Ottawa, Oct 12 (Canadian-Media): With a large number of Indigenous candidates running in the federal election, First Nations voters could swing the vote in almost one in five ridings, according to a new report by the Assembly of First Nations (AFN), media reports said.
According to AFN report, at least 63 First Nations, Inuit and Métis candidates will be on ballots across the country, up from the 54 Indigenous candidates who ran in 2015.
Johnson-Harder, who is Cree and Metis, said she wants to see more diversity in the House of Commons and told paNOW, “We want to be a part, we want to have a voice within that system. It’s really exciting that more Indigenous people are feeling empowered to do so.”
“It’s for the good of everybody not just Indigenous and non-Indigenous, it’s creating a better world and Canada, that Canada of multiculturalism and acceptance that I grew up believing in.”
“Getting our people around decision making tables is key to bring about better policy and legislative change in Canada,” National Chief Perry Bellegarde said in an interview with The Canadian Press.
Perry Bellegarde. Image credit: Facebook page
The New Democrats got highest number of Indigenous votes at 27. Eighteen candidates are running for the Liberals and seven each for the Greens and Conservatives.
The assembly also identifies 63 “priority districts” among the total 338 ridings where First Nations voters could vote.
Indigenous voter turnout broke records in 2015, with a 14-percentage point increase for on-reserve voters to 61.5 percent.
“I want to see that number go up because that’s the way you influence any future member of Parliament,” he said.
“First Nations issues and priorities are important, our voice matters, our priorities matter. We’re going to matter in this election because we vote now.”