First Peoples VOTEUOI OFFICES (Nipissing FN)  – Anishinabek Nation Grand Council Chief Patrick Madahbee notes that the Oct. 19 federal election is fast approaching and it’s time to consider voting.

“Some of our Elders and Women have weighed in on whether or not to vote in this election and here is what they had to say,” says Madahbee.

“It’s important that we vote – we have to be counted in. I would like the government to pay more attention to education, living conditions and land claims. We are not asking for handouts. We just want to have the same things as all Canadians. We want the same kind of life as other Canadians.”

– Veronica Waboose, Long Lake #58, Anishinabek Kwe-Wuk Council

“My dad said years ago ‘if you got a voice, use it. If you don’t use your voice to speak up you have to live with what happens’. If you don’t get out there and speak up and use your voice – you have to live with the results. That’s why I always voted. I always l voiced my opinion even if no one agreed with me.  If all Anishinabek people voted, we would be the ones choosing the government.”

– Bonnie Bressette, Kettle & Stony Point First Nation, Anishinabek Kwe-Wuk Council

“I have rarely voted in these provincial or federal elections. I feel that most Anishinabek feel neglected by the current government. I have asked other Anishinabek Giimaayuk who have made comments on ‘to vote or not to vote’. My thought is to put it out there and see who will vote. Simple message is ‘vote’.”

– Mike Eshkwega Sr., Northern Superior Region Elder

“It is important for the younger ones to vote, but leave it up to them to decide on how they will vote. We need to support a government who is going to support us.”

– Elsie Bissaillion, Lake Huron Regional Elder

“My Chief and Council say that we better all go out a vote so we can let the government know about our priorities. Let them know that we are taking full control of our lands and our land claim position. Everyone in the Robinson Superior and around the area of Marathon should all go out and vote this time. Everyone should vote for whoever makes the best position for First Nations.”

– Roy Michano, Northern Superior Region Elder

“I hear that some communities are organizing candidate forums and encouraging their citizens to vote,” says Grand Council Chief.  “Some are arranging car pools to the polls, others are making sure that people are registered, know where to vote and have the proper identification. I encourage all Chiefs to get involved – have community discussions to get the information people need to vote and also to make an informed decision. We will continue to distribute information right up until the election.”

“I appreciate the wisdom that our Elders have shared with us”.

If you didn’t receive your voter card, to visit www.electionscanada.ca or call toll-free 1-800-463-6868. Find out if you have the right identification to take with you when you vote.