JULY 1, 1960

STATUS & REGISTERED NATIVES GET RIGHT TO VOTE IN CANADIAN FEDERAL ELECTIONS

In March 1960, Prime Minister John Diefenbaker pushed the voting rights legislation through Parliament.  It came into effect July 1 that year.  First Nations people were given a conditional right to vote status at the time of Confederation in 1867; however, to vote, they had to give up their treaty rights and Indian status.  In 1948, a parliamentary committee recommended that all “status Indians” be given the vote, but nothing happened for 12 years.  With the 1960 legislation, status and registered natives were free to vote without losing their treaty rights or Indian status.  According to Diefenbaker, “I felt it was so unjust that they didn’t have the vote, . . . I brought it about as soon as I could after becoming prime minister.”

Source:  “First Nations right to vote granted 50 years ago,” CBC.  Retrieved 7/5/2019, https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/north/first-nations-right-to-vote-granted-50-years-ago-1.899354
Graphic:  Free clipart.  http://clipartportal.com/vote-clipart-free-2/Clipart.  Public Domain.

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