With the election of Blake Desjarlais, the new MP for Edmonton – Griesbach, Canada now has its first openly Two-Spirit MP.
It’s a change that an Edmonton defenseman believes is important.
“What is remarkable about this election is that we are starting to see ourselves more represented, more clearly in Parliament,” said Jeffrey Chalifoux, executive director of the Edmonton 2 Spirit Society.
NDP candidate Blake Desjarlais ousts incumbent Conservative MP Kerry Diotte in Edmonton-Griesbach
Blake Desjarlais to become Canada’s first Two-Spirit MP
NDP candidate Desjarlais won his seat Monday night with 40.5% of the vote, toppling the Tory riding. Former Edmonton City Councilor Kerry Diotte had held the seat since its inception in 2015.
“I think what made the difference in our election was making sure that we are present in the community, that we are active in the community and that we are there for the people, because we will be.” Desjarlais told Shaye. Ganam Thursday.
Two Spirit is a difficult identity to explain. According to Chalifoux, who uses the them / them pronouns, the definition may mean something different to different Indigenous peoples.
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The Edmonton 2 Spirit Society embraced the idea that “Two Spirit peoples transcend the boundaries set by the masculine and feminine binary, thereby restoring our gender fluidity among our people,” they explained.
“It’s really to help understand the diversity of traditions, cultures and understandings that have been lost to our people as we try to redefine ourselves, and to find those cultures and traditions that have been buried.”
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Electing someone who identifies in a way that may be less understood or shared than other parts of the LGBTQ2S community, Chalifoux said, not only helps make that identity more common, but it shows Indigenous youth who grow up who can identify as Two Spirit as their voices can be heard.
“There is space available for us, even though we have been pushed to the margins and almost wiped out and are currently going through many suicides, bereavements and losses in our communities, as we have been doing for some time.
“Our young people will know that it’s okay. It’s good to identify who you are, to be your real being, and to see that, you know, we can be represented on television, we can be represented in the news, we can be represented in our leaders and in parliament.
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In the 2021 election, there will be three new Indigenous MPs: Desjarlais, Adam Chambers, also Métis, who took the seat in Simcoe North, Ontario for the Conservatives, and Lori Idlout, who kept Nunavut Orange, will replace the Neo MP. -Democrat Mumilaaq Qaqqaq, who has decided not to run anymore.
This means that there will be 12 Indigenous MPs in this cabinet, one more than in the 2019 election.
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In addition to being Aboriginal and two-spirited, Desjarlais is also one of the youngest elected members of this campaign.
“These are some of the issues and some of the demographics that are currently lacking in the House of Commons and that have historically missed these perspectives of the House of Commons, which I believe largely contribute to the disenfranchisement of so many people.” in our community. . “
Desjarlais is the only aboriginal MP from Alberta.
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