As I mentioned before, I advocate for the Indigenous Vote.
I totally understand and respect the positions of many other Indigenous Peoples who choose not to vote.
Some of the reasons why are mentioned in various Elections Canada reports and make a lot of sense. In fact, many Canadians of other nationalities and beliefs don’t vote based on their political positions.
I endorse voting, as I believe that we do not compromise our Indigenous nationhood by participating in the Canadian electoral process. I think that we can strengthen our Indigenous Nationhood by influencing policy, regulation and legislation directly.
For more than 30 years, First Nation, Métis and Inuit people and communities have taken their “rights” to court and, in the vast majority of cases, won rulings in our favour.
The problem is that the Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) does not implement its decisions. It is up to the Government of the day – regardless of political stripe – to interpret and implement these decisions as it sees fit.
There will likely be negotiations with Indigenous leaders, maybe some half-hearted consultation and some other forums to gather more input, but at the end of the day, the Government decides what it will and will not implement.
Earlier this week, Chief Bellegarde said he won’t vote despite asking First Nations to do just that.
In an earlier post, I shared how some Federal or provincial politicians ignore Aboriginal issues because they say Aboriginal people don’t vote. I’m not sure how seriously federal politicians will take the AFN now.
My advice is to get out and VOTE to ensure we stand up for our children and communities and to make this country stronger with Aboriginal people being at the forefront.
Really and truly, the power always resides with the people. It will take each and everyone one of us to step up to generate the change we all want to see. And the best way to do that is to have our voice heard when we vote.