The Government of Canada, the Province of Manitoba and the City of Winnipeg today made a major commitment to improve the socio-economic circumstances of local Aboriginal people with the signing of a Memorandum of Collaboration.
The Memorandum was signed by the Honourable Chuck Strahl, Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians, the Honourable Eric Robinson, Manitoba Minister of Aboriginal and Northern Affairs, the Honourable Ron Lemieux, Manitoba Minister of Local Government, and Sam Katz, Mayor of Winnipeg.
Under this plan, the three levels of government will work collaboratively and partner with the Aboriginal community and other key stakeholders to identify common issues, better align programs and combine resources to maximize community investments.
“This Memorandum is a result of the successful partnerships our government has been able to achieve through the Urban Aboriginal Strategy,” said Minister Strahl. “By working closely with various partners, and through the exchange of knowledge, skills and expertise, we are moving forward together to ensure that Aboriginal people reach their goals in important areas such as education and employment.”
“This initiative is an important cornerstone of Manitoba’s recently announced Winnipeg Regeneration Strategy, which is designed, among other things, to close the economic and social gap between urban Aboriginal people and other Winnipeggers,” said Minister Lemieux. “By building on strategies that have proved successful, pooling our resources and working closely with the Aboriginal community, we will have the best chance to increase Aboriginal participation in the growing economy of Winnipeg.”
“The full participation of Aboriginal people in Winnipeg’s economic and social fabric is essential to our city’s success,” said Minister Robinson. “Building on our provinces Aboriginal Education Action Plan, this agreement will help sustain our strategy to create an educational and economic foundation to support families and foster community pride and development.”
“By working cooperatively with all of our stakeholders, we can continue to seize opportunity and ensure the Aboriginal population reach their potential and find success in our City,” said Mayor Katz. “Our best asset is our people, and by aligning programming and focusing our resources, we can maximize our approaches and deliver benefits directly to the citizens in our community.”
This agreement will enhance collaboration among all levels of government and support the joint review of programs while strengthening resources to maximize the effectiveness of investments for Winnipeg’s growing urban Aboriginal population.
Winnipeg has one of the fastest growing urban Aboriginal populations in the country and has the largest concentration of urban Aboriginal people in Canada on a per capita basis. More than 10% of Winnipeg’s population of 686,000 identify themselves as urban Aboriginal (Métis, Inuit and First Nations), which is more than four times higher than 25 years ago.
This Memorandum of Collaboration is another step forward in building on the successful government and Aboriginal community partnerships under the Urban Aboriginal Strategy, the Winnipeg Partnership Agreement and the Aboriginal Youth Strategy.