Executive Policy: Encouraging Indigenous Participation in the Democratic Process

Issue: 18

Dec 06, 2023
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The participation of Indigenous WG2STGD+ people in the democratic process in Canada represents a significant opportunity to address the social, political, and economic barriers facing Indigenous communities. However, thanks to a confusing democratic process and a lack of accessible information on how to vote, many Indigenous WG2STGD+ people feel they’re not heard.

NWAC’s Executive Policy Team has been hard at work to change this. It all starts with an inclusive voter’s guide that will, hopefully, encourage Indigenous WG2STGD+ people to take part in the federal election process.

The team has revamped the 2021 Voting Guide to include three new sections: planning your vote; voting accessibility; and running and supporting Indigenous candidates. Funded by Elections Canada, the 2023 Voter’s Guide will provide Indigenous WG2STGD+ people with an accessible and fully comprehensive toolkit to increase voter turnout and spur Indigenous representation in the federal political system.

We have added to the “Planning Your Vote” section, providing more information for voters on their rights as electors, how to cast a ballot on election day, and what to expect when arriving at a polling station.

We have also created a new section called “Voting Accessibility,” which we created with diverse communities in mind. Regardless of your situation, it is your right to be able to vote. Your vote does matter! In this section, voters can find information on:

  • how to vote for individuals living with disabilities
  • language and sign language availability
  • how to vote while experiencing homelessness
  • how to vote while serving a prison sentence in Canada
  • how to vote in the case of a natural disaster

To enrich the 2023 Voter’s Guide, the team interviewed four Members of Parliament to understand their experiences in running for office. This new content will provide valuable insights and practical advice for Indigenous WG2STGD+ people.

In the “Running for Candidacy” section, individuals and prospective candidates can discover insights on the candidacy process, how to leverage community support, and how voters can support their local candidates effectively.

We are thrilled to be providing Indigenous WG2STGD+ people with a new and revitalized guide that emphasizes their participation in all stages of the electoral process.