Elections Canada drastically underestimates the actual population of a reserve community in most cases. The reason for this is that Elections Canada and the Census do a very poor job of capturing our true population numbers.
Numerous voting-eligible band members are not on the federal electoral lists as they have never been properly enumerated. (Even worse, in some cases, nobody wanted to enumerate them).
With the changes to the Long Form Census by the current government, this situation will become more problematic. The New Canadian Census will do an even worse job of capturing our population numbers.
When I ran as a federal candidate, our strategy was to create a narrative within each community demonstrating that their voting power was HUGE and that they could absolutely decide who represents them in Ottawa.
While the process to develop the electoral list is not perfect, it is important for us to take responsibility and make sure we are registered to vote.
Check out the link below to help you understand what you may need to do if you are not sure you are registered to vote.