American News Jun 16, 2021 6:57 PM EST

Nunavut MP recalls feeling unsafe in parliament, slams federal government for inaction on Indigenous issues in farewell speech

On Wednesday, Nunavut NDP MP Mumilaaq Qaqqaq called out the federal government for its inaction on issues impacting the Indigenous communities of Canada, and accused parliamentary security of racial profiling her.

Nunavut MP recalls feeling unsafe in parliament, slams federal government for inaction on Indigenous issues in farewell speech
Hannah Nightingale Washington DC
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On Wednesday, Nunavut NDP MP Mumilaaq Qaqqaq called out the federal government for its inaction on issues impacting the Indigenous communities of Canada, and accused parliamentary security of racial profiling her.

Her comments came during a series of speeches from MPs not seeking reelection, according to CTV.

Qaqqaq said that security on Parliament Hill stopped her so frequently that she felt unsafe.

"Every time I walk on House of Commons grounds, speak in these chambers, I’m reminded every step of the way (that) I don’t belong here," Quqqaq said.

"Since being elected, I expect to be stopped by security at my workplace. I’ve had security jog after me in hallways, nearly put their hands on me, or racial profile me as a member of Parliament," she continued.

Qaqqaq recalled being tearful as she regained composure in the bathroom or elevators of Parliament Hill.

"I have never felt safe or protected in my position, especially within the House of Commons," Qaqqaq said. "I shouldn’t be afraid of going into work, no one should be afraid of going into work."

In addition to her own issues with parliament security, Qaqqaq slammed the federal government for alleged inaction on issues facing the Indigenous community, particularly the Inuk community.

"During my time in this chamber, I have heard so many pretty words like 'reconciliation,' 'diversity' and 'inclusion,'" said Qaqqaq. "I have been called courageous, strong and brave by people outside of my party, but let me be brutally honest, nice words with no action hurt when they are uttered by those with power over the federal institution and refuse to take action."

Qaqqaq stepped away from her post as leader of Canada’s geographically largest riding in the fall after reportedly becoming "overwhelmed and depressed" at housing conditions she saw in her community after a tour, Qaqqaq told The Canadian Press.

Qaqqaq, who was elected in 2019, announced that she would not be seeking reelection in May.

"I don’t belong here, but my presence, I hope, is starting to crack the foundations of this very federal institution that started colonizing Inuit barely 70 years ago," she said on Tuesday.

"I’m looking forward to a time when people like me could belong here, a time we can be here," she continued.

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