Election day may be coming but forest fire evacuees are just trying to survive


As the leaders of each of the federal parties try to convince people to vote for them, roughly 1,500 wildfire evacuees in Manitoba have more on their mind than the election.

“As a community we are just so busy right now delivering that heart medicine work of caring for our community and our northern relatives,” says evacuee support staff worker Jackie Anderson from Ma Mawi Wi Chi Itata Centre.

“And to be honest we never really thought about the voting and what that’s going to look like for them.”

Anderson says her organization and the Red Cross hope to work together to help their evacuees get out and vote this week.

Other advocates are using resources to help get Indigenous People out to vote and education.

The Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC) released an in-depth analysis conducted by Nanos Research that scores the major political parties on Indigenous Women’s issues.

Some of the priority areas are Missing and Murdered Women and Girls, policing, and justice.

NWAC put more effort than ever into educating Indigenous women and people on the election.

“We really want people to engage this year, and cast that vote,” said NWAC CEO. “Because if we don’t, we are leaving all these very serious human rights issues for the future.”

So far, around 5.7 million Canadians participated in this election’s advanced voting, according to Elections Canada. That’s an 18 per cent increase from the 2019 election.

As the Sept. 20 election day nears, deadlines are closing for voters. Today at 6 p.m. is the last day people can register to vote by mail which for some in remote communities, can be a better way for people to cast their ballot.

For more information on voting please visit elections.ca.

 

Video Journalist / Thunder Bay

Michelle is a video journalist from rural Manitoba with a Creative Communications Degree from Red River College. Before APTN, Michelle worked as an editor-in-chief for The Projector online publication.