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Friday, February 24, 2012

Prominent First Nations Leaders Endorse Paul Dewar

Prominent First Nations Leaders Endorse Paul Dewar

February 24th, 2012
Former Romeo Saganash supporters, Lewis Cardinal and Edith Loring-Kuhanga, back Dewar
VICTORIA AND EDMONTON – Today Edith Loring-Kuhanga and Lewis Cardinal, two highly respected New Democrats and former members of Romeo Saganash’s leadership campaign team, endorsed Paul Dewar for leader of the NDP. Their endorsement comes one day after Dan Wilson, former leadership Campaign Manager for Romeo Saganash and past Co-chair of the NDP Aboriginal Commission, endorsed Paul Dewar.
Lewis Cardinal is a resident of Edmonton, Alberta, a New Democrat, and a prominent community leader. He is the past candidate for the Federal NDP in the closely contested riding of Edmonton-Centre in 2011 and Co-chair of the NDP’s Aboriginal Commission. Cardinal is a small business owner and frequent advocate on human rights and anti-racism. He was awarded the 2007 National Aboriginal Achievement Foundation Award for Public Service (the highest award given to an Aboriginal person by the Aboriginal people of Canada) and he is a recipient of the Alberta Centennial Medal for his work in the areas of Human Rights and Diversity. Prior to his exit from the race, Cardinal was a prominent backer of Romeo Saganash.
“As a former NDP candidate and long-time resident of Edmonton, I know that we need a leader with the skills, personality, and vision to grow our party in provinces like Alberta,” said Lewis Cardinal. “I’ve known Paul for some time and I can tell you that his commitment to diversity and social justice is unwavering. He is a leader we can all be proud of”.
Edith Loring-Kuhanga is from the Wolf Clan of the Gitxsan Nation, resident of British Columbia, and a prominent community leader and a New Democrat. Along with Lewis Cardinal, she is the Co-chair of the NDP’s Aboriginal Commission and was a candidate for the Federal NDP in the riding of Saanich Gulf-Islands (won by Elizabeth May) in 2011. She is the President/Owner of First Nations Training and Consulting Services Ltd., an elected School Trustee, and a past winner of the YWCA’s Woman of Distinction Award. She has committed her life to improving child care, education and employment opportunities for Aboriginal people all across Canada. Prior to his exit from the race, Loring-Kuhanga was a prominent backer of Romeo Saganash.
“When I look at all the leadership candidates, and I know many of them personally, I believe that Paul Dewar is the one who has the ability to reach out to all Canadians and build our party from the grassroots up,” said Edith Loring-Kuhanga. “Paul has presented a vision on how we can build a better Canada for all Canadians, including Aboriginal people. And to return Canada to the respectful place that it had on the international stage before Harper drastically changed our role”.
Today’s endorsements come one day after Romeo Saganash’s former leadership Campaign Manager, Dan Wilson, signed-on to Dewar’s leadership bid as a Senior Strategist.
“As we enter the final stretch of this leadership campaign, I hear more and more New Democrats from large and small communities announcing their support for Paul Dewar,” said Dan Wilson. “It’s clear that Paul has a plan to grow the NDP so that we can beat Conservatives and win in rural and Western Canada”.
In a brief statement, Paul Dewar thanked both Edith Loring-Kuhanga and Lewis Cardinal for their support.
“Edith and Lewis are two of the most inspiring and effective leaders in our party,” said Paul Dewar. “I am deeply honoured to have their support and I pledge to work flat out to continue building our party in rural Canada, suburban Canada, and urban Canada so that we can win the next 70 seats and elect candidates of the stature of Edith and Lewis”.

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