Activist Maïtée Labrecque-Saganash hopes to become the first Indigenous woman in the Quebec Legislative Assembly
A young Indigenous activist and columnist steps into provincial politics.
Maïtée Labrecque-Saganash has announced that she will seek the nomination for the riding of Ungava in northern Quebec under the banner of Québec Solidaire.
If she wins the seat in the October 3 provincial election, she will be the first indigenous woman to sit in the National Assembly, according to party officials.
“My aunts inspire me,” Labrecque-Saganash said during a Sunday press conference with Québec solidaire co-spokespersons Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois and Manon Massé.
“My aunts survived a decade in residential schools. They still behave today with such dignity and power…that I think I can do anything,” she said.
My aunts inspire me… I tell myself, I am capable of anything.– Maïtée Labrecque-Saganash
The riding of Ungava is the largest riding in Quebec and includes the Cree and Inuit communities of Eeyou Istchee and Nunavik, as well as the non-native towns of Chibougamau, Chapais and Matagami. The seat is currently held by the ruling party, the Coalition Avenir Québec (CAQ).
“I will fiercely defend the livelihoods of the Crees and Inuit and I will fight for the dignity of our communities in the National Assembly,” said Labrecque-Saganash, 27, adding that she is also able to defend the social democratic values for the entire constituency.
Ready to fight for a fairer Quebec
“National crises like the lack of personnel in the health system, the lack of affordable housing and the lack of teachers… all these crises also exist in the North and they hit even harder in the North,” he said. she declared.
Québec solidaire spokesperson Gabriel Nadeau Dubois called Labrecque-Saganash an inspiration and a longtime collaborator, adding that her presence in the National Assembly will change the situation for the better.
“It takes a lot of courage in 2022 for a woman… for a young Indigenous woman to make the leap into politics,” Nadeau-Dubois said, adding that many women in politics are now targets of hate on social media.
In the footsteps of his father
Labrecque-Saganash is also the daughter of Roméo Saganash, who represented the federal riding of Abitibi-Baie-James-Nunavik-Eeyou from 2011 to 2019 for the NDP.
“It’s not an easy ride for anyone, let alone a young Indigenous woman like her,” tweeted elder Saganash, who retired from politics in 2019.
It’s not an easy adventure for anyone, let alone a young Aboriginal woman.– Romeo Saganash, father
“But I know his courage and his passion for social justice; I wish him much strength and love.”
Labrecque-Saganash lives in the riding, in the Cree community of Waswanipi, which has approximately 2,000 inhabitants.
“I live in the North. I know how difficult it is to access public services and how difficult they are to navigate, especially for indigenous people,” she said.
Voters in the North are ready for a change
She said that after several years of right-wing governments attacking the social safety net in the province, northern voters are ready for the more progressive policies of Quebec Solidaire.
And after working for years as a newspaper and media columnist, Labrecque-Saganash said she’s very used to dealing with negative comments and feels grounded, strong and ready to fight for it. what she believes.
“I will take your stories,” she said, “to the provincial seat of power.”
“I know the Eeyouch (Cree) and Nunavimmiut (Inuit) will have high expectations,” said Labrecque-Saganash.
“I know we are tired of seeing our inherent rights to self-determination and basic human rights being reassessed and debated with every election.”