Monday, 1 June 2015

History of Indigenous people elected to the House of Commons - #BYTHENUMBERS


Since Canadian Confederation (1867) there have been a hand full of Indigenous people elected to the House of Commons. Indigenous or Aboriginal people include First Nation, Metis and Inuit people. In this post, we provide a look at some of the "firsts" and overall history of Indigenous MPs in Canada. 

According to the Parliament of Canada website, there has been a total of 33 Members of Parliament of Inuit, Metis or First Nation elected people.


Indigenous MPs by the numbers:



First or significant milestones for Indigenous or Aboriginal MPs: 


FIRST MP

Metis
Conservative MP (1871-1872)
Marquette, MB
Opposed Louis Riel/Later Indian Agent
Scottish, French & Cree 




FIRST INDEPENDENT MP


Metis
MP (1873-1874)
Leader of the Metis Nation and Father of Confederation (MB)
Never took his seat in the House of Commons





FIRST LIBERAL MP

Metis 
Liberal MP (1948 - 1953)
In 1957 he was appointed to the Canadian Senate






FIRST CABINET MINISTER

Metis
Liberal MP (1962-1968)
Minister of Veterans Affairs
Lieutenant - RCAF, Manitoba MLA




FIRST - FIRST NATION MP AND CABINET MINISTER

First Nation
Liberal MP (1968-1979)
From Okanagan Indian Band, Worked for NIB (AFN)
Served as Parliamentary Secretary, Minister of State/Environment
Appointed to the Canadian Senate in 1984




FIRST NDP MP
Metis
NDP MP (1972-1979)
Native Rights Activist, Broadcaster, Fur Trader





FIRST INUIT MP

Inuit
NDP MP (1979-1982)
Nunatsiaq, Nunavut
Crossed the floors to the Liberal Party (1982-1984)
Ran unsuccessfully for the Green Party (2008)




FIRST - FIRST NATION WOMAN AND FEMALE CABINET MINISTER

First Nation
Liberal MP (1982-2006)
Dene, Chair of Sahtu Secretariat Inc
Secretary/Minister of State (Children & Youth/Education)
Minister of State (Northern Development)




FIRST INUIT WOMAN

Inuit 
Liberal MP (1997-2008)
Parliament Secretary (Natural Resources)
Financial Comptroller, Arviat Municipal Council



FIRST BLOC QUEBECOIS

First Nation
Bloc Quebecois MP (2006-2008)




FIRST INUIT CABINET MINISTER

Inuit
Conservative MP (2008-2015)
Minister of Environment (former Health Minister)
Former Minister of Health & Social Services in Nunavut





FIRST METIS FEMALE AND CABINET MINISTER

Metis
Conservative MP (2008-2015)
Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages
Former Police Officer

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Recommended read:
 
Exploring the Issues of Aboriginal Represenation in Federal Elections
 
Source: Elections Canada (2003)
 
Anna Hunter
Assistant Professor, Department of Political Studies, University of Saskatchewan
 
Aboriginal people can make a strong claim that the federal electoral system perpetuates their exclusion. The level of Aboriginal voter participation in federal electoral politics remains low,1 and their ability to successfully translate political participation into the nomination and election of
 
Aboriginal people to the House of Commons is even lower.2 This lack of representation of Aboriginal people in formal political processes signifies such a high degree of political alienation that it threatens the legitimacy of the Canadian democratic electoral system. It also sustains a very tenuous relationship between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Canadians. Read More....

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Notes:



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