APTN National News
Well-known elder Taz Bouchier says she wants an Indigenous voice to lead the city of Edmonton and has launched a campaign for mayor.
Bouchier said she has spent the last half century living in Edmonton.
“I think it’s important and the time is now for women, Indigenous women to be stepping up and be role models in the community,” said Bouchier.
“We need to have our voices heard so we are part of the decisions being made.”
Bouchier said she has seen too many faces over the years, mostly white male faces, making the decisions in her city.
According to Bouchier, she is the first Indigenous woman to run for the mayor’s job.
Bouchier said she is well known in the community, and active in social causes such as idle no more, and a regular at Indigenous events.
She said she originally planned to run as a councillor, but the people she met encouraged her to go further.
“Every single person said run for mayor which really surprised me,” Bouchier said. “I’ve lived in the city 53 years and I’ve never seen a representation of my voice on city council.”
The chance to run for any position on council almost didn’t happen.
In July, she was told her kidneys were only working at 12 per cent capacity.
Doctors put her on medication.
For a while, she thought she might not make it.
“I went online and asked for prayers,” she said. “People from around the world are praying for me still – with that my kidneys have improved to 25 per cent and the doctors told me there is no need for dialysis.”
“I don’t‘ have to go on the kidney transplant list and there is a high chance we will save the kidneys.”
Bouchier said she’s feeling strong and preparing for the upcoming campaign and election.
“There are people stopping me on the street and shaking my hand,” she said. “There are people online wanting to get to know me … people phone, texting me. It’s just numerous amount of people saying ‘I am voting for you,'” she said.
Bouchier said her first priority will be to find ways to solve homelessness in the city.
The election will be held on October 16.
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