The NDP MPP for the new Kiiwetinoong riding, Sol Mamakwa, has been named as the Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation critic for the provincial party.
Mamakwa is still early into his political career, but since he was sworn in last month he has already stood against some decisions made by the PC Party - when it comes to reconciliation efforts with Indigenous people.
In July, he called on Ontario Premier Doug Ford to explain why he removed reconciliation from the Ministry of Indigenous Affairs, and relegated the ministry to a ‘part-time minister’ – Kenora Rainy-River MPP Greg Rickford.
“Why did the Ford government drop reconciliation from the mandate of the Ministry of Indigenous Affairs and what is behind the decision to have the minister share his time between northern affairs, mining, energy, and, Indigenous Affairs?” askedMamakwa, in one of his first outings at Queen’s Park.
Earlier this month, Mamakwa said that the PC’s were moving backwards with reconciliation efforts, and are moving Ontario’s relationship with Indigenous people in the “wrong direction.”
He later cited a lack of movement on cleaning up the mercury-poisoned river system in Grassy Narrows First Nation and Wabaseemoong Independant Nations.
“Chief Rudy Turtle from Grassy Narrows indicated to me that there had been no outreach whatsoever since the election of this Conservative government. This government so far hasn’t demonstrated a commitment to reconciliation with First Nations people here in Ontario.”
A number of northern MPP’s were named as critics in the NDP’s shadow cabinet. They include Thunder Bay’s Judith Monteith-Farrell as the critic for Natural Resources and Forestry, Jame West of Sudbury as the Labour critic, while Gilles Bisson of Timmins will become the House Leader.
For more information:
Mamakwa stands against PC’s, Ford
PC’s moving backwards on reconciliation, Mamakwa