Entrepreneur Michael Moses announced he will be running for councillor in the October 2022 local government election.
Moses can recall the exact date his life became more political, when asked what prompted him to want to run.
“On October 29 (2021), when Kukpi7 Willie Sellars released an open letter to Williams Lake City Council,” Moses recalled.
He had read Sellars’ letter asking for clarification of how the mayor and council stood on residential schools. The letter was a response to a social media post Mayor Walt Cobb had shared regarding the ‘other side of residential schools’.
“I went home to my partner and I cried,” said Moses, who is Secwépemc on his mother’s side and Nlaka’pamux on his father’s side.
Both his parents attended Kamloops Indian Residential School, where earlier that year it had been announced as many as 215 potential unmarked grave sites had been located using ground penetrating radar.
He said given the events of 2021 leading up to the post and Sellars’ subsequent letter, it struck a chord.
“I asked her why wasn’t anybody doing anything about this, and I realized I wasn’t doing anything about it,” recounted Moses.
Moses has attended every city council meeting for the past seven months since.
He joined the board of the Cariboo Chilcotin Conservation Society, the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) and is also taking professional governance training through CMHA.
He has also been outspoken in other ways, posting to his Instagram every day in June as part of Indigenous History Month to highlight Indigenous stories.
Moses attended a number of local schools, including Thompson Rivers University, and is the sole proprietor of an Indigenous digital marketing startup aimed at assisting Indigenous businesses get an online presence.
Announcing his candidacy in front of city hall, Moses was joined by some of his campaign team and supporters.
Thomas Schoen, his campaign manager, worked with Simon Moses, Michael’s father at Xatśūll Heritage Village years ago when Simon was band manager there.
Schoen said he wants to see younger, more diverse council members, unafraid of addressing current issues.
Moses’ mother, grandmother and daughter were all there to support him as well.
“We know what he’s going to be up against,” said his mother Karen Simon, when asked if the family was concerned about racism during the campaign.
But Florence Simon, his grandmother said she knows he is strong, and Karen agreed.
“He is a leader,” she said.