Outgoing Cowessess Chief Cadmus Delorme eyes a possible future in federal politics, but not yet
Outgoing Cowessess First Nation Chief Cadmus Delorme says he can see himself running in federal or provincial politics one day, but not yet.
Delorme, who announced earlier this month that he wouldn't be seeking a third term as chief, said in an interview with CBC News Thursday that he has "gotten calls" from the federal Liberals and Conservatives.
"I let each and every one know I am so humbled to be suggested at this time," he said. "[But] I just want to be a dad, I want to be a husband, and I want to play more of a strategic, non-political role for a couple years."
Delorme said he does have political aspirations.
"I do see myself playing a future role, potentially as an MLA or MP," he said.
"I just need a break from politics."
WATCH | Cadmus Delorme speaks about his goals for after his time as chief of Cowessess:
Parity for Indigenous people a priority
When it does come time to make a decision about a potential foray into federal politics, Delorme said he will have to pick a party first.
"I tend to lean left at times and tend to lean right at times and I'll tend to stay centre," he said.
"So at this time, I'll work with anybody that wants to get to that end goal to make sure Indigenous people have parity."
Delorme was first elected as chief of Cowessess, located about 140 kilometres east of Regina, in 2016. He rose to global prominence for his leadership after the discovery of 751 potential unmarked graves at the site of the former Marieval Indian Residential School on the reserve.
He was recently appointed as the chairperson of the new Residential School Documents Advisory Committee, but he said the committee will be meeting quarterly over five years and it's not a job.
The committee is being asked to recommend how to identify historical documents related to residential schools and share them with the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation.
When asked what attracted him to this role, Delorme said the discovery of unmarked graves across the country has offered validation to First Nations people.
"The validation of the pain, frustration, anger, tiredness of trying to remain Indigenous in a country that is still somewhat oppressive to the Indigenous worldview," he said.
He said he has amazing friends in this country who have "put their shield down" and are admitting they maybe don't know much about the truth concerning Indigenous people in Canada.
"I feel that my knowledge and energy and understanding of the end goal could help the Government of Canada play their role in this part of reconciliation," he said.
Interested in helping with economic reconciliation
As for his next job after his term as chief is over, Delorme envisions helping governments and the corporate sector with reconciliation, especially economic reconciliation, and helping Saskatchewan businesses reduce carbon emissions.
Delorme said he is chief until April 25 and will fulfil his duties for two more months, adding he doesn't have another job confirmed yet.
He said he wants to increase his language options — so he is learning Cree and French, estimating he is about 30 per cent fluent in Cree and 15 per cent fluent in French.