Sandee Sez: Vote for the Canada you want to see
- Sandra Ahenakew | October 18, 2015
“Change will come, it might not happen today, it might not happen right away but it will come.” So have faith brothers and sisters, a change is coming and we can either watch change come or participate in it…we got a choice.” Wise words from American President Barack Obama. October is breast cancer awareness month. October is also a time to remember the murdered and missing Aboriginal women through Sisters In Spirit vigils across Canada. October is also your opportunity to vote in the Federal Election and elect a government that will respect Aboriginal people. This October 19, 2015, go and vote.
What does your Canada look like? What would Canada look like if every Aboriginal person went to vote? Every “citizen of Canada has the right to participate in our democracy by casting a ballot on Election Day. In a world where rights are trampled on and people die fighting for the right to vote, why would any Canadian willingly not exercise their right to vote. Voting connects us to one another as citizens. By taking part in an election and by expressing our point of view, we help our democracy work. By agreeing or disagreeing with our leaders we show that the political system can accept differing points of view and can resolve them. Voting helps choose our leaders (those who share our views or those who may inspire us). The simple act of marking a ballot tells our leaders what we think about decisions that affect our lives, such as such as health care or the environment, or recognizing Aboriginal rights in Canada. We vote for what we think is most important. The best way to make sure the things you care about are actually reflected in society is by actually supporting those things at the polling station. If you don’t vote for what you believe in, no one else will do it for you.
Your tax dollars (despite what the majority of Canadians think - Aboriginal people do pay taxes) are used to fund the programs and policies that elected governments create so why not tell them how you want them to use your money? If you don’t, your money will be used to fund the priorities of other people without you ever having your say.
Last but not least, don’t forget you live in your community and have a say in how it’s shaped. Even if you don’t speak up, others will so you might as well get your say, too. Vote because every election matters. Vote because the choices you will make matter. What is important to you? Go online and do some research before you go vote. Ask candidates where does your party stand on Aboriginal issues? The reality is that if we want to make changes to policy or any legislation affecting us we need to step up and participate in municipal, provincial and federal elections either by voting or actually running as a candidate.
There was a time when everyone participated in the running of our communities. Today many in society could care less; how can they care about who wins an election when they worry about what they will feed their children for dinner or how they will pay the rent for the next month. Well we have to care! Look at some of the countries where people are starving and their country is at war – these people still participate in their elections, they still believe in the possibilities of change and so can we. We can make a difference. There was a time when Aboriginal people were forbidden to vote in an election. Imagine what a change we could make to this country or this province if we all vote in the next election!
Voting matters. When voters don't turn out to choose their local and federal governments, they receive a government that doesn't represent them. Vote for the safety of your community -voting is an important way of having your say on the issues you care about. October 19, 2015 Canadians will be going to the polls to vote for our government and make sure your voice is heard.
Go to www.Elections.sk.ca and register to vote. Call your Band Office and find out where you go to vote.Thanks for your emails and letters, its great hearing from our readers. Send you questions and comments to Sandee Sez C/O Eagle Feathr News PO Box 924 Station Main, Saskatoon SK S7K 3M4, or you can send me an email email@example.com.