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  • Writer's pictureOLIP Interns

Placement Posts - Misha with MPP Sol Mamakwa

I am really enjoying my Spring Opposition Placement with MPP Sol Mamakwa of Kiiwetinoong, his Executive Assistant, Athena Bedassigae-Pheasant and Constituency Assistant, Delaine Fiddler. MPP Mamakwa is the second person elected in Ontario of full First Nations descent and is the Critic of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation as well as a Member of the Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs. Having never been to Northern Ontario, it has been eye-opening to learn about the unique issues in MPP Mamakwa’s riding, particularly of the 24 fly-in communities in his riding.

MPP Mamakwa is a passionate advocate in the legislature on Indigenous issues and for his constituents. I am lucky to be learning about Northern and First Nations issues, and in particular, equity of access in policy areas such as health, education, infrastructure, child-welfare, housing, natural resources and more, directly from experts, community leaders and front-line workers. Additionally, it has been interesting to learn about how federal and provincial jurisdictions frequently intersect and how these jurisdictional silos can benefit and also hinder access and representation.

When the House was sitting I helped with speech writing, constituency correspondence and posing questions but with the COVID-19 reality, I have been helping with tasks such as researching the riding, creating newsletters and other content creation projects like keeping the website and social media channels up to date as well as preparing MPP Mamakwa for local interviews. I especially have enjoyed learning about MPP Mamakwa’s Private Member’s Bill from 2019, which called on the Ontario government to adopt the United Nations Declaration of Rights of Indigenous Peoples into all policy. This Bill, which was tabled on March 6, 2019, is also my birthday (a sure sign that this would be a great placement!). We hope to continue to promote this Bill in the coming future to advocate for MPP Mamakwa’s constituents.

It is important to learn about the history of Canada, and especially to recognize the importance of equality in our province. I am glad to be learning about this first-hand with MPP Mamakwa. Thank you for the warm welcome and for embracing me into the team!

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