Winnipeg’s Indigenous Accord celebrates 200 partners

A signing ceremony of Winnipeg’s Indigenous Accord Thursday at city hall now brings the total number of partners to 200.

The accord is a living document and is meant to serve as a guide for the signatories’ commitment to the ongoing “Journey of Reconciliation” in Winnipeg.

“This is really a visible, tangible commitment to reconciliation,” said Mayor Brian Bowman. “It’s a commitment made in community to respond to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s calls to action and the calls for justice issued by the National Inquiry on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls.”

Bowman said Indigenous issues have been pushed to the forefront with the pandemic negatively affecting a disproportionate number of the Indigenous population while the discovery of unmarked graves at residential school sites has caused tremendous amounts of pain and trauma.

“For generations Indigenous people have been telling the story but far too many non-Indigenous Canadians have been really willing to listen or motivated to truly listen. I think that began to change this summer,” said Bowman.

“The Winnipeg Indigenous Accord is our community coming together to learn, share and respond to the calls to action and calls for justice in a constantly unfolding story of hope and renewal.”

Arlen Dumas, the Grand Chief of the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs, said the pandemic has shown success can be found when people come together with a common goal, like health-care workers going to help First Nations people during the pandemic.

He said precedents like this help reconciliation efforts.

“We need each other to heal, and how important life is so that we can move forward in a good way. And we need to remove some of the systemic racism that continues to exist,” said Dumas.

There were 39 new signatures added to the accord Thursday, ranging from non-profit organizations to bakeries.

Each partner will be required to report their successes towards to reconciliation and their future goals yearly.

“As we move forward and look to how we can continue to help one another we will create a better tomorrow,” said Dumas.

“Every single Winnipegger, every single Canadian has a role to play on this journey of reconciliation and the accord is really intended to keep our focus on that,” said Bowman.

The city accepts partner applications for the accord year round . For more information head to winnipeg.ca/indigenousaccord.