AMC welcomes the opening of “N’dinawemak – Our Relatives” warming centre
November 19, 2021
Treaty One Territory, Manitoba
Treaty One Territory, Manitoba – Today, Grand Chief Arlen Dumas represented the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs (AMC) at the opening of “N’dinawemak – Our Relatives” warming centre located at 190 Disraeli Freeway in Winnipeg. The centre will provide warming and shelter for Winnipeg’s most marginalized and vulnerable during the upcoming winter season. In partnership with End Homelessness Winnipeg and a coalition of urban Indigenous organizations who will oversee the operation of N’dinawemak, Premier Heather Stefanson today announced $1.5 million for 190 Disraeli.
Grand Chief Arlen Dumas stated, “The AMC, along with its mandated organizations, the First Nations Family Advocate Office and the Eagle Urban Transition Centre, welcome the government, social agency and private sector support that went into the establishment of this much needed facility. N’dinawemak will create additional warming spaces for the City’s most marginalized and vulnerable First Nations citizens, protecting them and ensuring their safety as we go into the winter season. This particular initiative addresses an immediate need and the results of long standing, ingrained and systemic oppression of First Nations peoples in this City, province and country, and for that we are grateful.”
“However,” continued Grand Chief Dumas, “more needs to be done in addition to addressing the symptoms of systemic discrimination and anti-Indigenous racism at the root of this ever-increasing societal issue. That is why the AMC continues to lead the advocacy and work with all partners on a comprehensive strategy that considers the colonial and underlying causes of the unsheltered and homelessness situation in Winnipeg and other urban centres in the province. A key component of such a strategy includes a mandated institution for First Nations’ homelessness, led by First Nations with accountability to First Nations.”
“First Nations are always available to collaborate on initiatives such as this with willing partners, End Homelessness Winnipeg being one such partner. N’dinawemak is an example of what can be accomplished through strategic partnerships and is a testament to the determination of advocates such as End Homelessness Winnipeg Executive Director, Jason Whitford.”
“It is no longer acceptable to create more difficulties and uncomfortable conditions to exclude in the most heartless ways people who are already suffering. The province and the City were guilty of this tactic in the past. With the opening of this warming centre and more transparency by the government of Manitoba, however, perhaps there will be more empathy, and future generations will more generously judge this society by how well it treated its weakest and most vulnerable,” concluded Grand Chief Dumas.