More indigenous presence in federal cabinet

This week Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was sworn in as Canada’s new leader, with a strong presence of indigenous culture at the ceremony.

Trudeau entered to the drumming of 12-year old Theland Kicknosway, a traditional dancer, singer and drummer.

Kicknosway raises awareness about the children of missing and murdered indigenous women in Canada.

The ceremony featured young Inuit throat singers Samantha Metcalfe and Cailyn Degrandpre.

Trudeau announced a number of cabinet positions, and some name changes signalling potential changes to First Nations relations, said AFN Chief Perry Bellegarde.

Hunter Tootoo has been announced as Minister of Fisheries, Oceans, and the Canadian Coast Guard.

The Minister of Environment position has also been renamed to Minister of Environment and Climate Change.

Aboriginal and Northern Affairs portfolio has been renamed to Indigenous affairs.

Minister Carolyn Bennett is named to that portfolio, which she held as the Liberal opposition critic.

Bennett is the former public health minister.

Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould is a lawyer, provincial Crown prosecutor, treaty commission advisor, and former regional chief of B.C. First Nations.

Wilson-Raybould is the first indigenous woman to hold this post.

About the Author

Avery Zingel
Avery Zingel is multimedia reporter stationed in Yellowknife, NWT. Her work focuses on environment, feminism, indigenous and Canadian politics. She is a canoe guide, guitarist, cyclist and photographer. Avery is a graduate of the Carleton University School of Journalism and Political Science.