WINNIPEG – Winnipeg is a diverse city, full of people from every corner of this world who are here either temporarily, or are trying to start a new life away from racial hatred that they thought they might have left behind. Winnipeg’s diversity is also reflected in the history of indigenous peoples from all over Turtle Island who congregated here in a rich history of trade and commerce that goes back thousands of years.
This is the history of the area that you won’t learn in the education system, nor most academic post-secondary programs. You also won’t learn that no one could live here successfully without the intervention of highly successful indigenous peoples who helped provide safe passage, food, and access to clean water to immigrants from Europe who could not thrive here without help.
We did that for the newcomers who eventually figured out ways of getting from one season to the next. We did this because we honour meaningful relationships and we honour the human experiences of all, regardless of where they came from..
The future of Winnipeg’s economy is going to be measured on how successfully Indigenous trade and commerce is re-introduced to this area through the creation of urban reserves and indigenous economic centres.
This will be done through additions to reserve and treaty land entitlement processes that are lawfully binding on both provincial and federal governments.
The realization of Indigenous economic centres will bring billions of dollars of investment into the Manitoba economy with a progressive and open and aware leader in the role as Mayor.
Urban reserves offer opportunity to gain access to new markets, new health services that are not currently offered in the mainstream public health system and many other benefits.
The future prosperity for the City of Winnipeg cannot be realized by spending more taxpayer dollars on police service vans or cadets.
The future of Winnipeg is in economic development that promotes a thriving and diverse society of people creating opportunity for one another.
There is billions of dollars of investment waiting to enter the Winnipeg and Manitoba economy with the realization of urban reserves. Anyone who does not see that opportunity, or promotes a police state in the downtown core to revitalize economies is working from a fundamentally flawed perspective.
A perspective that promotes division and the maintenance of privilege above all else. I for one don’t think Winnipegers need that kind of thinking anymore.
Grand Chief Derek Nepinak
Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs