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‘A new day for indigenous peoples in Canada’

By Ally Foster, Bea Vongdouangchanh      

The 2015 election featured 54 indigenous candidates, 10 of whom were elected to the House of Commons. It’s the most number of First Nations, Inuit and Métis Members of Parliament in Canada’s history. What does it mean for federal public policy? ‘Renewing the nation-to-nation relationship with indigenous peoples lies at the heart of a strong Canada. Our legacy as a government will depend on it,’ says the country’s first indigenous Justice Minister. PHOTOGRAPHS BY JAKE WRIGHT

‘The number of indigenous MPs, along with our government’s strong commitment to reconciliation with indigenous peoples, speaks volumes to how far we have come as a country. This makes me so very proud to be both indigenous and Canadian,’ says Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould. P&I photograph by Blair Gable

The October 2015 federal election was momentus for the 10 indigenous people elected as MPs—a record-breaking number in Canadian history, and a game changer for federal public policy. Although there are likely many complex societal shifts that contributed to the overwhelming engagement of what has historically been a politically-indifferent demographic, many say the previous Conservative government was the main incentive for increased activism among indigenous peoples. Grand Chief Sheila North Wilson of Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak told reporters: “I

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