The 2019 federal election is seeing a good turn out of Indigenous voters in the Yukon, but the fact remains that there aren’t any Indigenous candidates to vote for.
Kwanlin Dun Elder Shirley Adamson said that it’s an issue but not surprising to not see any Indigenous candidates.
As long as the candidate can articulate on behalf of Indigenous peoples she’d be happy.
“As a politician you really don’t have your own voice anymore. You have to articulate the needs of your constituents.” Adamson said.
“In the Yukon the First Nations are integral to that constituency base.”
The Yukon is the westernmost, and smallest of the territories.
It’s made up of seven towns, 15 communities and Indigenous peoples make up for just over 20 per cent of the total population.
This election has five parties running to have a seat in Ottawa.
Larry Bagnell is the incumbent Liberal candidate, Jonas Smith is running for the Conservatives, Lenore Morris for the Greens, and Justin Lemphers for the NDP and Joseph Zelezny is with the People’s Party of Canada.
All Yukoners, but none of them are Indigenous.
APTN News asked Yukoners how they felt about there not being any Indigenous candidates running in this election.
“I think I vote more for the party and what it stands for rather than who is representing it,” said Willow Lacoste.
“For the Yukon, I don’t think it really makes a difference for me,” said Al Von Finster.
Many Yukoners told APTN that the issues that are important to them are climate change, Indigenous rights and reconciliation.
“I noticed my son who is 11 is very concerned about the environment so I think it’s important I use my vote to protect it,” Lacoste said.