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Indigenous languages on federal ballots could help boost turnout, PROC hears – The Hill Times

April 20, 2022

‘If you want First Nations to vote more, give them a reason to do it. It isn’t a question of making it easier to vote; it is a question of giving a real reason to vote,’ says First Nations of Quebec and Labrador Youth Network rep.

Directly or indirectly, including Indigenous languages on federal ballots could help to boost Indigenous voter turnout, argue witnesses appearing as part of the House Affairs Committee’s ongoing study into the prospect. But some suggest resources would be better allocated elsewhere.

“Having the Inuit language on ballots would help in increasing the voter turnout,” Nunavut Languages Commissioner Karliin Aariak told MPs on March 31. “In Nunavut, it’s already expected … in territorial and municipal elections. They are already in syllabics. That’s the reason why our office, I believe, received concerns regarding federal elections, even though there’s no obligation. Inuit already expect that.”

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