In this episode of Red Man Laughing we bring you to Winnipeg where Ryan and NDP MP Romeo Saganash (Abitibi/James Bay/Nunavik/Eeyou) walk & talk through the Canadian Museum of Human Rights.
A lot of the interview is spent on the two men talking about Saganash’s private members bill, Bill C-641, an act to ensure that the laws of Canada are in harmony with the United Nations Declaration of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP).
Also throughout the episode McMahon & Saganash cover “selling out” and “working for the man”, the reaction Saganash’s home territory had when he announced he’d be running for the NDP, the importance of the Indigenous Vote in the upcoming federal election and what real reconciliation might look like in Canada through the eyes of the NDP.
Romeo Saganash Bio
Diom Romeo Saganash was born in 1961 in Waswanipi. In 1985, at the age of 23 he founded and chaired the Youth Council of the Cree Nation. Subsequently, he became involved in developing the region’s economy by working with companies such as Creeco Inc. and the James Bay Eeyou Corporation.
In 1989 he became the first Cree graduate to obtain a Bachelor of Laws in Quebec. Between 1990 and 1993 he was Deputy Grand Chief of the The Grand Council of the Crees (Eeyou Istchee) and has served as vice-chairman of the Cree Regional Authority.
In 1993 he became Director of Quebec Relations and International Affairs within the Grand Council. In 1997, he chaired the James Bay Advisory Committee on the Environment.
In 2003 he received an Award of Recognition from UQAM for playing a major role in negotiating the historic agreement between the Government of Quebec and the Grand Council, La Paix des Braves, signed on February 7th 2002.
In 2011, as he was one of the most prominent personalities of the Cree Nation, he ran for office for the NDP. On May 2, he was elected MP for Abitibi / James Bay / Nunavik / Eeyou. He is presently Deputy Critic for Intergovernmental Aboriginal Affairs.