UBCIC Celebrates Wab Kinew’s Significant Victory as Manitoba’s first First Nations Premier

News Release
October 5, 2023

UBCIC Celebrates Wab Kinew’s Significant Victory as Manitoba’s first First Nations Premier

(xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish) and səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil Waututh)/ Vancouver, B.C. – October 5, 2023) Late on October 3, Wab Kinew, a member of the Onigaming First Nations and the leader of Manitoba’s New Democratic Party, was elected as Premier-designate – a first in Manitoban and Canadian history.  

Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, UBCIC President, stated “I am incredibly proud of Wab Kinew for the groundbreaking victory he achieved as the first First Nations Premier of a Province in Canada, and for leading the Manitoba NDP to a majority victory. It is important to reflect on what this victory means. Despite the devastating, violent and pernicious impacts of colonialism, including genocide and taking away our children, we as First Nations have survived. Wab Kinew’s victory is a big step forward. We are just beginning to dismantle the racism that was and is a tool of colonialism and oppression, and we are working hard to make societal and institutional changes. This was a victory against white supremacy, one that we have all been fighting for.”

“When First Nations people are in positions of power, our society improves for everyone - a rising tide lifts all boats” continued Chief Don Tom, UBCIC Vice President. “While the opposing ‘Progressive’ Conservative Party ran on a platform of distrust and discrimination, attempting to woo voters with their persistent opposition to a landfill search for the bodies of missing and murdered Indigenous women, and to common-sense sex education. They assumed what matters most to voters is the status quo, and a few years ago, they may have been right, but Manitobans proved them wrong. I lift my hands with gratitude, this is a moment of hope for the future.”

Chief Marilyn Slett, UBCIC Secretary-Treasurer, concluded, “All year, my heart has ached for First Nations people in Manitoba as their previous provincial government callously disregarded and disrespected Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, refusing to even consider or meaningfully collaborate on a landfill search for our sisters’ bodies. We know this refusal is grounded in racism – if the bottom of the ocean can be searched for a few wealthy people, then a landfill is possible. Today, less than 24 hours after Kinew and the NDP’s win, and after ten months of ceaseless advocacy by First Nations people, the federal government announced additional funding to determine the feasibility of a search. The road ahead is long, but through genuine collaboration, we can show the world that Indigenous women are not disposable and that all things are possible when we work together.”


Media inquiries:

Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, President, 250-490-5314
Chief Don Tom, Vice-President, 604-290-6083
Chief Marilyn Slett, Secretary-Treasurer, 250-957-7721

UBCIC is an NGO in Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations.

For more information, please visit www.ubcic.bc.ca

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