federal electoral process more accessible to First Nations, Inuit and Métis electors. The Chief Electoral Officer continues to consult with Indigenous leaders and organizations.

Elections Canada's Inspire Democracy program seeks to reduce barriers to participating in the electoral process by offering tools, information and opportunities for electors to connect with our network and learn more about participating in federal elections. For more information, visit inspiredemocracy.ca.

Addressing the Barriers

We are working with First Nations, Inuit and Métis communities to offer better election services in their communities.

Voter Information in Indigenous languages

We continue to expand our use of Indigenous languages. Since the 2019 federal election, Elections Canada offers the Guide to the federal election and the voter ID info sheet in sixteen Indigenous languages:

  • Atikamekw
  • Blackfoot
  • Dene
  • Gwich'in
  • Inuktitut
  • Innu (Montagnais)
  • Michif
  • Mi'kmaq
  • Mohawk
  • Moose Cree
  • Nisga'a
  • Ojibwe
  • Oji-Cree
  • Plains Cree
  • Saulteaux
  • Stoney

Collaboration with Indigenous organizations

We maintain relationships with national and regional organizations. Several months before an election, returning officers reach out to Indigenous communities to start finding the best voting options. Elections Canada will work with community leaders to make sure that members can exercise their right to vote.

Elections Canada offices on post-secondary campuses

Through the Vote on Campus program, we offer special ballot voting services at numerous post-secondary institutions. We set up offices in hundreds of post-secondary campuses in all 10 provinces and three territories. This helps us extend our reach to Indigenous students and youth. Electors are able to vote at these offices regardless of where they live, making it easier for Indigenous electors to cast ballots while away from their home communities. Elections Canada was unable to deliver the Vote on Campus program during the 2021 election, but is committed to offering these services in future elections.

Community relations officers for Indigenous electors

Community relations officers work with local leaders to improve access to registration and voting in First Nations, Inuit and Métis communities. These officers give information on when, where and the ways to register and vote, as well as on the tools and services available to electors.

Our community relations officers' responsibilities include:

  • Increasing election awareness
  • Providing information on where, when and the ways to register and vote
  • Explaining the importance of registering to vote
  • Making voting as accessible as possible

Voting locations in First Nations communities

Over the past several elections, we have increased the number of advance and election day polling stations on reserves. Before each election, returning officers are tasked with reaching out to these communities to identify the options that work best for them.

Indigenous Elder and Youth Program

Through this program, we are able to offer interpretation services, help explain the voting process and answer general questions. This service is offered at any polling station that serves mainly Indigenous electors. Since the 2019 federal election, we have expanded our efforts to increase participation in this program.

Interpretation services

We offer interpretation services at all of our more than 500 Elections Canada offices open during federal elections, including our on-campus offices (except in 2021). Electors with questions about the electoral process can also call us and request service in the language of their choice. Our over-the-phone service is available in more than 100 languages, including Indigenous languages.

Voter Information Campaign

For each general election, the Voter Information Campaign gives Canadians the information they need to become a candidate, work at an election, register and vote. This social and digital campaign helps reduce barriers to voting for Indigenous people, first-time electors (youth aged 18–24 and new Canadians) and electors with disabilities. Ads for each phase of our advertising campaign appear in English, French and/or Inuktitut on Indigenous TV and radio networks and in Indigenous print publications.

Teacher resources for future electors

Through our Civic Education program, we provide teachers from all provinces and territories with learning resources, interactive tools, opportunities for professional development, and student-friendly information about elections in Canada. All our learning materials are designed in collaboration with educators, and are inquiry-based, cross-curricular and student-centered.

Some resources include Indigenous perspectives and stories that are told through historical case studies. These resources include:

You can order these and other lessons for free or download them from our dedicated learning website, electionsanddemocracy.ca.

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