Voting ‘like crazy’: How Manitoba Métis are getting their citizens to the polls

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More than five million Canadians have already cast ballots in advance elections in the federal election, and the president of the Manitoba Métis Federation (MMF) is confident that there are “hundreds of hundreds” Métis.

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Last week, the MMF announced a new incentive program that encourages citizens of Manitoba Metis to participate in voting, offering raffle prizes in exchange for selfies outside polling stations.

“It’s pumping out a lot of new energy,” said MMF President David Chartrand.

“Our employees are telling us they’re already sending people their photos with … they’re coming in like crazy.”


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NS canada election act Prohibits anyone from voting, not voting, or giving or receiving “bribes” in return for voting for or against a particular candidate or party.

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However, the MMF’s incentive program does not require proof that citizens have voted, only a photograph outside the polling station. All prizes, including a television, PlayStation and a car, have been donated privately.

The federation is also encouraging residents to visit and submit their photos its website, where it sets out its federal election priorities and describes how each of the major political parties’ forums address them.

The goal of the nonpartisan initiative, Chartrand said, is to encourage democratic participation, especially among young voters, which he hopes will make voting a lifelong habit.

At the end of the day, he said, the program also sends a message to all political parties with more than 400,000 citizens nationwide: “Metis matters.”

“We may be poor but we have a large population in Western Canada … so we will influence (the election results).”

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Sharon Parenteau was one of the first Manitoba Metis citizens to vote in advance and participate in the event. She voted Friday with a group of other MMF employees in Winnipeg, general manager of the Louis Riel Institute, and posted the photo to social media.

“I think there’s only one way to have your voice heard and I also think it’s not fair to complain about the government if you don’t use your voice,” she told Granthshala News.

“I’m not really doing it for awards or anything, I’m just doing it because I think we need to vote for our families, to vote for our friends, to vote for everyone. should be encouraged.”

Few data exist on Indigenous Votership in Canada because Elections Canada does not collect demographic information at most polling stations.

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However, in the 2015 federal election, 61.5 percent The number of eligible voters living on reserves cast their ballots – an increase of 14 percentage points from the 2011 election.

Tania Cameron, who led First Nations Rock the Vote The 2015 movement in Kenora, Ontario, said it believed Indigenous voter engagement has increased since then.

Nearly 5.8 million Canadians voted in advance elections – nearly 1 million more than in 2019

While contracted as the Indigenous ‘Get Out the Vote’ organizer for the New Democrats in this election, she said her social media inbox was filled with questions from Indigenous voters of all political stripes, which she was only too much to answer. are happy.

“I especially remind First Nation voters that we only had the right to vote until 1960,” she said.

“Our people made every effort to ensure that we have a right and a voice at the ballot box, and in this 2021 election, we see and know that there are parties that are listening to our concerns. What are the First Nations, the Metis and the Inuit as in this country, and how do we want to be represented in parliament.”

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The federal election is on September 20.

Indigenous organizations including the Assembly of the First Nations, the Congress of Aboriginal Peoples, the Métis National Council, and the Inuit Tapirit Kanatami outline their electoral preferences and more information for Indigenous voters on their respective websites.

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