Michael McLeod was one of nine MPs named to the Liberal government’s new Indigenous caucus this week.
The caucus, which consists of First Nations, Inuit and Métis MPs, was announced Tuesday after a record 11 Indigenous MPs were elected in last fall’s federal election.
Of those 11, nine are Liberals and two are New Democrats.
Thunder Bay-Rainy River MP Don Rusnak will chair the caucus. He believes the group is the largest of its kind in Canadian history and that it will advocate strongly for Indigenous issues.
Members of the new caucus plan on meeting weekly and say they’ll work directly with communities to influence legislation.
In doing so, members hope to engage elders and youth to improve housing, education, treaties and land claims especially.
“We have had people approach us individually for advice on bills or programming, and we decided it would be more effective to work together as a group,” said Rusnak.
“We are by no means the final say on Indigenous perspectives, but we are a starting point.”
Caucus members announced this week include:
- Don Rusnak, Thunder Bay-Rainy River
- Jody Wilson-Raybould, Vancouver-Granville
- Yvonne Jones, Labrador-Newfoundland
- Randy Boissonnault, Edmonton Centre
- Robert-Falcon Ouellette, Winnipeg Centre
- Marc Serré, Nickel Belt
- Michael McLeod, Northwest Territories
- Dan Vandal, St. Boniface-St. Vital
- Vance Badawey, Niagara Centre