|Minister Hehr Addressing Those|
This evening I had the wonderful opportunity to attend the Town Hall on Electoral Reform, hosted by Minister of Veterans' Affairs and MP for Calgary Centre: Kent Hehr, with IPC-Alberta President, Michelle Robinson and her wonderful daughter Samantha.
The town hall was very interesting - with around 200 people in attendance, albeit some of the people who attended seem to be there to cause disruption rather then foster discussion for how Canada should elect its representatives in the future.
|Joan Crockatt & one of the CPC plants|
reviewing their notes
Additionally, during a Q&A portion on Electoral Reform, two individuals decided to speak up - both White & Male. The problem? They both decided to speak on behalf of Indigenous peoples - with one even using the sentence 'Our Indigenous peoples,' etc. Although they both were probably trying to do right, they didnt seem to comprehend their lack 'checking their privilege' - especially when their were Indigenous peoples in the room and we are very capable of speaking for ourselves. What does this highlight? That Settler-Colonialism and forgetting of one's 'privilage' exists accross political ideologies, class, liberalism, marxism, etc.
Furthermore, To hear people talk about the idea of Indigenous Electoral Districts without realizing or considering the fact that 'Indigenous' is a blanket term was concerning. Indigenous Electoral Districts cannot work in Canada if it is based on 'Indigenous population.' (1 seat per 100,000 Indigenous peoples = 15 seats overall to represent the Metis Nation, 3 Inuit Nations, and over 50 First Nations - see the problem with this one?)
I made sure to highlight this and also reminded those in the room that nation-to-nation relations includes listening to us - not talking for us. I also tried my best to remind people to stop saying "Our Indigenous peoples/Canada's Natives,' etc... I and other Indigenous peoples are not owned by Canadians... (so please, for those reading this - dont use that terminology - try Indigenous nations/peoples or 'Indigenous nations/peoples that Canada shares territory with').
Despite the above points, I commend Minister Hehr, and those who work/volunteer for him and Calgary-Centre, for doing an amazing job in hosting a very engaging town hall on something as diverse and debatable as Electoral Reform. People highlighted a need for less partisanship, more accountability to constituents, as well as the fact that a good amount of people expressed a want and need for a referendum on electoral reform.
|Indigenous Peoples' Commission (Alberta) President Michelle Robinson conversing with a table on Electoral Reform|
at the Calgary Centre Town Hall.