For immediate release

August 16, 2021


Treaty Five Territory, Thompson, MBManitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak Inc. (MKO) is responding to yesterday’s announcement that a federal election has been called for Monday, September 20, 2021.


Acting Grand Chief Shirley Ducharme states:


“MKO has had a good relationship with the current federal government. We have worked closely with Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller, who has been quite responsive and tuned into what’s happening in MKO communities as we live through the pandemic.


There have been other supportive relationships with federal Ministers and we do appreciate the efforts that have been made on a number of issues of importance, including the support of the Canadian Armed Forces in assisting our communities in responding to the pandemic as well as the prioritization of First Nations people to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.


As the people in our communities know, there is still much work that needs to be done. We are well aware of the intergenerational impacts of residential schools on our communities. The ongoing uncovering of unmarked graves demands any incoming government’s attention. We need to see a strong response on the genocidal residential school system from the federal government. They need to stand with us as we recover from the pandemic and continue to push for full recognition and access to our Treaty rights as sovereign nations.


It is essential that the federal government continue to commit to reconciliation, including accommodating First Nations’ input that has been articulated in many past processes such as the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, and the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.”


We are hopeful that no matter the outcome of the election, the people holding leadership positions will recognize the importance of working with First Nations as full partners.


MKO will once again continue to encourage all our citizens to exercise their Constitutional right and civic duty to vote. If you are 18 years old and a resident of Manitoba, get involved by voting on September 20. Voting is a free opportunity to make a difference.”


Hilda Anderson-Pyrz, Director for MKO’s Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls Liaison Unit, adds: “My voice matters as an Indigenous woman on September 20, 2021, I will ensure I vote. As Indigenous people we must ensure we vote. Our future matters. Your vote equals your voice in a democratic process.”


MKO will continue to encourage all our citizens to exercise their right and responsibility to vote. If you are 18 years old and a resident in Manitoba, you may get involved by voting on September 20. Please refer to the Elections Canada website for more information.


MKO will work with Elections Canada with its outreach efforts on providing information about having the required ID to register and vote (including using the voter information card as a proof of address) and on the advantages of registering before election day.




For more information:

Melanie Ferris, Communications Officer

Phone: 204-612-1284

Email: [email protected]