Working Towards Change in Winnipeg, Canada’s Largest 'Urban Rez'
by tonytulli on October 5, 2017 - 11:50pm
This article talks about groups formed within Winnipeg’s North End indigenous community that are trying to bring back peace and safety in their neighbourhoods by their own means
Canada’s largest indigenous population is in Winnipeg, Manitoba. There’s about 91,000 people living in a small community. It is considered big enough for some to call it an “urban reservation” where people live below the low income cut-off and deal with high rates of violence. So far in 2017, multiple sexual assaults and homicides have been committed. Now more than ever, the community is crying for change.
Also, the missing and murdered Indigenous women has been a topic raised since the 1990s. Women, children and the elderly are most vulnerable as the number of missing and murdered has been continuously growing over the past few years.
The author explains that most people who live in the city’s north end are left on their own with little or no help.With barely any support from the Winnipeg Police, the community turns to other solutions such as “grassroots organizations” who vow to mitigate high rates of violence.
These organizations also help bring the indigenous people together in order to minimize the issues in the community. Most are different organizations with different objectives, but ultimately have the same unique goal; to make people’s life a little better. The Bear Clan Patrol came up with a solution to patrol the streets of the community five times a week in order to make the city’s north end a safer place. Another group called Fearless R2W have their own objective which is to takedown and end the state-run foster care program. This attempt to dismantle the program is the best solution to keep families together and offer more guidance to the youth.
I think that the alternative of turning to grassroots groups for help is great but it is not the best long term solution. It is more of a quick solution that will help lower the violence rate in the community. They need more support from the Winnipeg Police as well as more accessible resources when they are in financial trouble. As long as poverty persists in the north end, these issues will continue. It is up to the residents to find a new approach for themselves in order to benefit in the long run. Perhaps it is also the government’s responsibility to act fast, find solutions as well as working with the residents of this community. They have made a lot of promises but so far it seems like none of them have been held.
- anthony patulli