This paper examines public attitudes towards aboriginal policy in Canada, focusing on evidence from two surveys conducted in Saskatchewan, a province with a large and growing Aboriginal population. We show that although non-Aboriginals are collectively divided on Aboriginal public policies, expressing considerable support for some, but strong reservations when it comes to others; the individual-level evidence indicates that there is a single Aboriginal policy agenda in the minds of non-Aboriginal Canadians. Support for, and opposition to, the privileging of Aboriginal claims is structured in part by prejudice toward outgroups but also by non-Aboriginal people's more general position on the role of government in society. Moreover, the impact of positions about the role of government in society on attitudes toward Aboriginal policies is moderated by people's level of political sophistication: the more educated and politically interested they are, the greater the impact of those ideological views.
Canadian Journal of Political Science
Department of Political Science

White, S.E, Atkinson, M.M. (Michael M.), Berdahl, L. (Loleen), & McGrane, D. (David). (2015). Public Policies toward Aboriginal Peoples: Attitudinal Obstacles and Uphill Battles. Canadian Journal of Political Science, 48(2), 281–304. doi:10.1017/S0008423915000281