In January 2015, a MacLean’s article gave Winnipeg’s reputation a black eye with the national headline calling Winnipeg Canada’s most racist city. I responded with an article called Turning Racism into Resolve, and what followed was an experience of a life time. I appeared on over a dozen media outlets trying to explain some of the actions we take in our community to address racism on individual levels and sharing the example of Meet Me at the Bell Tower with all who would listen as an example of a community united and committed to leading by example with regular and consistent public demonstrations to address our shared challenges.
It was a very focused article that exposed many individual’s personal experiences – highlighting much of the recent headline grabbing negative elements of the life of Indigenous Winnipeg. While many of these items are true, it is frustrating to me that it took someone from a National magazine publishing an article with a damning headline to spur the conversation on addressing racism that is currently underway, presumably on a national scale – and not the acts of violence or systemic racism that have themselves occurred. These negative items are a reality, but from where I stand in Winnipeg’s North End, our Winnipeg Indigenous Community has been growing stronger and standing taller and more vocal each time an injustice is confronted. It is the reason that the Indigenous community in Winnipeg is simply refusing to be silent any longer. The proof is everywhere. Meet Me @ the Bell Tower, Got Bannock?, Drag the Red, Stop Violence Against Women & Girls Grassroots Campaign & many more exemplify the resolve we are showing in working as hard as we can to address the many challenges in our community including racism. Let’s welcome this opportunity and steer the conversations towards solutions, actions and cooperating. For me, I will share my gift – and write. During the week of January 26-30th 2015, I’ll be publishing daily examples of RESOLVE in our community.
RESOLVE: The Series