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First Mi’kmaw senator Dan Christmas retires from the Red Chamber – SenCA

January 31, 2023

Senator Dan Christmas came into politics by accident when he was just 19 years old. Almost 45 years later, the senator from Membertou, Nova Scotia, has led a remarkable political career. He helped transform Membertou into one of the most prosperous First Nations in Canada and he became the first Mi’kmaw appointed to the Red Chamber.

In this interview ahead of his January 31, 2023 retirement, Senator Christmas shares his memorable moments in the Senate and why he’s leaving early.

How did you get involved in politics at such an early age and what motivated you to keep going?

I was a second-year university student when my father suddenly passed away. I wanted to continue my studies, but I had five younger siblings and we needed another income in the family. A position opened here in Membertou as a band manager for the community, so I applied. I wasn’t looking for the position; it just happened. But once I got involved, I enjoyed making a difference for the community, helping people and getting things done. That was some 45 years ago, and the same things still motivate me.

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