AMC congratulates all partners on the official grand opening of N’dinawemak – Our Relatives’ Place
December 1, 2021
Treaty One Territory, Manitoba
Treaty One Territory, Manitoba – The Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs (AMC) welcomes today’s official opening of N’dinawemak – Our Relatives’ Place, a holistic facility which will serve a predominately First Nations population experiencing homelessness in downtown Winnipeg for the upcoming winter season. The name ‘N’dinawemak’ translates to ‘Our Relatives Place’ in Anishinaabemowin.
In partnership with End Homelessness Winnipeg, N’dinawemak is a collaborative effort led by a coalition of organizations such as AMC’s Eagle Urban Transition Centre (EUTC), AMC First Nations Family Advocate Office (FNFAO), as well as the Aboriginal Health and Wellness Centre (AHWC), Anishinative, the Downtown Community Safety Partnership (DCSP) and CommUNITY 204.
AMC Grand Chief Arlen Dumas stated, “I congratulate all the partners on today’s official grand opening of the N’dinawenak warming shelter. Located at 190 Disraeli Freeway, N’dinawemak is a unique approach that combined expertise from a coalition of organizations working towards a common goal of addressing the homelessness crisis in Winnipeg. AMC intends to support this project by providing direct, holistic supports and resources to our relatives through the extension of services of EUTC for those who may be transitioning from, or to their First Nation and require additional supports. We will further offer advocacy supports through the FNFAO for those who may be experiencing challenges related to involvement with the provincial Child and Family Services (CFS) system.”
According to the 2018 Winnipeg Street Census, it was found that over 60% of those living on the street identified as First Nations or Indigenous, and two-thirds of respondents shared that they had aged out of CFS care and became homeless within one year.
Grand Chief Dumas further stated, “throughout the pandemic, there has been a significant increase of those experiencing homelessness and the AMC has witnessed the multitude of barriers that prevent our relatives from finding safe, stable housing during these difficult times.”
“There is not a First Nations person living on the streets of Winnipeg who is not affected by the legacy of the Indian Residential School System (IRS), or the current CFS system. It is time that we address the harms it has caused our relatives by restoring our traditional ways of life. We all have a duty to care for one another, and AMC is in full support of this powerful initiative.”
Grand Chief Dumas concluded, “It is critical that the needs of First Nations citizens are prioritized when introducing a new service like this in Winnipeg, and the AMC is honoured to be a key partner in this project”.