Val-d'Or, Québec, September 16, 2011: Romeo Saganash, Member of Parliament for Abitibi—Baie-James—Nunavik—Eeyou, announced today in Val-d'Or, Québec that he will stand as a candidate for the leadership of the federal New Democratic Party.
Mr. Saganash's election as a federal Member of Parliament on May 2, 2011 marked an important milestone in the political life of Eeyou Istchee, of Québec and of Canada. It signaled that the Crees of Eeyou Istchee can and will play an increasing role on the national political scene, including active participation in the Parliament of Canada.
Deputy Grand Chief Ashley Iserhoff of the Grand Council of the Crees stated, "Today's announcement by Romeo Saganash marks yet another important step in assumption by the Crees of Eeyou Istchee of a leadership role in the political life of Canada. Mr. Saganash possesses a wealth of experience in federal and provincial government and political relations. He has deep knowledge of the issues and challenges facing the Aboriginal people of Eeyou Istchee, Québec and Canada. He has strong relations with all the communities of his riding, both Aboriginal and Francophone, and he serves them all with distinction."
Deputy Grand Chief Iserhoff continued, "Mr. Saganash is well placed to make a valuable contribution in the debates leading to the selection of the new Leader of the New Democratic Party. We congratulate him on taking up this challenge. He already serves as an inspiration to our youth. His announcement today will inspire them all the more."
Prior to his election as a Member of Parliament, Mr. Saganash worked for the Grand Council of the Crees as the liaison with the Government of Québec. Earlier in his career, he served as Deputy Grand Chief of the Grand Council of the Crees and representative to the international community. He is fluent in Cree, French and English and has a thorough knowledge of his riding. He is a popular personality in Québec and is well-known among Francophone, Anglophone and Aboriginal communities.