Indigenous issues front and centre as new NDP MPs sworn in for upcoming session in Ottawa

Todd Lamirande
The federal NDP may have been reduced to 24 Members of Parliament, but it was all smiles and enthusiasm as they were sworn in on Tuesday.

Two of the newest members are Indigenous MPs.

And today, Indigenous issues were front and centre, including a promise by NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh that he would push the government to help Grassy Nations First Nation and child welfare families what they need.

“Kids who are just demanding basic fairness. they should receive equal funding. And as a result of not getting equal funding, kids have died. We’re here to say they should not be brought to court by the government,” Singh told the newly minted NDP caucus.

“That that appeal should be dropped immediately. We’re here for the kids.”

Mumilaaq Qaqqaq.from Nunavut is one of the MPs sworn in on Tuesday.

She brought along several members of her family.

Leah Gazan is the newly elected MP for Winnipeg Centre who knocked off Liberal incumbent Robert-Falcon Ouellette.

“No matter how the cabinet is shuffled, I think if they’re really serious about reconciliation, if they’re really serious about human rights in this country, if they’re really serious about honouring UNDRIP that needs to be shown through action and not words,” she said.

Not returning to Ottawa for the NDP are Romeo Saganash (Abitibi—Baie-James—Nunavik—Eeyou) who retired, and Georgina Jolibois (Desnethé—Missinippi—Churchill River) who was defeated.

The NDP vowed to keep pressure on the government to step away from appealing the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal ruling order the government to pay thousands in compensation to First Nations children and their families effected by the child welfare system, reintroducing a bill to have the government adopt the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, and a treatment centre for the poisoned community of Grassy Narrows in Ontario.

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