The electoral riding of Kenora is home to over 40 First Nation communities candidates recently gathered to debate in the city where one third of the population lives.
Eric Milello, the incumbent MP who won the seat in 2019, represents the Conservatives who have always had a strong vote in the area.
“Last election our riding voted for a new generation of leadership,” said Milello. “It’s been an honour for me to fill that role.”
Kenora is a swing riding and has flip flopped from Liberal to Conservative since its borders were established in 2003.
David Bruno is the Liberal candidate running this year, and the NDP – who also have a strong vote in the area – have an Indigenous candidate.
Janine Seymour is an Anishinabek lawyer from Sioux Lookout, and at the debate, often referenced her heritage and the importance of northern Ontario.
“We need to remember the people of Northwestern Ontario that are not in this room right now. There are so many caring, interested, and active people but aren’t able to be here,” Seymour said.
The debate tackled a range of topics that are related to Indigenous Peoples like homelessness and climate change.
Since roughly half the population in the riding self-identify as First Nations, their vote has as a big impact.