Peter Edwards (The Toronto Star):
Days after being crowned Mrs. Universe, Canada’s Ashley Callingbull has called upon First Nations people to vote out Stephen Harper.
“I urge all First Nations people in Canada to vote in this upcoming election,” Callingbull, 25, tweeted on Monday. “We are in desperate need of a new PM. Fight for your rights.”
Callingbull, who is Cree, grew up in poverty on the two reserves of Maskwacis and Enoch in Alberta and is a survivor of sexual and physical abuse.
She was crowned Mrs. Universe 2015 in Minsk, Belarus, on Saturday.
She is the first Canadian and First Nations woman to win the title for married women.
She wasn’t shaken at all by the suggestion that she had gotten too political, too fast.
“Really?,” she posted on Facebook. “People think I’m too political for my first day as Mrs Universe. Did you really think I was going to just sit there and look pretty? Definitely not. I have a title, a platform and a voice to make change and bring awareness to First Nations issues here in Canada. I’m getting all this media attention and I’m going to use it to the best of my ability. I’m not your typical beauty queen. Look out . . . I have a voice for change and I’m going to use it!” […]
On Monday, Callingbull told Brandi Morin of aptn that part of the reason she wants the Harper government defeated is because she isn’t satisfied with its approach to missing and murdered aboriginal women.
In that interview, she also said the Harper government has an adversarial, “controlling” posture regarding First Nations.
“Other countries need to know what’s going on in ours,” she said.
See also: “The Canadian Mrs. Universe winner is all kinds of amazing” (Chatelaine)
See also: “Ashley Callingbull, Cree Model and Actress, Is Your New Mrs. Universe!” (ICTMN)
See also: “Native Vote Could Make The Difference In Canada’s Elections” (The Huffington Post Canada)