In the early 90’s, Chris Maxfield was taking a Cree language course when his teacher asked, “How old is your daughter, Chris?”
She said she was five years old. “Well, next year, RCMP and government officials will come and take her away.” That was a scenario he didn’t understand: someone forced his daughter and stripped her of her culture and language. Did.
“I’m not an indigenous people, but it really helped me understand the trauma that accompanies generations.”
On September 9, Maxfield attended the City Hall and saw Indigeno Travel, a company co-founded with the late Darrell Phillips in 2015, partner with Winnipeg’s Indigenous Accord. Located on Portage Avenue near Valor Road, Indigeno is one of the 30 new partners who participated in the Accord this year, bringing a total of 200 individuals and organizations to join the reconciliation journey with the city of Winnipeg.
Darrell Phillips, also known as Hollowwater First Nations, Little Black Bear, was a community organizer and consultant for the indigenous community. After his death, his wife, Shirley Phillips, took on the role of his co-founder in Indigeno, and it was her who signed the Accord.
“I got Chris to come up with me … we wanted to show that it was a story of reconciliation,” said Shirleen.
“It was amazing. I think my husband would have been proud.”
The Accord sets out visions, commitments, and principles, including the commitment of partners to implement an action plan to establish and maintain a “mutually respectful partnership with indigenous peoples, Metti and Inuit people”. Accord Partners set goals for the achievement of the Truth Commission on the Call for Justice set by Canada’s 94 Calls for Action and the National Survey of Missing and Killed Indigenous Women and Girls, and progressed annually. You need to report on the situation.
Indigeno has already settled in the area of Subpoena 92, and Maxfield said he would do more. “It’s fair access to work, training and education (for indigenous peoples),” Maxfield said.
“And to make sure the profits are long-term.” He hopes Indigeno will serve as an example and more for-profit companies will become Accord partners. “Especially if you’re talking about the West End. There are many indigenous people there.”
Indigeno and its partner Continental Travel are currently the only West End for-profit companies participating in the Accord.
At the signing event, Arlen Dumas, Grand Chief of the Manitoba Chiefs’ Meeting, told the crowd that understanding the truth of what happened at a residential school in India was an important part of the settlement. He cited government-consigned tuberculosis experiments on school children as the cause of more than 6,500 unmarked tombs currently found on former school grounds.
“I’m not saying these things to make people uncomfortable. I want people to actually happen at these genocide laboratories, and to heal us all. I’m just telling them to have a true awareness and understanding of the work they have to do collectively, “Duma said.
Mayor Brian Bowman said the discovery of the tomb this summer motivated non-indigenous people to listen.
“We must work for true reconciliation. To fight racism, to fight discrimination, to educate ourselves, to build relationships, to foster respect, and for partnerships with indigenous peoples and governments. I have to look for every opportunity I can as a Canadian, and that’s why I’m here today, “says Bowman.
Visit winnipeg.ca/indigenousaccord to find out more about the Accord or apply to become a partner.
West End Business Participates in Indigenous Peoples Agreement
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