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

Masks are now officially mandatory in all City of Campbell River facilities. (Black Press File Photo)
Interior Health reports 49 new COVID-19 cases overnight

302 cases remain active; two in hospital

(Ty Hainsworth / Facebook)
No injuries after fire rips through Saran Fruit Market near Oliver

A fruit stand caught fire Tuesday afternoon

Trixie, an Elf on a Shelf like the one pictured here, will hiding around Osoyoos' parks in December. (Contributed)
Can you find Trixie the Elf in Osoyoos?

The elf has left the shelf to hide in the parks around town

The Campbell Mountain Landfill and other landfills operated by the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen will have reduced hours from December 2020 to the end of February 2021. (Contributed photo)
Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen landfills reduce hours for winter

Measures will take effect from December 2020 until end of February 2021

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, Nov. 23, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C. daily COVID-19 cases hits record 941 on Tuesday

Further restrictions on indoor exercise take effect

(Pixabay.com)
Man, 28, warned by Kootenay police to stop asking people to marry him

A woman initially reported the incident to police before they discovered others had been popped the question

Winston Blackmore (left) and James Oler (right) were sentenced on separate charges of polygamy this week in Cranbrook Supreme Court.
No more charges expected in Bountiful investigation, special prosecutor says

Special prosecutor says mandate has ended following review of evidence from Bountiful investigations

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

(Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
Garage in Kelowna burns to the ground, blaze deemed suspicious

Fire crews responded to the scene just after 4:30 p.m.

(Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Refuse to follow B.C.’s mask mandate? Face a $230 fine

Masks are now required to be worn by all British Columbians, 12 years and older

Damien Smith, with father Thomas Smith, is “frozen” with joy as he watches a special message Deadpool star Ryan Reynolds recorded for Damien’s 9th birthday on Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2020. (Contributed)
Shuswap boy celebrates 9th birthday with family, community and Ryan Reynolds

People from around the world send birthday cards showing young Canoe resident he’s not alone

A major reconstruction project on 32nd Avenue is nearing completion and the road is now re-opened to traffic between 33rd Street and 35th Street. (City of Vernon photo)
ROAD REPORT: More roundabouts coming to North Okanagan

New intersection lights up Dec. 13, 30th Street paving delayed, PV Road completed in Vernon

In this handout photo provided by the Philippine Red Cross, families stay at a temporary evacuation center at Catanduanes province, eastern Philippines, Sunday, Nov. 1, 2020, as Typhoon Goni hits the country. Families living near coastal towns have moved to evacuation centers as the strong typhoon makes landfall. (Philippine Red Cross via AP)
Okanagan community group organizes fundraiser for typhoon-hit Philippines

Over two million people have been affected by flooding, with about 500,000 forced to leave homes

Most Read