Placement Post- Ritika With MPP Sol Mamakwa
I am fortunate to be placed in the office of MPP Sol Mamakwa of the New Democratic Party. MPP Mamakwa represents the Northern riding of Kiiwetinoong, which is the only riding in Ontario with a majority Indigenous population. MPP Mamakwa is a member of the Kingfisher Lake band, and he is the Critic for Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation.
I have had the opportunity to learn about the unique issues Northern and Indigenous communities face. This has been eye-opening for me, as I have only spent time in Southern Ontario. One of the most pressing issues many First Nations communities deal with is lack of access to clean water. One such community currently dealing with this issue is Neskantaga First Nation. During my time with MPP Mamakwa’s office, I have been able to witness the work that is being done to secure clean water for Neskantaga. It has been fascinating to learn how the various parties, including representatives from the First Nation, and the provincial and federal governments, have come together to attempt to
address this issue.
I have also helped to draft correspondence on behalf of MPP Mamakwa, which has been a great learning experience. For example, I helped to author a letter urging the Township of Fort Frances to change the name of a street called Colonization Road. A version of this letter is even in the local newspaper, which is very exciting!
Lastly, the opportunity to sit in on meetings with community leaders, including mayors and Chiefs, has been a privilege. I have learned a lot about the issues municipalities in the North face, and how they work with provincial representatives, like MPP Mamakwa, to address them.
I would like to thank MPP Mamakwa, and his team members Athena, Yolaine and Delaine, for their warm welcome. I look forward to continuing to learn and grow in this role.