Great Plains Studies, Center for


Date of this Version

May 1997


Published in Great Plains Research 7:1 (Spring 1997). Copyright © 1997 The Center for Great Plains Studies, University of Nebraska–Lincoln. Used by permission.


Voting behavior in the three largest Aboriginal communities of Alberta-Blood Tribe, Peigan Nation, and Four Nations-is contrasted with non-Aboriginal voting behavior using polling-station counts from 16 general elections and the 1992 constitutional referendum. Lower voter turnout and distinctive patterns of party preferences among Aboriginal voters are examined more closely using data collected through standardized, open-ended interviews conducted in conjunction with a voter mobilization effort on the Peigan Reserve in 1996. Although respondents did not report refraining from participation in Federal or Provincial elections to avoid compromising their sovereignty-an argument sometimes made by national Aboriginal organizations-the responses often exhibited pessimism or disillusionment in other respects.