Chastity Davis-Alphonse took the time to vote on Oct. 21. B.C’s general Election Day is Saturday, Oct. 24. (Chastity Davis-Alphonse Facebook photo)

Chastity Davis-Alphonse took the time to vote on Oct. 21. B.C’s general Election Day is Saturday, Oct. 24. (Chastity Davis-Alphonse Facebook photo)

B.C. reconciliation advocate encourages Indigenous women to vote in provincial election

Through the power of voice and education Chastity Davis-Alphonse is hopeful for change

The former chair of the Minister’s Advisory Council on Indigenous Women headed to the advanced polls to cast her vote despite admitting disappointment in B.C’s political parties when it comes to the health, safety and wellness of Indigenous women.

“I thought about it — should I even bother going,” said Cariboo-Chilcotin resident Chastity Davis-Alphonse.

“But also I think it is important fundamentally to ensure that our voices are included and heard.”

B.C. political party leaders were criticized in an Oct. 14 open letter by Indigenous and women’s advocacy groups for not including a plan within their platforms to implement the calls for justice from the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls.

“I had this fire in my belly as I was driving away from the voting polls just thinking of all of the injustices and just really wanting to see change for Indigenous women in this province,” Davis-Alphonse said, noting when Indigenous women thrive so do Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities.

“I do have hope that things will change and hopefully sooner rather than later.”

Read More: B.C.’s snap election means 700k ballots will be counted manually, delaying results

As a young girl, Davis-Alphonse said her non-Indigenous father would always tell her the importance of voting.

She hasn’t missed voting in an election since, and encourages voters to take the time to educate themselves on the inequalities of Indigenous women.

Indigenous people and Japanese-Canadians were not allowed to vote in B.C. until 1949 noted Elections BC on its website.

Nationally, Indigenous people were not allowed to cast their ballot until 1960 when the federal government enacted the Canada Elections Act which granted all ‘registered Indians’ the right to vote, stated Elections Canada.

“The one thing that has always stuck with me is the importance of women having a voice in politics,” Davis-Alphonse said.

“Even though the system at this time is slanted and has always been slanted against Indigenous women and oppressed Indigenous women, it will take many leaders such as Indigenous women going out and voting, and education and having allyship with non-Indigenous women and men standing with us because we won’t be able to do it alone.”


Do you have a comment about this story? email:
rebecca.dyok@wltribune.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

First Nationsvoting

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Krista Macinnis displays the homework assignment that her Grade 6 daughter received on Tuesday. (Submitted photo)
Abbotsford mom angry that students asked to list positive stories about residential schools

Daughter’s Grade 6 class asked to write down 5 positive stories or facts

Mission Fire Rescue Service holding a training session in 2016. Bob Friesen photo.
Firefighter’s human-rights complaint against District of Mission dismissed

District had just reason for firing man for insubordination, B.C. Human Rights Tribunal found

The annual Toys for Tots event in Abbotsford normally includes a free breakfast for anyone who drops off a toy or cash donation. This year’s event was to be held as a drive-thru, but that has also been cancelled. (File photo)
Toys for Tots drive-thru event cancelled in Abbotsford

Public encouraged to donate cash or bring toys to drop-off locations

Abbotsford Panthers star Haidyn Vermeulen (right) celebrates his signing with the Alberta Golden Bears football program along with his mother Niki Vermeulen and father Dan Vermeulen back in September.
Abbotsford’s Haidyn Vermeulen named to CFC Prospect Game

Abbotsford Senior Secondary School student one of 14 from B.C. to earn recognition

Shane Goodvin had just bought a house with wife Laura Major when he started experiencing severe back pain. That led to a diagnosis of pancreatic cancer, and the father of five children is now in rough shape. (Submitted photos)
GoFundMe set up for Chilliwack man fighting pancreatic cancer

Shane Goodvin has five children and a loving wife, and he’s worried about their future

A man wearing a face mask to help curb the spread of COVID-19 walks in downtown Vancouver, B.C., Sunday, Nov. 22, 2020. The use of masks is mandatory in indoor public and retail spaces in the province. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. records deadliest day of pandemic with 13 deaths, 738 new COVID-19 cases

Number of people in hospital is nearing 300, while total cases near 30,000

(File photo)
Alberta woman charged after allegedly hitting boy with watermelon at Okanagan campsite

Police say a disagreement among friends at an Adams Lake campsite turned ugly

Court of Appeal for British Columbia in Vancouver. (File photo: Tom Zytaruk)
B.C. woman loses appeal to have second child by using late husband’s sperm

Assisted Human Reproduction Act prohibits the removal of human reproductive material from a donor without consent

B.C. projects targeting the restoration of sockeye salmon stocks in the Fraser and Columbia Watersheds will share in $10.9 million of federal funding to protect species at risk. (Kenny Regan photo)
13 projects protecting B.C. aquatic species at risk receive $11 million in federal funding

Salmon and marine mammals expected to benefit from ecosystem-based approach

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

File photo
Surrey RCMP investigating death threat against Surrey councillor

‘On Monday morning I received a threat on messenger that basically said to put a bullet in me,’ Councillor Jack Hundial told the Now-Leader

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Barrels pictured outside Oliver winery, Quinta Ferreira, in May. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
B.C. Master of Wine reflects on industry’s teetering economic state

Pandemic, for some wine makers, has been a blessing in disguise. For others, not so much.

Most Read