Indigenous Peoples

The Vote, Residential Schools, and Land Rights

Questions to ask yourself

What is a just society?

What you will be able to do

Identify when Indigenous Canadians received the right to vote.

Describe residential schools and reserve life in Quebec.

Explain the changes in land and ancestral rights.


A larger document collection is being built and is available here ...

Kent Monkman, The Scream, 2017, Acrylic on canvas, 84” x 126”, Collection of the Denver Art Museum, Image courtesy of the artist

Engage: Image Discussion around Power and Rights

  • View the Kent Monkman painting entitled "The Scream". First, discuss what you think is happening in the picture. How does it make you feel?

  • What social groups are portrayed? Which groups have power and which groups do not?

  • Which groups portrayed in the picture could be considered "part of the government?" Today? In the past?

  • Who in this picture is in a position to bring about change? How? Politically? Through other kinds of activism?

Voting rights at various times in our history

You might be surprised at when the earliest peoples could vote, and how voting rights changed throughout our history. View the video at right, watching for which groups were politically influential and when, and how voting as a solution for social and political change varied as different groups lost then regained the right to have a say in government.

Explore: Voting Rights History of Indigenous Peoples

Place in Time Voting Rights events:

  • Draw up a timeline of significant moments concerning the vote in general and Indigenous voting turning points.

  • Juxtapose a top layer listing voting rights events and various legal changes won by non-Indigenous groups, with another timeline layer that traces Indigenous voting rights changes over time.

Use websites like A History of the Vote in Canada and A History of the Vote in Canada and Right to Vote in Canada

View timelines like Indigenous Suffrage and Women's Suffrage at Canadian Encyclopedia, and a search for "vote" here.

Visit our Women's Suffrage section on this site here.

Finally, use the documents available in our main document collection on Indigenous Peoples and voting rights here.

1945-1980 - Indigenous Peoples -- The Vote, Residential Schools and Land Rights (PR owned)

Document Collection:

Available below, this collection of curated resources is available for student or teacher use, and will eventually be used to further construct the student content and activities on this page.

1945-1980 - Indigenous Peoples -- The Vote, Residential Schools and Land Rights (PR owned)