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First Nations Digital Democracy

 

First Nations Digital Democracy engages a number of First Nations communities that have either used, or plan to implement digital technology for community consultations within the coming years. By working together we hope to answer important questions about how such technologies impact participation and governance in these communities.

First Nations in Canada are at the forefront of experimenting with new forms of self-government and institutional design. As part of these developments, a number of communities are interested to try new digital technologies such as Internet voting. Traditional forms of consultation such as community meetings and discussions in family circles will remain vital. However, it is important to learn whether (and how best) digital technologies might be leveraged to enhance processes of community consultation, and in turn foster greater certainty that decisions are a true reflection of community interests. So while local experiments in Internet voting are good, it is vitally important to compare different strategies and choices in adoption, to examine the participatory outcomes of Internet votes, and then share what we learn across communities. Systematic research in this area will be invaluable to communities who seek to make their own informed decisions about how to best proceed in advancing modern governance structures and processes that are responsive to the needs and interests their people.

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