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Why Canada's federal parties will have precious little choice but to actually cultivate AFN votes:

“If you want to become an MP, you better listen to us. You better focus on our issues because we’re voting now,” he said, adding that in the past, MPs wouldn’t care about Indigenous issues because they knew they wouldn’t vote anyways.

“Federal MPs are paying attention to us now because we have influenced a number of ridings. We don’t have any economic power—most of our people are poor—but we can harness that political power.”

Mr. Bellegarde said the First Nations vote was able to influence results in 51 ridings, and that ballots even ran out on some reserves. Prior to the election, the AFN developed the list of 51 ridings based on which ridings had a large First Nations population and ones where its voters could swing a close result.

Out of the 51 ridings, the Liberals won 24, the NDP 15, the Conservatives nine, and the Bloc Québécois two. Out of the seats the Liberals won, 17 were gains for the party from the 2011 election.

‘If you want to become an MP, you better listen to us’: Bellegarde says First Nations are becoming an electoral force - The Hill Times - The Hill Times

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