The issue of “Pretendianism” or having false claims of being Indigenous is rearing its head in the Manitoba election campaign.
This was after a minister in Premier Heather Stefanson’s cabinet was called out for claiming to be Métis without providing any proof that he was.
Eventually, the Manitoba Métis Federation which represents Red River Métis in the region, said Kevin Klein’s claims were false.
APTN News asked the provincial Conservative party about how it verifies Indigenous identity, the response was brief.
“The PC Party does not police anyone’s identity,” the statement said.
The Conservatives said they have four candidates who claim Indigeneity running in the election – same with the Liberals.
And like the Conservatives, the Liberals don’t verify information about a candidate’s identity – but the party does ask the candidate to sign off on a 20-page information sheet prior to applying to run.
“Are you aware of any other material fact not otherwise disclosed in this form that, if publicly known, could be used by your opponents against you or the Manitoba Liberal Party?” the Liberal Party said.
The NDP, whose leader is Wab Kinew, is originally from the Onigaming First Nation in northwestern Ontario, told APTN that there are ten Indigenous candidates running in the election.
“The Manitoba NDP has a rigorous vetting process, and we are proud of our candidates,” said spokesperson Amy Tuckett-McGimpsey. “We are fair and thorough in our assessment of candidates for the NDP.”
If Kinew is successful in his bid for the premier’s job, he will become the first First Nations person to lead the province. Manitoba has had one Métis premier. That was in the late 1800s.