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As an Anishinaabe citizen, I can’t vote in good conscience in federal elections – CBC

Sep 17, 2021

Casting a ballot in a federal election erodes the sovereignty of First Nations

There’s been a longstanding debate when it comes to voting as a First Nations. Do you vote in order to get a “friendly” government that will support First Nations to attain a better quality of life? Or do you not vote because it will erode our sovereignty, nationhood and identity?

When I was younger, I wanted to cast my ballot as soon as I turned 18. Like other First Nations, I thought that voting would have a positive impact on Indigenous lives since we could help determine who formed the government and set policies.

But the more I learned about Canada’s history and began to understand what it meant to be Anishinaabe who never gave up their rights to self-determination and nationhood, my desire to vote changed. Today, I believe that it doesn’t matter which party is in power or how many First Nations faces sit in parliament. Things won’t change until we recognize self-determination for ourselves and fight for the change of our quality of life from within.

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