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Why we Vote: Métis Nation—Saskatchewan Election 2021

By Desirae Barker

May 6, 2021

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On May 29, 2021, Métis citizens of Saskatchewan will head to the polls and select executive and regional leadership for the Métis Nation—Saskatchewan (MN—S).

MN—S elections are important to express opinions on issues and decisions that impact your life as a Métis while preserving the continuity of democracy. Geordy McCaffrey, Executive Director of GDI, adds, “A hallmark of a strong democracy is the number of citizens who participate in the election system and help guide the Nation.”

The MN—S is structured to represent the political, socioeconomic, cultural, and educational interests of over 58,000 Métis citizens (according to the last Canadian census in 2016) or up to 80,000 according to unofficial numbers, divided into 12 regions. It is important to acknowledge that the leadership within the MN—S makes critical decisions, worth millions of dollars, on Métis resources for Métis citizens flowing from the Canada-Métis Nation Accord. They also impact the future of the MN—S affiliates, including GDI. For example, in the last round of MN–S Constitutional Reform (2019-2020), it is noted that there is a desire to turn the affiliates into “departments” of the MN–S. Such a move would fundamentally alter the administration and structure of GDI.

Before the election, we encourage all staff and students to ask the candidates about their plans for the affiliates, as their responses directly impact GDI. A list of all candidates running in the 2021 MN—S election can be found at www.mnselection.ca. Further to this, GDI has uploaded clips of the 2021 Candidate Forum held in Yorkton on May 1st to our YouTube page. The clips include Vice-President and President candidates detailing their platforms with a question period to follow.

On May 10th GDI will publish a “special election issue” of the New Nation: la noovel naasyoon magazine in which all candidates are invited to share information about themselves, their platforms, and where they stand. https://gdins.org/metis-culture/the-new-nation/ .There are many opportunities to become informed.

Voters will be able to vote in their region at the advance poll on May 22nd or on Election Day, May 29th. Educate yourself on candidate platforms, be informed, and exercise your right to vote!

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