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Indigenous Relations Division

Welcoming Winnipeg:
Reconciling our history

Welcoming Winnipeg is an initiative that responds to the national dialogue to re-examine historical markers and place names to resolve the absence of Indigenous perspectives, experiences, and contributions in the stories remembered and commemorated in Canadian cities.

This initiative is just one aspect of the reconciliation process we are committed to, and will help ensure that the contributions, experiences, and perspectives of First Nations, Métis, and Inuit are reflected truthfully in our stories, historical markers, and place names.Tell your story and be part of determining how to move forward in reconciling our City’s history.


Updates

July 2019 – Your feedback has identified that the community feels strongly about all the options to create new, to add to, and to remove various historical markers and place names. Phase 2 of this initiative includes gathering input on a proposed nomination process and criteria for evaluation to guide how we move forward in reconciling our City’s history.

Take part in this next phase of engagement and have your say in the future of creating a Welcoming Winnipeg. Visit the Engage tab for more information on online and in-person opportunities. The results and what we heard from the community in phase 1 are available in a What We Heard report.

June 2019 – On June 11, 2019, the Executive Policy Committee received an update on Welcoming Winnipeg stating that the Public Service will report back to Council by September 2019, with its recommendation for a Welcoming Winnipeg policy and implementation plan. The updated report is now available. The feedback gathered through the public engagement process is currently being finalized and will be used to help inform the recommendations for further community input in the coming months.

January 2019 – We want you to be a part of reconciling our story to ensure the Winnipeg of the future is welcoming to all.

Join us on our Journey of Reconciliation and tell your story about a place in Winnipeg that is important to you by leaving a voice message, sending a written story, or recording your story. Visit the Engage tab for more information.

Sign up for updates to receive emails at key project milestones.

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Privacy StatementDéclaration de confidentialité Your personal information is being collected in accordance with s.36(1)(b) of The Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act. This information will be used to manage your subscription and notification preferences. Your information will not be used or disclosed for any other purposes, except as authorized by law. If you have any questions about the collection of this information, contact the Corporate Access and Privacy Officer by mail to City Clerk’s Department, Administration Building, 510 Main Street, Winnipeg MB, R3B 1B9, or by telephone at 311. Vos renseignements personnels sont recueillis au titre de l’alinéa 36(1)b) de la Loi sur l’accès à l’information et la protection de la vie privée. Ils seront utilisés pour gérer votre abonnement et vos préférences. Ils ne seront ni utilisés ni divulgués pour d’autres raisons, sauf dans les cas où cela est autorisé par la loi. Si vous avez des questions sur la collecte de ces renseignements, veuillez communiquer avec l’agent de l’accès à l’information et de la protection de la vie privée de la Ville en écrivant au Bureau du greffier, immeuble Susan-A.-Thompson, 510, rue Main, Winnipeg (Manitoba) R3B 1B9, ou en composant le 311.

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Moving Forward

A proposed process and policy were developed to guide how we move forward in reconciling our City’s history using your feedback, information from other cities, and Winnipeg’s current processes . We are looking for additional feedback and refinement. Learn more about providing feedback on the Engage tab.

Options and Process

Historical Markers

Option: Add perspective

What we heard:

  • This makes Indigenous stories a footnote in colonial narrative.
  • There are always two sides to every story. It’s important to present both sides.
  • This could cause more division.

Draft criteria for this option:

  • Addition should be the same type and scale as original marker. For example, an added statue with an existing statue.
  • Additional perspective should come from Indigenous people
  • Addition should be commissioned to Indigenous artists
  • Can the marker be linked to another existing marker that tells a fuller picture? *Additional criteria
Option: Add new

What we heard:

  • This is revisionism at its worst.
  • Create new Indigenous ones to balance it out.
  • We need more emphasis (publicly) on past and current Indigenous heroes and mentors.

Criteria for this option:

  • Suggested criteria
Option: Remove

What we heard:

  • This could divide more than bring together!!
  • Removing them is not erasing our history – history is still available from other sources.
  • Remove them somewhere else – like an exhibition or museum.

Criteria for this option:

  • Suggested criteria

Place Names

Option: Add new

What we heard:

  • Indigenous names should be given priority.
  • New ones should reflect all nationalities and races.
  • Place names need to pronounceable.

Criteria for this option:

  • Suggested criteria
Option: Honourary/Add to

What we heard:

  • Not as meaningful as permanent.
  • Honor by naming places and spaces not streets – its more effective.
  • Add a plaque to acknowledge other contributions in places already named.

Criteria for this option:

  • Suggested criteria
Option: Renaming

What we heard:

  • This is important as places were renamed/taken without consent.
  • Renaming one does not elevate another.
  • People will still use the old names.

Draft criteria for this option:

  • Suggested criteria
  • Connect naming to Traditional and Treaty lands and Indigenous law
  • Connecting name to Indigenous and Treaty Rights
  • The original place name was Indigenous
    * Additional criteria

Current process (generally)

  1. Request
  2. Department review
  3. Community Committee
  4. Standing Policy Committee
  5. Executive Policy Committee
  6. Council

What we heard:

  • Less Politicized
  • Community Input
    • Process Design
    • Decision Making
  • Work with Elders
  • Opportunities for Ongoing Input

Welcoming Winnipeg Policy

Draft recommendation:

  • Develop an umbrella policy that enhances existing processes and creates a process for new areas that incorporates community voices. Include:
    • Indigenous voices in process design and decision making
    • Less politicized
    • Allow for ongoing input

What we heard:

  • Acknowledge Indigenous history and contributions through-out city.
  • Work with a committee of Elders and/or Academics – they know the full history.
  • This is needed in order to educate people on our true/full history.

Proposed process

Proposed process to add to create new, to add to, and to remove various historical markers and place names.

1. Formal Application

  1. Community Consultation conducted/support letter
  2. Provides rationale

2. Department with Indigenous Relations Division involvement

  1. Review criteria and Indigenous lens and initial community voice

3. Committee of Community members

  1. Provide Indigenous lens
  2. Provide Community voice
  3. Make recommendation or make decision

Engage

Our city is a reflection of all of us and within our city lives our stories.

Phase 2

An online survey was available on this page from July 11 - August 2, 2019. Thank you to the 131 people who provided feedback on how to refine the proposed nomination process and draft policy recommendations. Between July 18 and 25 the project team met with 91 people for community discussions on the proposed process and raft policy, along with criteria for evaluating proposals to recognize and commemorate our history. Thank you for all of your considerations! All feedback is currently being analyzed to help develop and refine policy recommendations for Council’s consideration in fall 2019.

For inquiries or a request for alternate formats, please contact Jacquie Lylyk (204) 986-4494 or .

Phase 1

The results in a What We Heard report summarizing we heard from the community in phase 1 is available.

Online survey

An online survey was available on this project webpage from January – March 2019. Thank you to the 690 people who completed the survey.

The feedback received from phase was analyzed along with all input received to help inform a proposed nomination process and policy. The public input is available in a What We Heard report.

See the timeline tab for the project schedule.

Panel event and discussion

Thank you to the more than 60 people who joined us at the University of Winnipeg for a panel event and discussion on March 13.

Panelists Karine Duhamel, Lorena Sekwan Fontaine, Mary Jane Logan McCallum, Adele Perry, Jarvis Brownlie and Kevin Brownlee discussed their perspectives on Indigenous stories and experiences related to historical markers, Indigenous place names, our shared history, and how the discussion applies in Winnipeg.

See the videos tab to review a recording of the panel discussion.

In case you missed it, some of the themes that came out of the panelist’s discussion included:

Truth
  • This initiative is an opportunity to revisit Winnipeg’s story. Adding Indigenous context and history to plaques, monuments and street names keeps colonialism visible, with added truth and perspective.
  • Removing symbols and representation of colonialism would also remove the opportunity to add context and dialogue and call for the truth.  Acknowledging and creating spaces provides more perspective for intersectional conversation and reflection.
  • Not a way to rewrite history, a way to right history.
  • This dialogue is an opportunity to deepen the context of Winnipeg’s history from an Indigenous story-telling approach and are backed through archeology and history.
Youth
  • Honour Indigenous youth by creating a safe space and representation on monuments, art and sculptures and written in Indigenous language.
  • Youth have to see themselves in the city.
Women
  • Candid dialogue opens the doors to the truth about statues that represent colonial damage.  It is important to create spaces for healing, through the voices and perspectives that honour Indigenous women.
  • Importance of 'calling forth' and making visible what has been invisible.
  • Honour and represent Indigenous women on existing monuments as seen through their eyes, and through the eyes of their families.
Language
  • Indigenous languages on signage and street names are one way to commit to the presence of Indigenous languages as living languages.
  • Indigenous language use on signs, plaques, and monuments offer an opportunity to create a sense of belonging.

An additional thank you to the 22 people who stayed after the event to take part in a public workshop regarding what was discussed and how to move forward.

To learn about some of the work and expertise of our panelists the Welcoming Winnipeg section of the Library's Indigenous Info Guide.

If you would like to stay updated on City of Winnipeg public engagement events, follow the City on Facebook and Twitter or City of Winnipeg public engagement newsletter.

Project Timeline

Timeline

Timeline

Background

In July 2010, the Canadian, Provincial and Municipal government parties signed the Memorandum of Collaboration (MOC) to work together and better align resources to improve socio-economic outcomes for the Indigenous peoples in Winnipeg and to improve the capacity of Indigenous organizations to carry-out their mandates.

The three parties collaborated on the development of priority areas in which to achieve these goals and from this Welcoming Winnipeg was created. Dialogue across the country on shared history in various cities specific to markers, plaques and names prompted action in Winnipeg and is one aspect of the Welcoming Winnipeg initiative.

This component of the Welcoming Winnipeg initiative is just one aspect of the reconciliation process we, as a city, are committed to, and will help ensure that the contributions, experiences, and perspectives of First Nations, Métis, and Inuit are reflected truthfully in our stories, historical markers, and place names.

Winnipeg’s history

In Winnipeg, we have an opportunity to re-examine our relationship with Indigenous peoples and our relationship with the traditional lands on which Winnipeg was built. In some cases, historical markers commemorate historical figures that advocated, constructed, and participated in creating policies, laws, and legislation having devastating effect on the lives of Indigenous peoples, such as residential schools from 1880 to 1996.

With the arrival of Settlers in Canada, Indigenous territories were re-mapped and re-named, becoming the standard for cities that continue to grow within Indigenous territories. Indigenous place names are emerging as one instrument in the process of reconciliation; acknowledging the presence of Indigenous peoples and their longstanding relationships to territory and lands. Winnipeg, as an example, is on Treaty No. 1 Territory, and the Homeland of the Métis Nation.

The Treaty relationship is important to the City’s ongoing commitment to the Journey of Reconciliation. This has included: the Mayor declaring 2016 as the Year of Reconciliation; the City supporting the implementation of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada Calls to Action (43, 47, 57, 75, 77); over 70 percent of civic employees participating in training on residential schools to-date; establishing Winnipeg’s first Indigenous Accord; and, adopting a practice of territorial acknowledgements.

Truth and Reconciliation Calls to Action

Welcoming Winnipeg aligns at a municipal level with TRC Call to Action #79 which states:

We call upon the federal government, in collaboration with Survivors, Aboriginal organizations, and the arts community, to develop a reconciliation framework for Canadian heritage and commemoration this would include, but not be limited to:

  1. Amending the Historic Sites and monuments Act to include First Nations, Inuit, and Métis representation on the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada and its Secretariat.
  2. Revising the policies, criteria, and practices of the National Program of Historical Commemoration to integrate Indigenous history, heritage values, and memory practices into Canada’s national heritage and history.
  3. Developing and implementing a national heritage plan and strategy for commemorating residential school sites, the history and legacy of residential schools and the contributions of Aboriginal people to Canada’s history.

Welcoming Winnipeg also aligns with the set of guiding principles for truth and reconciliation developed by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada1 and adopted by Winnipeg’s Indigenous Accord, the 10 principles state:

1
The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples is the framework for reconciliation at all levels and across all sectors of Canadian society.

2
First  Nations,  Inuit,  and  Métis  peoples,  as  the  original  peoples  of  this  country  and  as  self-determining  peoples, have Treaty, constitutional, and human rights that must be recognized and respected.

3
Reconciliation is a process of healing of relationships that requires public truth sharing, apology and commemoration that acknowledge and redress past harms.

4
Reconciliation   requires   constructive   action   on   addressing   the  ongoing  legacies  of  colonialism  that  have  had  destructive  impacts  on  Aboriginal  peoples’  education,  cultures  and  languages,  health,  child welfare, the administration of justice, and economic opportunities and prosperity.

5
Reconciliation must create a more equitable and inclusive society by closing the gaps in social, health, and economic outcomes that exist between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Canadians.

6
All Canadians, as Treaty peoples, share responsibility for establishing and maintaining mutually respectful relationships.

7
The perspectives and understandings of Aboriginal Elders and Traditional Knowledge Keepers of the ethics, concepts, and practices of reconciliation are vital to long-term reconciliation.

8
Supporting Aboriginal peoples’ cultural revitalization and integrating Indigenous knowledge systems, oral histories, laws, protocols, and connections to the land into the reconciliation process are essential.

9
Reconciliation requires political will, joint leadership, trust building, accountability, and transparency, as well as a substantial investment of resources.

10
Reconciliation requires sustained public education and dialogue, including  youth  engagement,  about  the  history  and  legacy  of  residential schools, Treaties, and Aboriginal rights, as well as the historical  and  contemporary contributions of  Aboriginal  peoples  to Canadian society.

1Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada. What We Have Learned: The Principles of Truth and Reconciliation, 2015 (p. 3-4).

Documents

Document Name Date Type
Phase 1 Public Engagement summary appendices July 11, 2019 Report
Phase 1 Public Engagement Summary July 11, 2019 Report
News release phase 2 July 11, 2019 Advertisement
News release phase 1 January 29, 2019 Advertisement

Frequently Asked Questions

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Why are monuments and street names important to create a welcoming space?

The City of Winnipeg acknowledges the presence of Indigenous peoples and their territory where Winnipeg now resides and where Indigenous stories and perspective are not fully reflected through historical markers, Indigenous place names, or in the memories of our shared history.

Date added: January 25, 2019

Why is the City holding a public engagement process on this topic?

The public engagement strategy and activities scheduled in Winnipeg are necessary to invite input from the public on this important matter that is occurring nationally.

Of major cities in Canada, Winnipeg has the largest population of Indigenous peoples representing nations who have resided here for millennia. For this reason, it is imperative that Winnipeg takes leadership to build knowledge and understanding on this important matter.

Date added: January 25, 2019

Why is this only about Indigenous people and not other groups or communities?

We recognize that this issue is sensitive and complex and occurring on a national scale within various municipalities across Canada. Of major cities in Canada, Winnipeg has the largest population of Indigenous peoples representing nations who have resided here for millennia. The City of Winnipeg acknowledges the presence of Indigenous peoples and their territory where Winnipeg now resides, and where Indigenous stories and perspective are not fully reflected through historical markers, Indigenous place names, or in the memories of our shared history.

Date added: January 25, 2019

How are you ensuring that Indigenous people will be able to participate and provide their input?

We are working on various approaches and methods to ensure Indigenous people are included as part of this public engagement process. Ongoing consultation with Indigenous peoples is occurring to obtain guidance and input to inform this work and future related activities.

Date added: January 25, 2019

Is the City going to be tearing down monuments and renaming streets like has happened in other cities?

Welcoming Winnipeg is an initiative that responds to the national dialogue in major Canadian cities to re-examine historical markers and place names to resolve the absence of Indigenous perspectives, experiences, and contributions in the stories remembered and commemorated in Canadian cities. The City is opening the discussion with all Winnipeggers through this public engagement process, and will include direct public engagement and consultation with Indigenous peoples.

Date added: January 25, 2019

What is the outcome of this project going to be?

The feedback gathered through the public engagement process, including direct engagement and consultation with Indigenous peoples, will be compiled and used to help inform recommendations for Council’s consideration.

Date added: January 25, 2019

Where can I learn more about the City’s commitment to reconciliation efforts?

For more information, please consult City of Winnipeg – Journey of Reconciliation.

Date added: January 25, 2019

How can I get involved/provide feedback?

There are a number of ways to get involved in the Welcoming Winnipeg initiative. Visit the Engage tab to learn more.

Date added: January 25, 2019

Maps

View the dataset in Open Data.

Videos

Related Links

Keep learning with Winnipeg Public Library

Visit the Welcoming Winnipeg section of the Library's Indigenous Info Guide to find:

  • reading lists created just for this initiative
  • information about the ideaMILL at Millennium Library
  • the Library's local history resources, including access to newspaper archives
  • books and other publications by the panelists from Welcoming Winnipeg's March 13th event

Submit Your Story

Our city is a reflection of all of us and within our city lives our stories.

Tell your story to be part of reconciling our story. There are other ways to submit your story, listed on the Engage tab.

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If you submit content to The City of Winnipeg (the “City”) to this Welcoming Winnipeg initiative, you will retain all the intellectual property rights associated with Your Story that you currently own. By submitting Your Story to the City, you give the City a perpetual, irrevocable, fully paid up, royalty-free, worldwide, unlimited license to collect, retain, use, distribute, reproduce, create derivative works from, modify, and publicly display, publish, and/or perform your story.

Privacy StatementDéclaration de confidentialité Your personal information is being collected in accordance with s.36(1)(b) of The Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act. The information will be used for the purposes of the Welcoming Winnipeg: Reconciling our history program. Your information will not be used or disclosed for any other purposes, except as authorized by law. If you have any questions about the collection of this information, contact the Corporate Access and Privacy Officer by mail to City Clerk’s Department, Administration Building, 510 Main Street, Winnipeg MB, R3B 1B9, or by telephone at 311. Vos renseignements personnels sont recueillis au titre de l’alinéa 36(1)b) de la Loi sur l’accès à l’information et la protection de la vie privée. Ils seront utilisés pour gérer votre abonnement et vos préférences. Ils ne seront ni utilisés ni divulgués pour d’autres raisons, sauf dans les cas où cela est autorisé par la loi. Si vous avez des questions sur la collecte de ces renseignements, veuillez communiquer avec l’agent de l’accès à l’information et de la protection de la vie privée de la Ville en écrivant au Bureau du greffier, immeuble Susan-A.-Thompson, 510, rue Main, Winnipeg (Manitoba) R3B 1B9, ou en composant le 311.
Last update: August 7, 2019