Day 6

First Nations and the election: boycott or engage?

National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations Perry Bellegarde is urging Indigenous people to vote in the federal election. But activist, lawyer and professor Pam Palmater won't be voting and is encouraging other Aboriginal people to do the same. They explain why their respective positions will bring about positive change to Indigenous communities.
Canada's Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Assembly of First Nations National Chief Perry Bellegarde, Justice Murray Sinclair, and Governor General David Johnston attend the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada's closing ceremony at Rideau Hall in Ottawa June 3, 2015. (Blair Gable/Reuters)

The Assembly of First Nations, The Native Women's Association of Canada and other groups are calling on Indigenous people to get out and vote during the upcoming federal election. National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations Perry Bellegarde says it's critical for First Nations to vote, at a time when Canada is poised to begin the era of reconciliation. But not everyone agrees. Activist, lawyer and professor Pam Palmater says First Nations people shouldn't vote, run or participate in the election because doing so won't result in any tangible benefits for First Nations communities. Day 6 host Laura Lynch speaks with them both to hear different sides of the First Nations voting debate. 

Visit CBC News Aboriginal for all the latest on indigenous voters and candidates during the 2015 federal election.