Eric Robinson (Ka-Kee-Nee Konee Pewonee Okimow) is a member of the Cree Nation - Cross Lake First Nation, also known as Pimicikamak Cree Nation - in Northern Manitoba.
Eric Robinson became a member of the Manitoba Legislature in 1993 after successfully winning the by-election in Rupertsland. He was re-elected in the 1995, 1999, 2003, 2007 and 2011 general elections. Eric served as the NDP critic for Aboriginal and Northern Affairs. After the 1999 election, Eric was appointed the Minister of Aboriginal and Northern Affairs and Minister charged with the Administration of the Communities Economic Development Fund. On September 25, 2002 Eric was appointed Minister of Culture, Heritage and Tourism and the Minister responsible for Sport and Recreation. As Minister he launched Manito Ahbee, a national celebration of Aboriginal music and a number of other initiatives to promote traditional culture.
On November 3, 2009 Eric was appointed Deputy Premier, Minister of Aboriginal and Northern Affairs. As well, he was appointed Minister responsible for Sport, Minister responsible for Communities Economic Development Fund, Minister responsible for Aboriginal Education and Minister responsible for the East Side Road Authority. As Minister of Sport he has launched a provincial anti-bullying initiative.
From January 1981 to the summer of 1982 Eric was Grand Councillor of the Four Nations Confederacy of Manitoba. During his term, Eric was appointed co-chair of the National Indian Brotherhood and Assembly of First Nations Political Policy Committee.
Eric's communications expertise is extensive and includes work in radio as a broadcaster and producer for the CBC and private broadcasting corporations. He was founder of the Native Media Network and is a published author. Eric has also acted as a facilitator and master of ceremonies for many traditional and cultural events. He was awarded a National Aboriginal Achievement Award in 2010.
Eric played a key role in the Aboriginal Justice Inquiry and the creation of the Aboriginal Justice Implementation Commission. He also has been instrumental in the creation of the new Northern Development Strategy. His other community activities include serving as a board member of the Ma-Mow-We-Tak Friendship Centre, Aboriginal Court Worker Program and the John Howard Society. Eric has also been a volunteer for aboriginal spiritual programs at both provincial and federal penal institutions as well as a facilitator and mediator for Offender/Victim Reconciliation in federal institutions.
Eric and his wife Catherine have one daughter, Shaneen.