First Indigenous woman elected to Quebec’s National Assembly 

Innu from Uashat Mani-Utanem to represent the CAQ for the Duplessis region.

Kateri Champagne Jourdain, an Innu woman from Uashat Mani-Utanem is the first Indigenous woman to be elected to Quebec’s National Assembly.

A newcomer to politics, she ran for Quebec’s Coalition Avenir Québec party, or CAQ — the party of Quebec Premier François Legault, who was elected for a second term yesterday.

“I don’t know to what point you’re aware that tonight, we made history,” said Champagne Jourdain in French to a cheering crowd in Sept-Îles, Que. after her win was announced.

“Things are going to change for me, and things, I hope, will change a lot for our region.”

She is now the CAQ MNA for the Duplessis riding. She said she joined the CAQ because they prioritize economic development and that she plans to rely on her Innu culture to work with Indigenous Peoples on “major projects.”

“For me the CAQ is a pragmatic party, it’s a party of action, and it’s a party that delivers the goods. That’s important for me because what I want to see is action at all levels, in all departments. That’s why I decided to run with the CAQ,” said Champagne Jourdain.

Kateri Champagne Jourdain
Champagne Jourdain celebrates at her campaign headquarters in Sept-Îles. Photo: Shushan Bacon/APTN.

The Legault government has had a few controversies with Indigenous People, during its last term from refusing to acknowledge systemic racism, to passing a controversial language bill, to fighting the Indigenous child protection bill in court.

“For me, what’s important to see things change are actions. We’ve had many commissions and reports that have been tabled. What we want to do with the CAQ, it’s to take those recommendations, the work has already begun, and to deploy actions so that things finally change,” said Champagne Jourdain.

She also reiterated that the CAQ was working on an Indigenous language protection bill and that Joyce’s Principle was in the works, despite Legault’s refusal to acknowledge systemic racism.

Champagne Jourdain succeeds the Parti Québécois’s Lorraine Richard.

The CAQ won 90 of the National Assembly seats, or 70 per cent, with 41 per cent of the popular vote.

The Quebec Liberals came in second, forming the official opposition with 22 seats.

Other Indigenous candidates who ran in Quebec’s latest provincial election included Maïtée Labrecque-Saganash, who is Cree, for Québec solidaire, Inuit Tunu Napartuk for the Quebec Liberals and Ojibwe Parti québécois candidate Jacline Rouleau.

Prior to Champagne Jourdain’s election, the only Indigenous MNA in Quebec was Alexis Wawanoloath, who was elected into the National Assembly as part of the Parti Québécois in 2007.

Contribute Button