Unreserved

The power of the indigenous vote: a potential political game changer

It's election time in Canada. Campaigns are in full swing and media airwaves are thick with political messages. Debates over who has the best plan are happening in coffee shops and around dinner tables all over the country.
Unreserved host Rosanna Deerchild, participating in the democratic process and taking a selfie. (Rosanna Deerchild)
Listen to the full episode39:24

It's election time in Canada! Campaigns are in full swing and airwaves are thick with political messages. Debates over who has the best plan are happening in coffee shops and around dinner tables all over the country. 

I confess, I have never cast a ballot in a federal election. But this time — for the first time — I am voting.

It's a decision that many of my fellow indigenous people are making. From youth to elders, reserves to urban centres, many in our community will mark an X on a ballot. Often for the first time.

This week, Unreserved hears from indigenous people about how — and if — they're getting involved in the federal election. 

  • Winnipeg's Michael Champagne and Leah Gazan talk about how the indigenous vote is shaping up in their community, and respond to Ashley Callingbull's controversial call-to-action.  
  • Cara Currie Hall mobilized the Native American vote and helped Barack Obama win the U.S. presidency. Now, she's back home and trying to rock the vote in Canada.
  • Max FineDay and Tyson Atleo explain what it'll take to get young people like them to the polls.
  • Will more aboriginal voters head to the polls this election? Right now on the Kitigan Zibi reserve near Maniwaki, Que., elders are talking about getting out and voting — and for many, it will be for the first time.

This week's playlist:

Kinnie Starr - It'll Be Fine

Chuck Copenace - Appetites

Mob Bounce - Welcome to the Struggle

Lloyd Cheechoo - Winds of Change