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For immediate release
September 17, 2021
Treaty One Territory, Winnipeg, MB – Through the “I am First Nations and I Vote” campaign, the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs (AMC), Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak (MKO), Southern Chiefs’ Organization and the MB Assembly of First Nations Regional Office (AFN MB) continue to encourage all First Nations in Manitoba, including youth and first-time voters, to vote in the federal election on Monday, September 20, 2021.
“I want to remind First Nations citizens that we live in a democratic society. I encourage First Nations people to get involved in the upcoming election,” stated MKO Grand Chief Garrison Settee. “If you are 18 years old and a resident of Manitoba, you can get involved simply by getting out to a polling station on September 20. If you’ve never voted before, consider making plans with a friend or family member to head to the polling station together to cast your ballots. Voting is a free opportunity to make a difference.”
“Historically, we have not felt empowered or a part of federal elections,” said AMC Grand Chief Arlen Dumas. “Today, we have more First Nations candidates running in their constituencies. We have strength in the numbers of our people who are eligible to vote, they are politically active and very strong advocates. I encourage you to look at what your candidates and parties have planned in relation to First Nations issues and concerns. By participating in this election, you are using your democratic right to vote. You can voice your opinions on what is important to you with your local candidates and remember, your choice can impact who gets in, what they do to support First Nations issues and what they do overall in Canada.”
“While we will always act as advocates in our roles as Chiefs, First Nation people also need to ensure that they are being heard,” added SCO Grand Chief Jerry Daniels. “Leadership cannot do this alone. The most sacred and important thing all people who now share in this land can do in this current system, is to cast a ballot on Monday.”
“We as First Nations have a voice and when we vote, we are using our voice. I encourage every eligible First Nations person in Manitoba to look at the candidates in their riding and the party they represent, talk with your family members and friends about voting and vote on Monday. Each and every one of our votes can make a difference,” said AFN Manitoba Regional Chief Cindy Woodhouse.
The AMC, MKO, SCO and AFN MB will continue to advocate for all First Nations in Manitoba regardless of who is elected on September 20.
The Facebook group called “I am First Nation and I Vote” is a place where First Nations people can access clear information on how to vote in the upcoming election. The group will also be a place to share encouragement from First Nations citizens on the importance of voting, how to vote, etc.
For more information:
Trevor Thomas, AFN MB Office
Email: [email protected]
See below for a video from MKO Grand Chief Settee encouraging MKO citizens to vote on Monday, September 20, 2021.