Within the broader literature on political representation, studies exploring Indigenous forms of representation are rather limited. Where they exist, they tend to explore how Western models of political representation include Indigenous peoples, conflating Indigenous groups with ethnic minorities. This article asks whether and how Indigenous political representation might be distinguished from the representation of ethnic minorities. Our argument is that Indigenous groups’ identities tend to be based on different claims and relationships to the state than ethnic groups, which leads to political mobilization seeking a means to respond to the colonial nation-state project. We develop a theoretical framework that identifies three principles that ought to inform an effective and legitimate model of Indigenous political representation: recognition, protection and decolonization. We then apply this theoretical framework to assess the extent to which existing models of Indigenous representation in Bolivia, Canada, New Zealand and Norway correspond with these three principles.