18 May 2 aboriginal MPs picked for cabinet for the first time (Vancouver Sun)
OTTAWA — There have been, throughout Canada’s past, numerous aboriginal MPs — Louis Riel among them — as well as cabinet ministers of First Nations and (since 2008) Inuit heritage.
But Wednesday’s unveiling of Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s new federal cabinet marked the first time in Canadian history that two members of Canada’s indigenous communities — returning Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq, an Inuk from Nunavut, and the new Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Peter Penashue, an Innu Nation leader from Newfoundland and Labrador — will sit together in the inner circle of Canada’s national government.
It was a landmark moment promptly acknowledged by the Ottawa-based Assembly of First Nations, which noted following the swearing-in ceremony that the “new record for cabinet members” was preceded in the May 2 federal vote by a “new record for MPs” elected from among Canada’s aboriginal people — seven in total, including five with the governing Conservatives. …Go to article.