Thursday, April 14, 2011

Aboriginal Candidates in the election

I am not claiming this is the full list of aboriginal candidates in the country, but it a list I got from Media Indigena and seems to be fairly complete.   Out of 1588 candidates, only 33 are aboriginal, 2.1% of candidates.   Aboriginal people make up 3.75% of the national population.

There are currently three sitting aboriginal MPs - 1% of all MPs
  • Rob Clarke (Cree) – Desnethé-Missinippi-Churchill River
  • Leona Aglukkaq (Inuit) – Nunavut
  • Todd Russell (Metis) – Labrador
If aboriginal people were represented as candidates and MPs in proportion to their population there would 60 candidates and 12 MPs.

If I find more candidates I will add them.   The colours correspond to the parties they are running for.

By Party
  • Conservatives - 5 of which 2 are sitting MPs
  • Liberals - 8  of which 1 is a sitting MP
  • NDP - 8
  • Greens - 8
  • Others - 4
By Province

  • Edith Loring-Kuhanga (Gitxsan) – Saanich-Gulf Islands
  • Frank Martin - Vancouver Island North - CPC ML
Even with more than 30% of the people being aboriginal, there is not a single aboriginal candidate in Skeena Bulkley Valley.  This is also the largest riding in BC.

  • Scott Milton (Cherokee) – Calgary East
  • Lewis Cardinal (Cree) – Edmonton Centre
  • Jeff Horvath (Ojibway) – Wild Rose
  • Jennifer Villebrun (Metis) – Peace River
  • Karen Young (Dene) – Fort McMurray-Athabasca
Fort McMurray-Athabasca is 1/4 aboriginal and the largest riding in Alberta.  It is the northeastern quarter of the province

  • Jordan Laplante (Dene/Cree) – Battlefords-Lloydminster
  • Rob Clarke (Cree) – Desnethé-Missinippi-Churchill River - sitting MP
  • George Morin (Cree) - Desnethé-Missinippi-Churchill River
  • Gabe LaFond (Metis) - Desnethé-Missinippi-Churchill River
  • Lawrence Joseph (Cree) - Desnethé-Missinippi-Churchill River
Desnethé—Missinippi—Churchill River is the only riding with all the candidates being aboriginal.  It is 2/3s aboriginal and covers well over half of Saskatchewan.

Prince Albert is 1/4 aboriginal and has no aboriginal candidates.


  • Rod Bruinooge (Metis) – Winnipeg South
  • Shelly Glover (Metis) – Saint Boniface
  • Jacqueline Romanow (Metis) – Winnipeg Centre
  • Frank Komarniski – Winnipeg North - Communist
  • Alberteen Spence (Innu) – Churchill
  • Sydney Garrioch (Cree) - Churchill
Churchill is 70% aboriginal, the second highest percentage in Canada.  Former Grand Chief Sydney Garrioch of the Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak is running for the Liberals and has strong connections to the communities.  He could upset Niki Ashton of the NDP.


  • Lorraine Rekmans (Algonquin) - Algoma-Manitoulin-Kapuskasing
  • Kelvin Chicago-Boucher (Ojibway) – Kenora - Independent
  • Tania Cameron (Ojibway) – Kenora
  • William Morin (Ojibway) – Sudbury FPNPC
  • Cynthia Wesley-Esquimaux (Ojibway) – York Simcoe
Kenora is 40% aboriginal and Tania Cameron could pull off a longshot win, though I am not convinced. She ran for the NDP last time and lost more ground than the Liberals.


  • Johnny Kasudluak (Inuit) – Abitibi-Baie-James-Nunavik-Eeyou
  • Romeo Saganash (Cree) – Abitibi-Baie-James-Nunavik-Eeyou
I wrote about Abitibi-Baie-James-Nunavik-Eeyou the other day and I think Romeo Saganash has a decent chance of winning for the NDP.


  • Leona Aglukkaq (Inuit) – Nunavut - sitting MP
  • Paul Okalik (Inuit) - Nunavut
  • Joe Handley (Metis) – Western Arctic
  • Kevin Barr (Metis) – Yukon

Nunavut is a race between sitting MP Leona Aglukkaq and former premier Paul Okalik.  I would not hazard a guess who will win, the politics of the north are very different and you need to be on the inside of them to have an idea of what is happening

Newfoundland and Labrador

  • Todd Russell (Metis) – Labrador - sitting MP
  • Peter Penashue (Innu) – Labrador
  • George Barrett (Metis) – Labrador
Labrador could be in play because of the Conservative candidate Peter Penashue.  I can hear you say "But Bernard, Russell won with more than 70% of the vote, are you smoking crack?"   Labrador can fluctuate a lot more than people expect.  In 2006 the Conservative vote was just short of 40%.   With the right candidate, it is possible for the Conservatives to win.   If Peter Penashue can get the Innu to come out and vote.  Voter turn out dropped dramatically from 2006 to 2008.   Only 38.6% voted in 2008.

Eliza Knockwood (Mi’kmaq) – Charlottetown

Overall, 19 of the 33 are candidates in the large northern ridings of Canada, not just the territories, but the large northern ones in the provinces as well.    Coming out of the election we will likely have three aboriginal MPs, there is an outside chance of that rising to four.

No comments: