Registered Métis youth in Saskatchewan voted for their voted for their first elected Provincial Métis Youth Council president this past weekend.
On November 6, 2021 , Autumn LaRose-Smith won the election with 98 votes or 47 per cent of the votes cast. Her contenders were Cody Demerais, who received 91 votes, and Jade Rooney, who received 20 votes.
This marks the first province-wide election for the presidency of the Provincial Métis Youth Council (PMYC) which is part of Métis Nation-Saskatchewan and the first time the Métis government in Saskatchewan held province-wide polls online.
“Online polls provided a cost-effective and convenient way to vote while maintaining voting system standards and verification,” said chief electoral officer Gwen LaFond in a media release.
“This was a fantastic option during a pandemic and provides a framework for other elections.”
When LaRose-Smith heard that she won the election, she said she became emotional as it was a close race.
“When I got the phone call, my partner and I broke into tears,” she told Global Regina. “It was a lot of hard work that myself and the other candidates have done in the past month.”
LaRose-Smith based her election platform on a guide that she calls ACT, which stands for “amplify” and “connect” Métis youth, and “transform” the youth council.
“(This position) means there’s going to be a strong youth voice on the provincial Métis council … and making sure there’s going to be youth voices in all the work that’s being done.”
The PMYC president is to engage with Métis youth from all 12 regions in the province. The president will also serve as a voice for Métis youth on the PMYC and will lead the Métis Nation Legislative Assembly.
The PMYC nomination period ran from Oct 16. to Oct. 21. All registered Métis youth between the ages of 16 and 29 were eligible to run for president. Registered voters within that age group had two days of online voting this past weekend.
LaRose-Smith will begin her full-time position as PMYC president for the next four-year term and she will be formally introduced at the Métis-Nation Legislative Assembly in Saskatoon on Nov. 27 and 28.