Samson Cree Nation has elected six women and six men to its council, giving it more female elected representatives than ever before.
One of those councillors is Katherine Swampy.
“The people of Samson have spoken by electing women. This is the most women that we’ve had elected in the Samson Cree Nation tribal council as far as I can remember, as far as history will tell us,” Swampy said.
She noted women have always been leaders — but not necessarily in this format.
“Historically, Indigenous people had women as leaders and after residential schools and a forced system of sexism and misogyny onto our people, we did get forced out of leadership — but women, ultimately, have always been involved.”
She said the timing of this equal representation is critical.
“Especially right now, in this day and age with such a high number of murdered and missing Indigenous women,” Swampy said. “We need that voice and that representation to show that Indigenous women are important.”
Swampy is a mother of three girls and hopes this sends a positive message to them, and others, about their own potential.
“I hope that seeing a lot more women in leadership inspires, motivates and encourages all the young Indigenous women to get out there and take a shot at leadership.”
Swampy was previously elected to the Samson council, but left when she opted to run in the last federal election.
She is excited about the prospect of bringing forward women’s issues to council, as well as continue working on infrastructure projects – something she did in her previous term.