The Federal Election: Are We Done Yet?

IndigNation | by Bev Cardinal

By the time this edition of Prairie Dog hits the stands it’ll be 12 days to “E-Day”… and I’m totally done with it!

I’m a political junkie, so it takes a lot to exhaust my spirit and drain my soul. But I was finished with this one long before Captain Aladdin’s ridiculous “black/brown face” pics hit the Internet, and way before PPC candidate Trevor Wowk declared himself to be “not a scary man” (which was, quite frankly, not really a creepy proposition until YOU SAID IT OUT LOUD, DUDE!).

I was done before I figured out that the really “scary man” in this collection of goofballs is a fake insurance broker named Andy, and I was done long before Lizzie May publicly admitted she talks to Jesus for political advice.

As for the suddenly popular Jagmeet, I only have two words: “Erin Weir”.

Trustworthy Indigenous Voices

We obviously can’t count on politicians to address the real stuff. But am I listening to anyone in this final stretch?

Yep. I’m listening to trustworthy Indigenous voices.

I’m reading Star Phoenix columnist Doug Cuthand. His recent piece on racism and climate change as election issues (“Focus on Main Issues in Election Campaign”, Sept. 28) was provocative. You can find it on the paper’s website.

I’m paying attention to Assembly of First Nations Chief Perry Bellegarde. In September, the AFN released “Honouring Promises” their 2019 election priorities paper. It’s good stuff. Check it out at afn.ca.

I’m also listening to the Indigenous candidates from Saskatchewan — all three of them! Jordan Sinclair (Liberal, Regina-Qu’Appelle); Georgina Jolibois (NDP incumbant, Desnethé Missinipi Churchill River); and Tammy Cook-Searson (Liberal, also Desnethé Missinipi Churchill River). Although I won’t be able to vote for any of them, it’s unprecedented and a true sign of things to come.

Politicians — federal, provincial, and municipal — had better be wooing First Nation, Métis and Inuit voters. Our votes are a force to be reckoned with. For example, in 2015, 61.5% of eligible First Nations voters cast their ballots, and the number is expected to increase significantly this time.

More importantly, future Indigenous voters are waiting in the wings in droves and droves. Ignore them at your own risk!

This Doc’s Tops

And now for a Truth and Reconciliation Moment: the folks from the long-standing Indian Head Museum Society spent the past eight months working with local filmmaker Sherona Laskey to develop Knowledge Keepers: Sharing Stories of a Métis Community. At the premiere in Indian Head’s Grand Theatre, the stories — from six of the Qu’Appelle Valley’s many original Métis families — brought the town to life through interviews, photographs and music.  It’s a wonderful start to a long-overdue historical accounting of this community. But even more important is the fact that the Indian Head Museum Society realized they needed to expand their view of “history” to include Métis people on their Board of Directors.

The development of this documentary is a huge step in this community’s reconciliation journey. Check it out on YouTube!

Miigwetch/Marci!