With the Liberals back in power with a minority, Indigenous leaders in Manitoba are wasting no time laying out what they want to see from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau this time around.
Manitoba Keeewatinowi Okimakanak (MKO) Grand Chief Garrison Settee released a statement with MKO’s key priorities for the Liberals.
They include addressing the impacts of hydro projects, adequate housing and better internet connectivity among others.
“There is much work to be done on the path forward to truth and reconciliation. We must work efficiently and cooperatively to close the gaps between First Nations and non-Indigenous communities,” Settee said in the statement.
Manitoba Metis Federation President David Chartrand believes another term for the Liberals is a win for Indigenous people.
“I think it’s good for all Indigenous people in Canada, as you know the reconciliation relationship he had with Indigenous people was probably the most profound in a context of investment and priority of ensuring Indigenous people were of top of mind around cabinet, top of mind on investment and budgets so when you look at it overall it’s definitely a big win for Indigenous people in this country,” Chartrand said.
With the election over, Chartrand hopes to see their modern treaty be adopted at some point this fall and added they are 95 per cent done the agreement signed this past summer.
Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs (AMC) Grand Chief Arlen Dumas also released a statement on the Liberals winning the election.
“The AMC and its member First Nations are eager to continue the ongoing and complex work of reconciliation with some consistency and continuity with the Liberal minority government, as well as with the other parties who had strong platforms on First Nations’ rights during the election,” he said.
Manitoba had a few Indigenous candidates running in this election, including Dan Vandal in Saint-Boniface-Saint Vital and Leah Gazan in Winnipeg Centre.
While they won their ridings, other candidates like NDP candidate Melissa Chung-Mowat and Liberal candidate Shirley Robinson fell short.
Watch Darrell’s story on Melissa Chung-Mowat here:
Chung-Mowat ran in the Winnipeg North riding, while Robinson was endorsed by both MKO and AMC as the candidate to vote for in the riding of Churchill-Keewatinook Aski.
Southern Chiefs Organization Grand Chief Jerry Daniels believes it’s important Indigenous people continue to run in politics.
“It’s important we get our people in the house you know. It’s an institution of power that needs to be broadened in its sort of knowledge and responsiveness to the community needs,” Daniels said.
Some issues Daniels is advocating for is an overhaul of the healthcare system and the protection and recognition of First Nations languages.