Leaders of the Métis Nation Sasketchewan and the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Chiefs (FSIN) are urging their constituents to cast votes in the 2011 election to be held May 2 and will hold forums the week of April 18 to disseminate information on voter registration and to give the candidates an opportunity to speak.
“The FSIN is urging First Nations voters to make their voices heard in the federal election by heading to the polls on May 2nd to vote for their candidate of choice,” the group covering 70 First Nations tribes said on its website.
There has been controversy and disagreement over whether to vote in the federal election, since many First Nations people do not consider themselves Canadian citizens.
The FSIN is partnering with the Saskatchewan Métis Nation to arrange candidates forums to let First Nations voters know how to register and to give voters an opportunity to hear directly from each major political party’s candidates how they will address First Nations interests, needs and goals, the aboriginal governing body said. There is also a Facebook page with information, the group said.
“The FSIN is not endorsing any candidates or political parties,” the group emphasized.
Candidate forums begin on Tuesday April 19 and will run through the 22nd, the FSIN said, with forums confirmed for:
April 19th – Regina, First Nations University of Canada from 6:30-9:00 p.m.
April 20th – Prince Albert, Senator Allan Bird Memorial Centre from 6:30-9:00 p.m.
April 21st – Saskatoon, Oskayak School from 6:30-9:00 (SICC Feast starts @ 4 p.m. and a Roundance will follow the candidates forum)