Native people from 13 First Nations in western Canada have gathered for their annual meeting to remember the past. Many think it’s not right for them to vote in an election to choose a Canadian government.

Native people from 13 First Nations in western Canada have gathered for their annual meeting to remember the past. Many think it’s not right for them to vote in an election to choose a Canadian government.
Photo Credit: CBC

Activists encourage aboriginal people to vote


Efforts are underway at a western meeting of aboriginal groups to increase the number who will vote in the October 19th federal election. Elections Canada says just half of eligible voters living on native reserves actually cast a ballot in the last election in 2011.

Many who choose to not vote do so because they believe it would breach their First Nation’s treaty with the Canadian government. They see their nations as distinct from the Canadian government.

Native leader Perry Bellegarde urged indigenous people to vote even though he himself was at first ambivalent.
Native leader Perry Bellegarde urged indigenous people to vote even though he himself was at first ambivalent. © CBC

Leader too was torn

Recently the head of the Assembly of First Nations, Perry Bellegarde urged native people to vote in huge numbers. At first, he said he was not sure he himself would do so, but after consulting elders he decided he would. The assembly has identified 51 electoral ridings were a large native turnout could made a difference in the outcome.

To vote or not to vote was a hot topic at the annual gathering of 13 First Nations in the western province of Saskatchewan. The riding of Regina-Qu’Appelle is home to a potential 13,000 first time voters.

‘We need to rise up’

“We need to rise up, vote, and then we’re having a say, we’re taking a stand and having a strong say in who forms the next government.” said community organizer Allison Dubois from the Pasqua First Nation.

The riding has been held by Conservative Member of Parliament Andrew Scheer since 2004. He won the last election by over 4,000 votes but activists hope an increased indigenous vote could make a change.

Categories: Indigenous, Politics, Society
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One comment on “Activists encourage aboriginal people to vote
  1. Avatar David E.H. Smith says:

    NATIVE CANADIANS & ELECTION; Canada 2015; Corporate Canada’s TPP & other Global Corporate Treaties/’Arrangements’
    Will Pope Francis & other leaders Intercede with prayer against PM Harper, Corporate Canada, The Canadian Establishment, et al, for Continuing to Blame & Punish those who are continuing to be Deprived of the Due Diligence Info and Continuing its Cultural Genocide.
    Traditional Canadian Parties Demanding Supplicance to Corporate Canada & its Global Corporate Assocs. is an unholy sin?

    Corporate Canada & executives of their Big 3 political parties ‘forgot’ to tell its Global Corporate associates; promoters of TPP, CETA, C-CIT, et al, that they cannot & will not be able to supersede Native Human rights, consultations, et al. Proof of Good intentions in Prior, During & Follow-up Discussions Needed for ‘Foreign’ Treaties/’Arrangements’ with Vast Modifications prior to Implementation, or, Rejection. Anything besides Schedule of Tariff Reductions needs Native Approval.

    CUTTING Native Canadians FUNDING is GREAT for Corporate Canada’s Pro-TPP (& other Global Corporate Treaties/’Arrangements’) Conservatives, NDP & Liberals as it allows them to pay & reward themselves by way the Secret ”Trade’ Treaties’ Tribunals without having to take yet another exacerbating & very noticeable $36 million cut out of the ‘soon’ to be privatized of health care…