The Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs Disappointed in Manitoba Liquor and Lotteries

September 27, 2022

Treaty One Territory, Manitoba

AMC Communications

Treaty One Territory, Manitoba – The Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs (AMC) releases the following statement in response to the Manitoba Liquor and Lotteries choosing not to support and procure services from Indigenous businesses during their Orange Shirt Day campaign.

“It is disappointing to see Crown corporations using Orange Shirt Day as a gimmick to switch up their uniforms for one week of the year,” said Deputy Grand Chief Cornell McLean. “It is a veil of support with no action, and we are done with window dressing reconciliation. This day is an opportunity to not only educate Canadians about the history of residential schools but to create meaningful relationships in the spirit of reconciliation. Reconciliation must include Indigenous peoples. So, when a Crown Corporation decides to purchase Orange Shirt Day t-shirts from a non-Indigenous company, that is not acceptable. This decision was a misstep and a missed opportunity in the spirit of Orange Shirt Day. We were upset when we learned that the government of Manitoba did not make September 30th a provincial holiday; this just adds to the lack of movement on reconciliation efforts in this province.”

The origin of the orange shirts started with Phyllis Webstad, a residential school Survivor who attended her first day of school wearing an orange shirt gifted to her by her mother. The shirt was taken away, stripping her of her identity and pride. On September 30th, people across the country don orange shirts in memory of and to honour our relatives that were taken and forced to attend residential schools.

“Our Treaty partners have committed to reconciliation and honouring our truths. We ask that the Manitoba Liquor and Lottery Commission commit to supporting Indigenous businesses moving forward, including donating funds to an Indigenous charitable organization to make up for such an unfortunate oversight.” Said Deputy Grand Chief Cornell McLean.


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