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

Dr. Albert de Villiers, Chief Medical Health Officer for the Interior Health Authority. (Contributed)
‘People need to start listening’: IH top doc combats COVID-19 misconceptions

Dr. Albert de Villiers says light at the end of the tunnel will grow in step with people’s adherence to PHO guidance

(File)
One death and 82 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

1,981 total cases, 609 are active and those individuals are on isolation

Bootleg Gap Golf Course has been sold to Simkins Golf Management Inc. for $3 million.
Bootleg Gap Golf Course sold to Simkins Golf Management for $3 million

After the decision was made to sell back in October 2019, Council… Continue reading

Robyn Ostlund wants to get people moving in December and also raise money for the Food Bank. Photo submitted
Fundraiser for Kimberley Food Bank keeps you moving

Last year, Robyn Ostlund of Kimberley organized a fundraiser to assist the… Continue reading

Stock photo courtesy Cliff MacArthur/provincialcourt.bc.ca.
Double-murder trial in case of Cranbrook couple killed adjourned until January

A trial has been adjourned until January for two men charged with… Continue reading

Motorists wait to enter a Fraser Health COVID-19 testing facility, in Surrey, B.C., on Monday, Nov. 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Another 694 diagnosed with COVID-19 in B.C. Thursday

Three more health care outbreaks, 12 deaths

Good Samaritan Mountainview Village located at 1540 KLO Road in Kelowna. (Good Samaritan Society)
First long-term care resident dies from COVID-19 in Interior Health

Man in his 80s dies following virus outbreak at Mountainview Village

A demonstrator wears representations of sea lice outside the Fisheries and Oceans Canada offices in downtown Vancouver Sept. 24, demanding more action on the Cohen Commission recommendations to protect wild Fraser River sockeye. (Quinn Bender photo)
First Nations renew call to revoke salmon farm licences

Leadership council implores use of precautionary principle in Discovery Islands

Ten-month-old Aidan Deschamps poses for a photo with his parents Amanda Sully and Adam Deschamps in this undated handout photo. Ten-month-old Aidan Deschamps was the first baby in Canada to be diagnosed with spinal muscular atrophy through Ontario’s newborn screening program. The test was added to the program six days before he was born. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Children’s Hospital Eastern Ontario *MANDATORY CREDIT*
First newborn tested for spinal muscular atrophy in Canada hits new milestones

‘If Aidan had been born any earlier or anywhere else our story would be quite different’

Amanda Weber-Roy, conservation specialist for BC Parks in the Kootenays. Photo: Bill Metcalfe
VIDEO: Kootenay youth climate group works to protect Nelson’s water supply

Youth Climate Corps members spent five weeks thinning forest in West Arm Park

(Pixabay)
Canadians’ mental health has deteriorated with the second wave, study finds

Increased substance use one of the ways people are coping

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

A coal-fired power plant seen through dense smog from the window of an electric bullet train south of Beijing, December 2016. China has continued to increase thermal coal production and power generation, adding to greenhouse gas emissions that are already the world’s largest. (Tom Fletcher/Black Press)
LNG featured at B.C. energy industry, climate change conference

Hydrogen, nuclear, carbon capture needed for Canada’s net-zero goal

Most Read