Record number of indigenous candidates

(Ottawa) A record number of Indigenous candidates are running in federal elections this year. They say they want to help implement important changes in the relationship between government and the First Nations, the Inuit, and the Métis.


Brittany Hobson
Canadian Press

According to an analysis by The Canadian Press based on information posted on party websites as well as on details obtained from political parties, at least 77 Indigenous candidates are running. However, it is possible that some of the candidates did not identify themselves as Aboriginal.

By comparison, there were 62 Indigenous candidates in the country’s 338 constituencies in the 2019 elections. Ten MPs were elected, and of those, eight are again seeking to vote.

The Canadian press spoke to some of these candidates about the importance of electing Indigenous representatives in what many see as colonial rule.

Liberals

Outgoing Representative Michael McLeod is seeking a third term to represent the residents of the Northwest Territories Constituency.

A distractionist, Mr. MacLeod believed that true change of First Nations, Inuit and Métis would only be possible when a greater number of Aboriginals were present in the House of Commons.

“You can drive more change by engaging from the inside out. If we had 100 Aboriginal MPs in the House of Commons, you can be sure the tone would be much higher than it currently is on Aboriginal issues,” as He says.

Michael MacLeod says he is running under the Liberal banner because the party has done more for the North than the previous Conservative government did. He says he hopes to reserve his seat to continue the work the Liberals have begun on housing and title deeds.

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The Liberal Party’s popularity has waned for various reasons in Indigenous communities over the past six years. Among other things, we note the controversial purchase of the Trans Mountain pipeline. As for the promise to ensure that warnings of boiling water, which have persisted for many years, in certain communities, are a thing of the past, it has not been fulfilled.

The strained relationship between the party and independent MP Jody Wilson-Raybould was also damaged. The former Liberal minister and first to serve as attorney general and attorney general has turned his back on the party after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was accused of pressuring it in the SNC-Lavalin case.

According to doctoral candidate at Western University in London, Philip Charbonneau, who works on Indigenous representation among the candidates as well as the Indigenous vote, some people still trust the current Liberal government.

“I don’t see any breakdown in confidence yet,” Mr. Charbonneau notes.

Manitoba’s Kiwatinoy Okemakanac, the First Nations grouping in the northern part of the province, announced Tuesday that leaders have formally approved the Liberal candidate Shirley Robinson in Churchill-Kiwatinoch Aski.

New Democrat Nikki Ashton, a non-citizen, has been riding horses in Ottawa since 2008.

Manitoba leaders say they intend to support various Indigenous candidates in different parties. The Liberal Party claims to have 25 Indigenous candidates.

The New Democrats

For outgoing Member of Parliament Leah Ghazan, the desire to run again in the Winnipeg Center is rooted in her love for her community.

“It has been the greatest privilege and greatest honor of my life to be given a mandate to defend my community that I adore,” said Mr.I Gaza.

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As a member of the Wood Mountain Lakota First Nation in Saskatchewan, she argues that diverse representation in Parliament is important and intends to keep pushing for it. However, Leah Ghazan realizes that things are not always easy for Indigenous women.

Earlier this year, fellow NDP colleague Mamillac Qaqaq and independent MP Jody Wilson-Raybould took to social media to announce that they would not be returning to federal politics.

NSI Qqqaq, la seule députée du Nunavut, a révélé à la Chambre des communes, en juin dernier, qu’elle avait fait l’objet de profilage racial de la part des services de la colline parlementaire et qu’elle ne se sentaits in protection.

For her part, Jodi Wilson-Raybould described in scathing testimony that her Ottawa experience was “toxic and ineffective”.

“This isn’t a partisan problem, it’s a systemic problem,” said Cathy Walker, associate professor of political studies at the University of Saskatchewan.

Leah Ghazan believes that it is precisely for this reason that it is necessary to see more indigenous peoples dominating the political space.

“If our voice didn’t exist, what sound would there be?” ”

The NDP says it is fielding 29 Indigenous candidates.

Preservatives

First-time candidate Laura McKenzie, an Inuit from Rankin Inlet, Nunavut, hopes to repaint the area blue for the first time since defeating former Health Minister Leona Aglocac six years ago.

NSI McKenzie says he is running under the Conservative Party banner because the party “values ​​reliability and hard work”.

As a former business owner, Laura McKenzie says she understands the “challenges of running a company” and believes conservatives are the best option for the Nunavut economy.

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The Conservative Party says it is betting on eight Indigenous candidates.

This article was produced with financial assistance from Facebook and The Canadian Press News Scholarships.

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