Ron Evans (born 1957 in Norway House, Manitoba) is a clergyman and politician in Manitoba, Canada. An ordained minister in the Church of England, Evans is also a prominent figure in the aboriginal community of northern Manitoba. He has unsuccessfully sought election to both the Manitoba legislature and the Canadian House of Commons, and has served as a band councillor.
Evans was raised in Norway House, and was educated in Winnipeg, Calgary and La Tugue, Quebec. As an ordained minister, Evans is a member of the Diocesan Council in the Anglican Diocese of Keewatin and a member of the Anglican Council of Indigenous People. He served as a band councillor in Norway House from 1980 to 1988, and was the band's acting chief for two years during this period. He was elected as the band's chief in 1996, was re-elected in 1998 and 2002, and is also an executive councillor in the Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak and the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs. In addition to his political work, Evans is a member of the Norway House Fisherman's Co-op, and holds a commercial fishing license. In 1998, Evans was presented with "The Order of the Buffalo Hunt" from then-Premier Gary Filmon.
In the 1999 provincial election, Evans was a candidate of the governing Progressive Conservative Party in the northern riding of The Pas. Despite the unpopularity of the Progressive Conservative party in other northern ridings, Evans's personal popularity was such that he was almost able to defeat the riding's incumbent MLA, New Democrat Oscar Lathlin (who is also aboriginal). Lathlin received 2952 votes, Evans 2737.
For the federal election of 2000, Evans switched parties and sought the Liberal nomination in the riding of Churchill. He was defeated by former MLA and MP Elijah Harper, who in turn lost to NDP candidate Bev Desjarlais in the general election.
Evans again ran for the Liberal nomination in the 2004 election, this time successfully. Once again, his personal popularity was such that he was able to run a credible campaign against a popular incumbent; nevertheless, he was defeated by Desjarlais by 8612 votes to 7604.
During the 2004 election, there were questions raised about donations made by first-nations groups in northern Manitoba to the federal Liberal Party. The Norway House Cree Nation was revealed to have donated $10,000 to the Liberal Party between 2000 and 2002, more than any other first nation in the region. (It may be noted that the president of the Liberal Association in the riding was also a Norway House band administrator.) Norway House Band Councillor Marcel Balfour emerged as a vocal opponent of these donations, arguing that the money could have been better spent on combatting unemployment and youth violence in the riding.
Evans has defended Norway House band's actions, claiming that they ultimately benefited his community, and noting that such donations were legal before the Canadian laws on election financing were changed in 2004.