In 2015, the Liberal Party of Canada made history by electing the largest contingent of Indigenous Members of Parliament (MPs). The Liberal Party has elected the most First Nation, Métis and Inuit MPs throughout Canada’s history. However, it’s the Indigenous Peoples’ Commission’s belief and goal that we need to elect many more Indigenous MPs who provide a strong voice for Indigenous peoples within the Liberal Party and in federal Liberal governments.
The Indigenous Liberal Caucus is a caucus of MPs who are First Nation, Métis and Inuit nations and have been elected from ridings across Canada and throughout Turtle Island. They have been elected from coastal, northern, remote and urban areas and represent a broad cross section of who Indigenous people are. Don Rusnak, MP (Thunder Bay – Rainy River), Don is Indigenous in a riding that has a large Indigenous population.
The IPC’s goal is to support the current Indigenous Liberals Caucus and work to promote the Indigenous MPs. We also will be working on fundraising for the re-election of these MPs and the election of potential new MPs. This will be done through the Indigenous Electoral Endowment Fund that will be announced in the near future.
On this page you will find the profile, picture, social media links, links to riding maps and importantly links to donate to the Indigenous MPs riding association to help get this strong contingent of Indigenous MPs re-elected.
THE INDIGENOUS LIBERAL CAUCUS
CHAIR OF THE INDIGENOUS LIBERAL CAUCUS
Dan Vandal, Member of Parliament for Saint-Boniface–Saint-Vital, is a member of Committee on Official Languages and Committee on Canadian Hertiage. From 1995 to 2014, he served as the representative for St. Boniface on Winnipeg’s City Council for all but two years. As a City Councillor, he occupied a number of leadership roles including that of Deputy Mayor.
Prior to his entry into municipal politics, Dan dedicated himself to a career in social work, collaborating with organizations that sought to support Winnipeg’s youth. He also competed as a professional boxer and at one time was the top Canadian in his weight class. Currently he serves as a board member of the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network and is the chairperson of the Manitoba Combative Sports Commission.
Learn about the important work Dan Vandal does as a Parliamentarian
Don Rusnak is the Member of Parliament for the riding of Thunder Bay-Rainy River and is a Member of the Subcommittee on Agenda and Procedure of the Standing Committee on Indigenous and Northern Affairs, the Standing Joint Committee on the Library of Parliament and the Standing Committee on Indigenous and Northern Affairs. Don has recently been appointed Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Indigenous Services, Hon. Jane Philpott.
Born and raised in Northwestern Ontario, Don has deep roots in Thunder Bay–Rainy River, and as the proud son of Ukrainian and Anishinaabe (Ojibway) parents, he understands the diverse and pressing issues facing his community.
Don has extensive professional experience drawing from his work in the forestry industry, public sector, and from his own legal practice. While working with Manitoba Health, Don helped to improve the delivery of healthcare services for Northern Manitobans, and as a Crown Prosecutor in Eastern Alberta, he prosecuted criminal and regulatory offences. Don has long demonstrated strong leadership skills, having served as the interim Executive Director for Grand Council Treaty #3 in Kenora.
Don has volunteered his time with many organizations, such as the Ontario Justice Education Network and the Martin Aboriginal Education Initiative – a group which improves elementary and secondary school education outcomes for Aboriginal Canadians through the implementation of specific programs and the application of appropriate research.
Don studied Political Science and Integrated Forest Resource Management at Lakehead University. In 2001, Don attended the University of Manitoba, Robson Hall Faculty of Law, and during his final year, attended Osgoode Hall Law School to study in the Intensive Program in Aboriginal Lands, Resources and Governments. Don is former Chair of the Indigenous Liberal Caucus.
Learn more about the important work Don Rusnak does as a Parliamentarian
HON. JODY WILSON-RAYBOULD
MINISTER OF JUSTICE AND ATTORNEY GENERAL OF CANADA
The Honourable Jody Wilson-Raybould, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, is a lawyer, advocate, and leader among British Columbia’s First Nations. As a former Regional Chief of the BC Assembly of First Nations, Jody brings extensive experience in law, public service, and First Nations governance to Cabinet. After being called to the Bar in 2000, Jody began her legal career working as a provincial crown prosecutor in Vancouver. She later served as an advisor at the BC Treaty Commission, a body established to oversee treaty negotiations between First Nations and the Crown. In 2004, Jody was elected as Commissioner by the Chiefs of the First Nations Summit. Since being elected Regional Chief of the BC Assembly of First Nations in 2009, Jody has devoted herself to the advancement of First Nations governance, fair access to land and resources, as well as improved education and health care services. She was re-elected as Regional Chief in 2012 and held responsibilities for governance and nation building on the Assembly of First Nations Executive. She has previously been involved with the Chiefs Committee on Claims and chaired the Comprehensive Claims joint working group.
An active volunteer in her community, Jody has served as a Director for Capilano College, the Minerva Foundation for BC Women, the Nuyumbalees Cultural Centre, and the National Centre for First Nations Governance. She was also a director on the First Nations Lands Advisory Board and Chair of the First Nations Finance Authority. She is the recipient of the alumni award from the Minerva Foundation and the University of Victoria. Jody is a descendant of the Musgamagw Tsawataineuk and Laich-Kwil-Tach peoples, which are part of the Kwakwaka’wakw and also known as the Kwak’wala speaking peoples. She is a member of the We Wai Kai Nation and is married to Dr. Tim Raybould.
Learn more about the important work Jody Wilson-Raybould does as a Parliamentarian
Marc Serré is currently the Chair of the Northern Ontario Liberal Caucus as well as member of the Liberal Indigenous Caucus, The Standing Committee on Natural Resources, The Canada-China Legislative Association, The Association interparlementaire Canada-France, The Canada-United States Inter-Parliamentary Group and The Assemblée parlementaire de la Francophonie.
Mr. Serré is an award-winning telecom technologies researcher and developer whose presentations have taken him across Canada and the US. He is the proud recipient of the Canadian IWAY Award in recognition for his innovation and outstanding achievements in Internet adaptive technology.
Driven by a desire to invest in future generations, Marc served as a school board trustee. He was also a Municipal Counsellor in West Nipissing, a Hospital board member, and Chair of the West Nipissing Planning Committee. He is a proud recipient of the Ontario Community Action Award for his work in both the non-profit and disability sectors.
Marc earned an Honours Bachelor of Commerce B. Com. with a specialization in Human Resources and Marketing from Laurentian University. Marc’s personal achievements also include the completion of marathons and triathlons.
Born and raised in Nickel Belt, Marc comes from a long line of community volunteers and politicians; his father Gaetan and Uncle Ben Serré both served as MPs and were dedicated to facilitating change and growth in their community. Marc is also a Citizen of the Mattawa/North Bay/Algonquin First Nation and Metis of Ontario.
Learn more about the important work Marc Serré does a Parliamentarian
Michael McLeod is the Member of Parliament for Northwest Territories and sits on the Standing Committee on Indigenous and Northern Affairs and Standing Committee on Natural Resources.Born and raised in Fort Providence, he served Northwest Territories residents as a member of the Legislative Assembly from 1999-2011, and now advises clients in the tourism industry as Tourism Development Officer for the government of the Northwest Territories. Prior to this, Michael served as Mayor of Fort Providence, president of his Métis Local, and vice-president of Deh Cho Regional Council. He began his career as a self-employed contractor, and understands the needs of small business owners and their families.
A Major Corporal with the Canadian Junior Rangers, Michael has been an active and dedicated member of his community. He is a member of the Northwest Territories Tourism, NWT Public Utilities, and Mackenzie Valley Environment Impact Review Boards – whose mission is to conduct fair and timely environmental impact assessments in the Mackenzie Valley that protect the environment, social, economic, and cultural well-being of its residents.
Michael earned his diploma in Management Studies from Arctic College, and enjoys spending his free time outdoors going hunting and fishing. Michael comes from a family dedicated to public service – his brother currently serves as the Premier of the Northwest Territories.
Learn more about the important work Michael McLeod does as a parliamentarian
SPECIAL ADVISOR TO THE PRIME MINISTER ON LGBTQ2 ISSUES
Randy Boissonnault is the Member of Parliament for Edmonton Centre and the Special Advisor to the Prime Minister on LGBTQ2 Issues. Randy previously served as Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage.
Randy is a successful entrepreneur, community leader, and philanthropist. He has a strong record of leadership in business, in public service, and in the not-for-profit sector.
Randy discovered his passion for leadership and public service at the University of Alberta, where he served as President of the Students’ Union. Since studying at the University of Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar, Randy has worked as a lecturer at the University of Alberta’s Campus Saint-Jean, and as a journalist and political commentator for CBC Radio-Canada and Les Affaires. Most recently, Randy owned a consulting business that helps small and medium-sized businesses overcome their strategy and management challenges.
Learn more about the important work Randy Boissonnault does as a parliamentarian
After earning much respect and admiration during his 2014 Winnipeg mayoral campaign, Robert-Falcon Ouellette is ready to bring real change to his community as the Liberal Member of Parliament for the riding of Winnipeg Centre.
Coming from Red Pheasant First Nation in Saskatchewan and raised in Calgary, Robert-Falcon moved to Winnipeg in 2010 and quickly earned a reputation as a diligent community advocate working to bridge racial and economic divides. Previous to being elected, Robert-Falcon was a Program Director for the Aboriginal Focus Programs at the University of Manitoba, where he was a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council funded researcher on education and Métis issues of identity. He is passionate about addressing and solving inner-city issues, city planning, and transit.
Robert-Falcon spent 19 years with the Canadian Armed Forces, retiring from full-time service as Petty Officer 2nd class with the appointment of Sergeant at Arms in 5th Field Ambulance in Valcartier, Quebec. He also has worked as a professional musician with La Fanfarniente della Strada Gypsy Band in Quebec City. Robert-Falcon holds a PhD from Université Laval where he published his thesis, “Evaluating Aboriginal Curricula Using a Cree-Métis Perspective With a Regard Towards Indigenous Knowledge.”
Learn more about the important work Robert-Falcon Ouellette does as a Parliamentarian
Vance Badawey is the Member of Parliament for the riding of Niagara Centre and is a Member of numerous committees. Local business owner, community advocate, and former mayor of Port Colborne, Vance has spent his life creating change that is inclusive of all. He is now dedicated to being the local voice that defends the riding of Niagara Centre.
In 1994, Vance began his career in public service as a Port Colborne City Councillor. Soon after, residents elected him Mayor, a role which he later reclaimed in 2006. During this term, Vance served on the Niagara Regional Council and was Chair of the Health Services Task Force and the Economic & Tourism Development Corporation, while Vice Chair of the Niagara Region Police Services Board.
Vance was a founding member of the Wellspring Niagara Cancer Support Centre – an organization dedicated to providing free social, emotional, psychological, informational and spiritual support to individuals living with cancer, their families, and close supporters. Vance is married to Lisa, and they have two teenage daughters, Logan and Jordan. Vance and his extended family have lived and operated their family business in Port Colborne for over 50 years.
Learn more about the important work Vance Badawey does as parliamentarian
PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY TO THE MINISTER OF INDIGENOUS AND NORTHERN AFFAIRS
Yvonne Jones is the Member of Parliament for Labrador and is the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs.
Prior to her election to the House of Commons in May 2013, Yvonne was Liberal MHA for Cartwright-L’anse au Clair since 1999. She also held the seat as an independent as early as 1996. During her time has a Liberal MHA she served as the Parliamentary Secretary to the Department of Works, Services and Transportation and to the Department of Health. In 2003, Yvonne Jones was the first female in the province to be appointed Minister of Fisheries & Aquaculture. She was also the Minister Responsible for the Status of Women.
Yvonne Jones was appointed Interim Leader of the Liberal Party of Newfoundland and Labrador and Leader of the Official Opposition on November 15th, 2007. On July 30, 2010, Yvonne became the official Leader of the Liberal Party of Newfoundland and Labrador.
A graduate of West Viking College, Yvonne began her career as a journalist and has worked throughout the province as a news reporter. She also carried out contract work as a researcher with Memorial University and as a Resource Employment Counselor with Human Resources Development Canada. Yvonne is also an entrepreneur and has owned and operated small businesses in Labrador in both the transportation and tourism sectors. Her first foray into politics was as Mayor of her hometown, Mary’s Harbour, Labrador, in 1991.
Through her volunteer work with the Battle Harbour Development Corporation, the Combined Councils of Labrador, the NunatuKavut and various literacy groups and councils, Yvonne played a significant role in improving the quality of life not only for the people of her district, but for the people of Newfoundland and Labrador.
Learn more about the important work Yvonne Jones does as a parliamentarian
Learn more about the rich diversity and backgrounds of Liberal MPs from across Canada. Many of them in ridings with large Indigenous populations. #TeamTrudeau
Posted: Aug. 20, 2017