First Nations must exercise hard-earned right to vote

Duncan – “You will regret you didn’t vote, when they take your right away,” he said. He is an elder, a residential system survivor, a veteran from the war. I didn’t really know him, yet when he spoke those words, I listened. And I voted, if nothing else to keep the right to vote – some view as a rite of passage.

It was 50 years ago First Nations people finally got a right to vote, and today that ‘right’ is being buried by barriers many First Nations and other citizens navigate daily. Particularly having a fixed address and two pieces of ID when registering.

Voters Community Action is made up of local voters who want to empower and support all nations to participate in the voting process. This includes supporting community members in registering to vote, learning about the voting process and having access to information and support in getting to the polls.

The group will do this by engaging the community through local presentations, information booths in the community, as well as hosting a community event sponsored by the Red Willow Womyn’s society from 11am to 7pm, Monday, June 29, 2015 at the Si’em Lelum Gymnasium.

This fall the federal election will be one of historical proportions. Those who chose to vote will be changing the history of Canada. As Rose Henry put it, “…the marginalized people are not a hopeless helpless people if nothing else we could be the most powerful people, if we were all to vote.”

The first step is to register in advance. Anyone wanting to know more can visit our Facebook page at facebook.com/voterscommunityaction, email us at wewillwin@gmail.com or call 250-929-2232.

Patricia Dawn

Duncan