Elections Canada logo
Site menu

First Nations, Métis, and Inuit electors

Indigenous people in Canada consist of First Nations, Inuit and Métis communities. Each has its own history and experience with voting in federal elections. Members of all three groups, however, identify similar barriers to electoral participation.

Access-related barriers

Motivational barriers

As noted above, each of Canada's First Nations, Inuit and Métis communities have their own unique history and experiences with federal elections. These histories have affected how many Indigenous electors view federal elections, and influence their decision to participate - or not to participate.

In recent federal elections, Indigenous participation has increased in some areas. Notably, the 2015 general election saw the smallest gap between on-reserve turnout and general population turnout since 2004. The same election saw the highest-ever number of Indigenous Members of Parliament elected. While on-reserve turnout declined by nearly 10 percentage points in the 2019 federal election, it nevertheless remained higher than it had been throughout the 2000s.

Despite some progress, many First Nations, Métis, and Inuit electors continue to experience barriers like those listed above.

First Nations, Métis, and Inuit electors

Dabin, Simon, Jean François Daoust and Martin Papillon. 2018. « Indigenous Peoples and Affinity Voting in Canada. » Forthcoming in Canadian Journal of Political Science.

Goodman, Nicole, Chelsea Gabel and Brian Budd. 2018. « Online Voting in Indigenous Communities: Lessons from Canada. » International Joint Conference on Electronic Voting: E-Vote ID 2018. [Abstract, Voilà]

Elections Canada. 2011. « Aboriginal Electoral Participation in Canada »

Elections Canada. 2009. « Aboriginal Policy Research Conference »

Elections Canada. 2003. Electoral Insight - Aboriginal Participation in Elections