A former residential school survivor will join two other Indigenous NDP opposition members when the legislature resumes shortly.
Betty Nippi-Albright was elected in Saskatoon Centre, a seat the New Democrats held.
Nippi-Albright has been named critic for First Nations and Métis Relations, Truth and Reconciliation and Public Service Commission.
“For me as a critic in those roles, that would be I see myself as being that being hopefully effective in being able to bring those issues and asking, holding the government to account in ensuring that Indigenous people’s voices and leaders are part of those decisions,” Nippi-Albriight explained.
Currently Athabasca MLA Buckley Belanger and Cumberland MLA Doyle Vermette question the government on Indigenous and northern issues.
Nippi-Albright is a Saulteaux Cree person from the Kinistin First Nation.
She holds a Masters Degree in Political Studies and an Honours Degree in Aboriginal Public Administration.
Nippi-Albright said some of the great issues affecting First Nations people are mental health services and participation in decision making.
“The lack of services in terms of mental health are huge. Employment is huge. Employment, mental health and drug addiction, crime, the justice system, we need a voice at those tables. Because every decision that’s being made, affects Indigenous people, whether they’re on reserve offers or in Native communities, or in the urban centers, they affect us. We need to be involved in those decisions,” said Nippi-Albright.
Premier Scott Moe has appointed Don McMorris as Minister of Government Relations, Minister Responsible for First Nations, Métis and Northern Affairs, and Minister Responsible for the Provincial Capital Commission.
He replaces Lori Carr, who now becomes Minister of Social Services. McMorris was previously a backbencher. Newcomer to Cabinet Everett Hindley becomes Minister of Mental Health and Addictions, Seniors and Rural and Remote Health.
He takes over from Warren Kaeding, who moves on to Minister of Environment.
(Photo: Betty Nippi-Albright. Facebook.)