By ANNews Staff
(April 2019) – Alexis Nakota Nation Chief Tony Alexis is reminding Indigenous people living in Alberta that the advance polls are open and he urges everyone to get out and vote.
“Four years ago, Indigenous advocates across Canada rallied and knocked on doors to encourage First Nations, Metis and Inuit peoples to ‘Rock the Indigenous Vote.’ Many people came out, some for the first time in their lives, to mark change at the federal level,” stated Chief Alexis.
“On April 16, Alberta will be faced with an opportunity to hear directly from Indigenous voters. What will we show them? Will we be seen and heard as the powerful force that we are? We are the fastest growing population in all of Canada. Our vote matters not only for us but for our future generations.”
This year’s election campaign seems to be courting Indigenous voters more than ever before. There are numerous Indigenous candidates running in each of the parties and each party has published a platform that includes their plans for Indigenous economic and reconciliation Programs.
In a nutshell, all the parties are promising to get the TransMountain Pipeline built. The UCP is putting pipelines and economic programs front and centre using a confrontational and aggressive approach with the Federal government, the BC government and First Nation groups that they have identified as being ‘foreign funded.’ They promise to partner generously with Indigenous groups that have oil and gas projects but will stop the carbon tax and halt the alternative energy initiatives that have been developed using that revenue – including the much-acclaimed Indigenous Solar Energy program.
The NDP is showcasing the exemplary work they have done in building relationships and pledging to build the pipeline while still developing a robust climate change initiative. They are pledging to continue their commitment to improving health, education, language and cultural programs as well as job training initiatives. They too will work with Indigenous communities who are involved in the oil and gas industry but they will continue to encourage alternative energy programs with grants and partnerships.
The Alberta Party and the Alberta Liberals both have Indigenous Platforms that balance social programs, reconciliation and economic development. Their platforms are available on their websites and make for an interesting read.
In the words of Chief Tony Alexis:
“Let’s keep the momentum going. Take action just as we did four years ago. We can influence who governs at the provincial level, this is an example of how we become masters of modern-day institutions while continuing to practice our traditions, treaty and inherent rights.”
“Rock the Indigenous Vote,” concluded Chief Alexis. “Get to the polls on April 16.”