Xni Grismer is not your average 18-year-old.

She is an advocate for indigenous rights, a proponent for female leadership, and a passionate politician-to-be.

To top it off, the Merritt local has plans to kick MP Dan Albas out of his seat in Ottawa the first week of April, speaking about issues that matter to her.

The once-in-a-lifetime opportunity comes to Grismer through Daughters of the Vote, a nationwide program aimed at equipping and inspiring young women to participate in politics.

Only one woman is chosen from each riding in Canada to represent their community in Ottawa — a total of 338 from across Canada.

Grismer is one of those young women set to take over parliament next month, and will be packing her bags for her first solo trip in the coming weeks.

“I’m really excited to go by myself and definitely experience more of a professional environment,” Grimser said.

Getting accepted into the program came as a surprise to the local, who said she learned about it from a former teacher of hers.

“I was really excited about the possibility, applied right away and then forgot about it.”

Grismer dipped her toe in municipal politics when she helped friend Elijah Mack with his campaign during Merritt’s election last year. She said she even considered running herself, but instead decided to pursue general arts studies at NVIT for the time being.

Things could change in the coming years, however, as Grismer continues to eye public office.

“I really want to pursue this as a career in the future and it is very inspiring to know that people actually believe that I can do this,” she said.

In addition to being surrounded by other passionate young women from across the country during the event, Grismer said she is particularly looking forward to being in the House of Commons and Senate, where she is set to speak about an issue that is important to her.

While Grismer’s topic is not set in stone, she said her tentative plan is to urge the federal government to recognize the genocide of indigenous people in Canada.

“Because right now they only recognize the cultural genocide,” she said. “And if Canada recognizes the genocide on the aboriginal people then potentially the [United Nations] would.” 

The program’s focus on bridging the gap between women and politics is crucial, Grismer stressed.

“We definitely need more support, and definitely need more of a push to enter politics because for so long we have not been recognized,” she said. “This is a very good way to make the politicians aware that there are very powerful young women that are coming up.”