If, like me, you are tired of hearing about how bad 2016 was then do something about it. I am pleased to share with you: “The Village by the Numbers 2016” a break down some good things that happened last calendar year. I remember there was a time where the end of the year meant tallying up the number of assaults and homicides and seeing if we had hurt less people as a city this year. It was a process that always confused me and had me asking ‘why do we think a reduction of a negative, means we have an excess of a positive?’. I longed for a world where we measured the good things happening on our streets and in our community. That is why I am so proud of and dedicated to what many of us refer to as “the village”. The volunteers in Winnipeg’s urban centre that operate under primarily Indigenous leadership with a commitment to bettering neighbourhoods, families and children have accomplished much that deserves our attention. We can all agree that 2016 was a big year in Winnipeg. But let me share with you the actual numbers, that depict just how many actions, events and initiatives were successfully executed by the village in 2016.
14 groups, thousands of actions
Aboriginal Youth Opportunities began in 2010, Idle No More took off in 2012, and the village as we know it began blooming in 2013 when Althea Guiboche the Bannock Lady first hit the streets with hot food ‘in honour of the village we once had’. Since then, many groups have emerged and organized around the concept of the village we have today, where all people are cared for and children are raised by a whole community of people who love and care for them. For the purpose of this list I have focused on 14 groups who AYO! works with on a regular basis who have an enormous positive impact in our city that deserves to be acknowledged measured and replicated.
2016 By the Numbers
For this list we have included 14 groups doing grassroots organizing in Winnipeg. These groups are led primarily by indigenous people or work very closely with our urban Indigenous helpers and families.
- 60 Drag the Red Water/Land Searches
- 53 Meet Me at the Bell Tower Gatherings
- 260 Bear Clan Patrols (in William Whyte and Dufferin alone)
- 48 Mama Bear Clan Patrols
- 24 Got Bannock Lunches served
- 15 Village Walks
- 34 Fearless Meetings
- 13 13 Fires Winnipeg Events
- 3 Editions of Red Rising Magazine
- 33 Brain Storms from AYO Politix
- 47 Episodes of Inner City Voices on CKUW 95.9fm
- 64 Food Not Bombs community meals served (with the support of FOOD FARE)
- 13 Youth Pipe Ceremonies on the streets of the North End
- 10,000+ Ikwe Safe Rides shared
We know there are many more groups than these volunteering their time and building up our community. If you are part of one of those groups and wish to be included in future lists such as this, please let me know on social media or at one of the many events in the village. Also, if you have a desire to become a part of these initiatives and donate with your time, energy or dollars, they are ALL looking for various ways to welcome more help and helpers. Kinanaskomitin to all the helpers, and families for volunteering their time to make our streets a little safer. Your example teaches me everyday and I hope the rest of the world is beginning to see the importance and value of measuring the good. Let’s get to work in 2017.