The Political Triumph for Indigenous MPs and Indigenous Issues
Canada’s recent federal election has highlighted the united efforts of Canadians ready for change. We can note a few rather significant aspects of the election. One in particular is the amount of Indigenous candidates elected into the House of Commons. Across Canada, there 54 indigenous candidates ran for office, and 10 were elected. (Fontaine)
“Justin Trudeau’s Liberal Party has promised significant improvements to First Nations education, including $2.6 billion in new funding over four years, as well as a vow to call an inquiry into missing and murdered indigenous women and girls.” (Fontaine)
With so many indigenous people in the running, the support across the Nation was rather monumental. For example, in northwestern Ontario two First Nations communities actually ran out of ballots. In Shoal Lake 40, and in Onigaming ballots simply ran out and needed to be replenished.
There could be many factors contributing to this incredible turnout at the polls. I believe one is the “Rock the Vote” Campaign. This campaign assists voters with registration, and promotes voter participation. Another driving force, is the urgency of the inquiry to the missing and murdered aboriginal women. Many Canadians, both indigenous and other find this to be an extremely pressing issue. Some parties consider it urgent, and some do not. Stephen Harper’s Conservative opinion, is that: ‘Um it, it isn’t really high on our radar, to be honest … Our ministers will continue to dialogue with those who are concerned about this.’- Prime Minister Stephen Harper on a public inquiry into missing aboriginal women.
The Liberal, NDP, and Green parties all included indigenous issues in their platform. “…it provided one last opportunity for the parties to show Indigenous Peoples that they are committed to a relationship built on foundations of respect, justice, and recognition. It also provided an opportunity to show Canadians that closing the gap between Indigenous peoples and the rest of the country is the just, as well as economical, thing to do. “(FineDay)
Photo Credit: Winnipeg Sun
Fontaine, Tim. “Record 10 Indigenous MPs Elected to the House of Commons – Aboriginal – CBC.” CBCnews. CBC/Radio Canada, 26 Oct. 2015. Web. 27 Oct. 2015.
News, CBC. “Northwestern Ontario First Nations Run out of Ballots – Thunder Bay – CBC News.” CBCnews. CBC/Radio Canada, 20 Oct. 2015. Web. 23 Oct. 2015.
FineDay, Max. “Winning the Indigenous Vote Means Acknowledging Disparity in Canada – Aboriginal – CBC.”CBCnews. CBC/Radio Canada, 18 Oct. 2015. Web. 25 Oct. 2015