For the first time in Cree history a Grand Chief came out to endorse a political candidate and a party. It was a shocker for some Aboriginal people in Quebec but it is the right of any individual to participate in a democracy and Ted Moses did.
Michel Letourneau of the Parti Québécois, the endorsed candidate, won the day in the Ungava riding (where the Crees vote). The question, of course, is whether or not the Cree vote or Grand Chief Ted Moses endorsement was enough to put Letourneau over the top. It was a close race with Letourneau getting 5,745 votes (50.12%). It was 1487 votes over the next contender Donald Don Bubar of the Liberal party who received 4,258 votes (37.15%). Gloria Trudeau of the ADQ managed to walk away with 1,460 votes (12.74%).
But that was the entire riding and everyone wants to know how did the Crees vote?
Overall the Crees cast 702 votes for PQ candidate Michel Letourneau (39.12%). At the end of the day though, Crees still showed a large preference of voting Liberal, giving candidate Donald Don Bubar 967 votes of confidence (53.87%). The ADQ, given their stance on mega-hydro-electric projects drew a surprising 126 votes from the Cree communities (7.02%).
Voter percentage turnout in the Cree communities was low compared to the entire Ungava region. In the Ungava riding there were 23,067 eligible voters with only 11,661 heading to the polls (50.55%).
Bill Namagoose, executive director of the Grand Council of the Crees said, “The Crees have cast their ballots and their wishes must be acknowledged and respected. We have always used all the tools of democracy to protect and defend Cree rights including the electorial process. Michel Letourneau has made efforts in helping to build a new relationship with the Cree. This contributed to his majority.
We are thankful that Letourneau will be in the National Assembly as he is an advocate of the Cree Nation.”
Community eligible voters cast votes turnout PQ Liberals ADQ
Great Whale 291 32 11% 16 14 2
Chisasibi 1732 297 17% 90 166 11
Wemindji 711 169 23.8% 50 108 8
Eastmain 372 153 41.1% 73 77 3
Waskaganish 953 283 29.7% 95 163 13
Nemaska 320 95 29.7% 39 50 6
Waswanipi 695 288 41.4% 121 148 15
Ouje-Bougoumou 339 113 33.3% 58 49 6
Mistissini 1403 365 26% 160 192 8
Totals 6816 1795 26.3% 702 967 72