The Federal Franchise and First Nations

  • Alison Hogan


The extension of the federal franchise to Canada’s registered aboriginal population in 1960 was the culmination of several years of controversial debate and a century of animosity between First Nations and the administration that controlled them. Enfranchisement of First Nations was a complex issue tied to a convoluted federal definition of aboriginal status. Complications arose with attempts to hammer out ‘one-size-fits-all’ legislation at a time when race relations were coming under intense international scrutiny. This paper explores the nature of the debate surrounding the passage of Bill C-3 by the Diefenbaker government, and attempts to clarify the attitudes and concerns that informed the discourse surrounding aboriginal rights, Charter rights, and the notion of citizenship between 1960 and 1990. 

How to Cite
Hogan, Alison. 2016. “The Federal Franchise and First Nations”. the Ascendant Historian 3 (2), 93-111.