Pankiw, 43, a two-term Reform and Canadian Alliance MP representing Saskatoon-Humboldt, told reporters in Saskatoon he plans to run as an independent candidate in the next federal election.
Before he got to that, however, he gave reporters an account of his modest beginnings, which included living in a trailer near Unity, Sask., and sleeping on a concrete floor.
Pankiw is known for his controversial comments about aboriginal people, some which have resulted in human rights complaints.
He didn't back away from those comments Thursday, saying he would be campaigning against "race-based" government spending policies. He also called Saskatchewan First Nations chiefs "racists."
"I don't think Indians should have special race-based privileges," Pankiw said. "I think we should all be equal. Do Italians have special race-based privileges? Chinese people? Ukrainians? Germans? Not that I know of, but Indians do."