“With a rapidly expanding demographic, now is the perfect time for First Nations to get involved in the provincial political process.” – Grand Chief Daniels
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 13, 2023
ANISHINAABE AND DAKOTA TERRITORY, MB — With the Manitoba election campaign now officially underway, the Southern Chiefs’ Organization (SCO) is encouraging southern First Nation citizens to get involved in the democratic process and to cast their ballots in advance polls or on election day October 3, 2023.
“The Southern Chiefs’ Organization now represents more than 85,000 people in this province we now all share,” stated SCO Grand Chief Jerry Daniels. “Our large population of First Nations citizens show we can have a significant influence on the electoral process. I encourage all of our citizens who are age 18 and over to come out and vote in this election! Let’s vote to hold the leaders of the political parties to account, when it comes to protecting, preserving, promoting, and enhancing the inherent rights of First Nations peoples.”
The provincial election provides the opportunity for SCO citizens to have their voices heard. It is important to remember that many of our grandparents and parents advocated for status First Nations people to have the right to vote. It was not until the year 1960 when both First Nations women and men received the right to vote, no matter where they lived/without giving up their status.
Voting is a free opportunity to hold the next provincial government responsible for the fulfillment of their fiduciary duties and other responsibilities and obligations. This includes, but is not limited to, advancing our languages, customs, and traditions.
It is also essential that our next government commits to searching the landfill; addressing the affordable housing crisis; decreasing racism in the health care, policing, and correctional systems; and creating changes that improve the lives of our citizens. SCO also looks to elected officials to support and advance both the Calls to Action from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and the Calls for Justice from Final Report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls.
The campaign is also an opportune time for our youth to identify the priorities and issues that are most important to them.
“From the current climate crisis to the rising cost of education and living, there are so many issues that are critical for our young adults,” said SCO female Youth Chief Tréchelle Bunn. “I want young people to know that their participation in democracy truly matters, and I encourage them to get out and vote.”
“I encourage all the people we represent to get to know the candidates in their voting area, and to learn about their party policies that directly impact our peoples and lands,” added Grand Chief Daniels. “I look forward to continuing to build bridges with our provincial Treaty partner no matter who wins the election on October 3rd. I also look forward to working together to end the longstanding systemic neglect of our Nations.”
SCO encourages First Nations citizens in Manitoba to visit the Elections Manitoba website at www.electionsmanitoba.ca/en/Voting to review a full list of candidates, polling stations, and to receive information on what you need to vote.
The Southern Chiefs’ Organization represents 34 First Nations and more than 85,500 citizens in what is now called southern Manitoba. SCO is an independent political organization that protects, preserves, promotes, and enhances First Nations peoples’ inherent rights, languages, customs, and traditions through the application and implementation of the spirit and intent of the Treaty-making process.
For media inquiries: