About Wab

  • Originally from Onigaming First Nation, near Kenora, Wab went to school and established his career here in Winnipeg. He lives in the city with his wife and two children, and coaches minor league hockey in his spare time.
  • An award-winning journalist, broadcaster, musician, literary reviewer, and bestselling author.
  • Wab holds a BA in Economics and is working on a Master's degree in Indigenous Governance from the University of Winnipeg. Before entering politics, he was the UW's Associate Vice-President for Indigenous Relations.
  • As the MLA for Fort Rouge, Wab will work to make Manitoba a more progressive and forward-looking province while promoting equality and reconciliation here at home.
  • On September 16, 2017 Wab was elected Leader of the Manitoba NDP.

Originally from Onigaming First Nation, in Northwestern Ontario, Wabanakwut (Wab) Kinew moved with his family to Winnipeg when he was young and got a BA in Economics. A journalist, author, hip-hop artist, producer, media personality and university administrator, Wab was hailed by the National Post as “an aboriginal leader seeking to engage with Canadians at large.”

Wab's career in the media began when a CBC producer noticed a letter to the editor he had sent in about Team Canada hockey and invited him to adapt it to a radio piece.

As an on-air host on CBC Radio and Television and a correspondent for Al Jazeera English, Wab has strived to bring national and international attention to social justice issues. In 2012, he hosted CBC's award-winning “8th Fire” documentary series, which challenged Canadian stereotypes of Indigenous people and laid out a path to reconciliation.

An avid reader, Wab successfully defended Joseph Boyden's “The Orenda” on CBC Radio's Canada Reads literary competition in 2014. The following year, Wab published his own book, “The Reason You Walk,” which chronicles Wab's own childhood as he reconnects with his father, a survivor of the residential school system. The book was a national Number 1 bestseller.

Wab is also an award-winning recording artist. His 2009 album “Live By the Drum” won an Aboriginal People's Choice Music Award.

In 2011, the University of Winnipeg named Wab as its first Director of Indigenous Inclusion. He was the Associate Vice-President for Indigenous Relations at The University of Winnipeg from 2014 to 2016. Wab is also an Honourary Witness for the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada.

He is currently finishing up a Master’s degree in Indigenous Governance from the University of Winnipeg and he has an honourary doctorate from Cape Breton University. Wab is also a member of the Midewin, a prestigious medicine society.

Wab wants his two children, aged 8 and 10, to grow up in a progressive place that recognizes the value of all people. He will continue to build on the NDP values of equality, prosperity, inclusion and reconciliation right here in Manitoba.

On September 16, 2017 Wab was elected Leader of the Manitoba NDP.