Record number of Indigenous candidates and First Nations swing votes: AFN

Assembly of First Nations (AFN) National Chief Perry Bellegarde releases 'Honouring Promises: 2019 Federal Election Priorities for First Nations and Canada' during a press conference at the National Press Theatre in Ottawa on Monday, Sept. 9, 2019. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick)

The Assembly of First Nations says there is a record number of Indigenous candidates in the federal election and First Nations voters could swing the vote in almost one in five ridings.

In an analysis to be released tomorrow, the national Indigenous advocacy organization says there are at least 62 First Nations, Metis and Inuit candidates running.

That's a rise from the 54 Indigenous candidates who ran in 2015, when a record 10 were elected to Parliament.

The assembly also identifies 63 ``priority districts'' among the 338 across the country where First Nations voters could swing the vote.

Those include Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer's riding of Regina Qu'Appelle and the northern Saskatchewan riding of Desnethe-Missinippi-Churchill River, where there are almost 23,000 eligible First Nations voters and the seat was won by 82 votes in 2015.

The assembly identifies priority districts as those where the eligible First Nations voting population is either larger than the margin of victory in the 2015 election, or is at least one per cent of total eligible voters and within five per cent of the margin of victory.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 9, 2019.