Manitoba

Woman urges fellow indigenous voters to head to polls this fall

Thirty-six-year-old Merle Cameron says this fall she is urging her fellow indigenous voters to head to the polls and make their voices heard.

'We need the government to listen,' says Merle Cameron, who lives in the Winnipeg North riding

A 36-year-old aboriginal woman in the Winnipeg North riding says she will head to the polls and vote for just the second time in her life this fall. (Chris Young/Canadian Press)

She's only ever cast a ballot once in her life, but 36-year-old Merle Cameron says this fall she is urging her fellow indigenous voters to head to the polls and make their voices heard.

"I'm not getting any younger and I realize that I still have yet many things to do," said Cameron, who lives in the Winnipeg North riding where nearly one voter in five is aboriginal.

"It's good for the people," Cameron said. "We need this. We need help, we need support. We need people to listen. We need the government to listen."

Until very recently, the single mother said she didn't think her vote could affect the outcome of the upcoming election.

"I don't know what 'NDP' stands for. I don't know what 'Liberal' stands for. I don't know what the 'Green Party' stands for, so I didn't think it was important," said Cameron. "Now I'm learning it's important, because it's our future."
Wayne Mason, 61, volunteers with indigenous 'Rock The Vote,' a group encouraging aboriginal people to get to the polls on Oct. 19. (Chris Glover/CBC)

Cameron is on social assistance and said secure housing and education programming are the issues that matter to her most.

Cameron said she plans to vote because she wants to set a good example for aboriginal voters everywhere. She said she hopes her vote helps ensures her kids grow up to have a better life than she had.

Canadians head to the polls Oct. 19.

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