We Are Still Here: Omission and Perceived Discrimination Galvanized Civic Engagement Among Native Americans

J. Doris Dai*, Jamie L. Yellowtail, Ariana Munoz-Salgado, Julisa J. Lopez, Emma Ward-Griffin, Crystal Echo Hawk, Judith LeBlanc, Nikki Santos, Adam Farero, Arianne E. Eason, Stephanie A. Fryberg

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Leading up to the 2020 U.S. presidential election, Native American organizations and tribes launched get-out-the-vote campaigns that motivated Native peoples to vote in record numbers and helped flip battleground states. We conducted four studies (total N = 11,661 Native American adults) to examine the social and cultural factors explaining this historic Native civic engagement (e.g., campaigning). Results revealed that the more participants identified as being Native, the more they reported (a) engaging in civic activities, including get-out-the-vote behaviors during the 2020 election (Study 1); (b) civic engagement more broadly across a 5-year period (pilot study, Study 2); and (c) intentions to engage in civic activities in the future (Study 3). Moreover, participants who more strongly identified as Native were more likely to recognize the omission of their group from society and perceive greater group discrimination, which both independently and serially predicted greater civic engagement. These results suggest that leveraging the link between Native identification and group injustices can motivate action.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)739-753
Number of pages15
JournalPsychological Science
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2023


  • Native Americans
  • civic engagement
  • discrimination
  • ethnic identity
  • omission
  • open materials
  • preregistered

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology


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