First Nations in Canada are at the forefront of experimenting with new forms of self-government and institutional design. As part of these developments, a number of communities are interested to try new digital technologies such as Internet voting. We want to understand the role of digital technologies in First Nations communities. Our research engages a number of First Nations communities that have either used, or plan to implement digital technology for community consultations within the coming years. By working together we hope to answer important questions about how such technologies impact participation and governance in these communities.
The objective of this report is to explore the opportunities and challenges online voting presents for participation and governance in Indigenous communities across Canada. Using a community-engaged research approach, the report draws on the experiences of three First Nations: Tsuut’ina Nation, Wasauksing First Nation, and Nipissing First Nation. Overall, the report finds that online voting is appealing to First Nations as a way to enhance participation, self-determination and governance. In particular, it can serve as a tool to improve voting accessibility and engagement for citizens living off-reserve.
The Centre for e-Democracy in conjunction with the Impact of Digital Technology on First Nations Participation and Governance SSHRC-funded project, and the Centre for International Policy Studies at the University of Ottawa hosted a Roundtable on the impacts of technology and Online Voting at the University of Ottawa on Monday, September 26, 2016.
This event brought together government, experts and practitioners from around the globe, and members of Indigenous communities and organizations across Canada.
The Roundtable focused on the possible adoption of online voting in Canadian federal elections, what policy implementation could look like, and the steps to be taken leading up to deployment. The discussions will provide the basis for future policy recommendations to the federal government.