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2nd MPP Placement: Bridget x MPP Sol Mamakwa

MPP Sol Mamakwa was first elected in 2018 to represent the riding of Kiiwetinoong, then a new riding in northwestern Ontario and home to around 30, 000 people. There are 31 First Nations, including 24 fly-in communities, as well as four townships on the land that spans 294,083 square kilometres. Today, MPP Mamakwa serves as Deputy Leader for the Official Opposition NDP, as well as being the Critic for Indigenous and Treaty Relations and Northern Development, and sitting on the Standing Committee on Justice Policy. 

While placed with MPP Mamakwa, I had the opportunity to accompany him on his recent visit to Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug First Nation (otherwise known as KI, or Big Trout Lake). Upon flying in, we were greeted by KI’s long-time Chief Morris who showed us to the Band Office for a meeting. I then followed along as MPP Mamakwa dropped by community spaces which included the school, the radio station, a few grocery stores, a safe space for youth and the police station. Amidst the many uplifting and humour-filled conversations, we heard about painful experiences that are felt widely throughout the community, emphasizing the importance of mental health services for community members and first responders.  

After months of learning and writing about issues starkly impacted by colonialism, it was meaningful to provide support behind the scenes on a day that symbolized the end of one marker of colonialism at the Legislature. That is, when, surrounded by family, elders, and community leaders from Kiiwetinoong and beyond, MPP Mamakwa spoke and asked a question in Anishininiimowin in the Chamber.    

I am so grateful to MPP Mamakwa and Athena for trusting me to contribute to their advocacy on the issues impacting communities in Kiiwetinoong – thank you for everything! 

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