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Winnipeg Indigenous Executive Circle calls on Premier Stefanson and Foundations to trust Indigenous programming to Indigenous-led organizations

Winnipeg Indigenous Executive Circle calls on Premier Stefanson and Foundations to trust Indigenous programming to Indigenous-led organizations

Winnipeg, MB — The Winnipeg Indigenous Executive Circle (WIEC) is calling on Premier Stefanson and the Foundations to accept our invitation to meet to review a recent funding announcement that left out local Indigenous-led organizations in favour of a non-Indigenous organization. On Monday, the Premier announced that Marymound Inc. will receive millions to administer the Zaagiwe Oshinawe Inaakonigewin youth justice program, despite not being an Indigenous organization and without consulting with Indigenous-led organizations working in the sector.

“Just days after the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, we were shocked, concerned and saddened that yet another government and these foundations are handing over the administration of an Indigenous-focused program to a church-based organization,” said Dodie Jordaan, Winnipeg Indigenous Executive Circle member. “This is a missed opportunity to renew efforts to reverse the lasting effects of residential schools. Indigenous-led organizations are rooted in the grassroots community and have the solutions to meet our community needs.”

Winnipeg has the highest Indigenous population per capita in Canada and the population is growing exponentially – yet Indigenous organizations were not considered, consulted or engaged in the Marymound Inc. program. Instead, a non-Indigenous organization is expected to receive $2.2 million over three years to target 45 Indigenous youth and keep them out of the justice system.

This announcement is another in a line of disappointments for the sector. The WIEC has been strongly advocating for equitable resources in Winnipeg and to start to change the currently reality where only 15% of the entire Provincial Prevention Service budget goes to Indigenous-led organizations.

“WIEC has extended an invitation to the Premier and the Foundations to gather in Winnipeg to initiate a meaningful process to work together moving forward so that Indigenous-led organizations are leading the healing and growth and development of our Indigenous youth. Many Indigenous-led initiatives across Canada and in Winnipeg and Manitoba have been working very hard to address inequities that are direct barriers for Indigenous-led organizations to serve our people with specific solutions that we know work,” said Kendell Joiner, Winnipeg Indigenous Executive Circle Co-Chair. “What we need, however, is for governments, philanthropy and all Canadians to treat us as true partners in this work, and not sidelining us in favour of non-Indigenous organizations.”

About the WIEC:

The Winnipeg Indigenous Executive Circle (WIEC) was established in 2014 by Indigenous Executive Directors from Indigenous-led organizations focussed on restoring Indigenous systems of governance to work as a collaborative to advance the well-being of Indigenous Peoples – our Relatives in Winnipeg.

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MUSKRAT Magazine

MUSKRAT is an on-line Indigenous arts, culture magazine that honours the connection between humans and our traditional ecological knowledge by exhibiting original works and critical commentary. MUSKRAT embraces both rural and urban settings and uses media arts, the Internet, and wireless technology to investigate and disseminate traditional knowledges in ways that inspire their reclamation.

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