from the Nlaka’pamux (Thompson) and Dine’ (Navajo) Nations, is your best choice for the next leader of BC’s NDP.
From the Nlaka’pamux (Thompson) and Dine’ (Navajo) Nations and a member of the Lower Nicola Indian Band, Dr. Cherry Smiley is a longtime local, national, and internationally-recognized feminist leader for women and girls’ rights, particularly Indigenous women’s. She’s an award-winning researcher and advocate who has her feet planted firmly on the ground, resulting in policy advocacy that gets to the roots of the issues we face. Her work has taken her from remote reserves in Canada to the United Nations in Geneva and beyond. She is courageous and has a long record of innovation and leadership held to the highest ethical standards.
She currently lives on Musqueam, Tsleil-Waututh, and Squamish territories in North Vancouver with her spouse, Alexandre, and their two cats, Lumiere and Big Al. She has lived her entire life sober and likes live music, theme parks, and finding joy in the everyday.
why should cherry lead the bc ndp?
Cherry has a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of British Columbia – Okanagan, a Master of Fine Arts from Simon Fraser University, and a PhD in communication studies from Concordia University in Quebec. An award-winning scholar, her research works to end male violence against Indigenous women and girls and to develop new decolonizing methodologies. It’s no small feat to complete a PhD, and this education has taught Cherry critical-thinking and analytical skills, perseverance and negotiation. Her thesis will be published in the fall of 2022.
Cherry is not a career politician, and this is just what BC needs to move forward in a good way. She comes from a life of poverty, disability, addiction, and violence. These experiences allow Cherry insight into such issues that others may not have. She has been an advocate in professional capacities and for family and community members. With her sister, Cherry cared for her grandparents, both Veterans of the Canadian Armed Forces, until their deaths in 2019 and 2021. Cherry has been there and she hears you.
Cherry doesn’t have all the answers, or even all the questions, but she works hard to make the right decisions, even when those decisions are hard. When she can’t find a way forward, she creates one – in 2019, she founded a national Indigenous women’s organization in order to fill the gap she saw between post-secondary education and communities of women.
vision for bc
WOMEN & GIRLS
In BC each year, over 60 000 physical or sexual assaults are committed against women, nearly all of them committed by men. This is a crisis that must be addressed.
Childcare must be accessible and affordable for all families and those who provide childcare must be recognized for their important work.
Women and girls in BC need no-cost access to menstrual products.
Elders & Healthcare
COVID-19 revealed the crisis state of our health care system, including and especially, senior care. We need an overhaul of our health care system, including increased recognition of the importance of, and support for, professional and familial caregivers and all those working in health care.
We need detox and recovery centres available, on demand. People can’t wait 2 – 3 weeks to access help and support for their addictions when they request it.
Addiction prevention and treatment are key.
BC cannot move forward in a good way without the Indigenous peoples of these territories. Indigenous cultures must be considered in all decisions made and past and present wrongs must be accounted for and rectified. We can’t change unless we admit to our mistakes first.
The beauty of these territories we live in called BC cannot be overstated. We must work to protect these lands now and for the future. There is simply no other choice.
People in BC need no-cost access to spaying and neutering their pets and BC Ferries urgently needs to update their pet policies to ensure the safety of our animals.
Poverty & Housing
A single employable person on welfare in BC receives a monthly support allowance of $560 and a (maximum) shelter allowance of $375 per month. This is a disgrace. The NDP can put people before profits and implement a guaranteed livable income in BC.
Housing is a human right. We cannot allow a human right to continue as a for-profit business.
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For Leader of the BC NDP
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Cherry Smiley’s views and political positions are her own and do not necessarily represent the views of the BC NDP, the BC NDP government, or the BC NDP Caucus. She doesn’t speak on behalf of anyone but herself.