Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 18/10/2018 (623 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Mayoral candidate Don Woodstock is promising to impose quotas for hiring, training and promotion of Indigenous people on the civic workforce if he wins the election next week.
Woodstock said city hall’s efforts to assist the Indigenous community have largely been symbolic and ineffective at addressing real change.
"Why is (the quota) important? That’s how we get people out of poverty, that’s how we get people out of crime," Woodstock said Thursday at a news conference adjacent to the Canadian Museum for Human Rights. "I’m suggesting we can do better."
Woodstock was accompanied at the event by Ron Evans, the former grand chief of the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs, who endorsed Woodstock for mayor.
Evans, whose firm is working to be recognized as a qualified provider of Indigenous awareness training, said Woodstock was the only mayoral candidate to approach him about what he was doing and what could be done to change the environment for Indigenous people at city hall.
"That says a lot about Don and that’s why I would encourage others to support him," Evans said. "He may not be the most popular candidate at this time but he certainly has the right ideas," adding he is impressed with Woodstock’s other campaign commitments, including his promise to direct city spending towards inner-city youth sports.
Woodstock said civic officials told him that only about eight per cent of the civic workforce identifies as Indigenous, which he said is below the 13 per cent representation in the greater community. That number is expected to increase to more than 20 per cent by 2020, he said, adding city hall needs to do more.
Woodstock said that hiring, training and promoting more Indigenous people would demonstrate that the city is truly inclusive.
Woodstock and Evans dismissed previous initiatives that have been undertaken by city hall to help Indigenous people.
City hall established its Indigenous relations division in 2013. In response to the 2015 Maclean’s magazine article that identified Winnipeg as the country’s most racist city, Mayor Brian Bowman created the Winnipeg Accord, where individuals, business and organizations commit to improve how they deal with the Indigenous community and publicly acknowledge their efforts.
City council has mandated Indigenous awareness training for all civic employees, politicians and their staff. Bowman created an Indigenous advisory council for his office and the Winnipeg Police Board also set up a similar body for itself.
Evans said there is little to show for those efforts.
"We’ve looked (at what city hall has done) but it’s not very meaningful, it’s all symbolic stuff," he said. "If (all this) was working, we wouldn’t have the issues were dealing with currently."
Your support has enabled us to provide free access to stories about COVID-19 because we believe everyone deserves trusted and critical information during the pandemic.
Our readership has contributed additional funding to give Free Press online subscriptions to those that can’t afford one in these extraordinary times — giving new readers the opportunity to see beyond the headlines and connect with other stories about their community.
To those who have made donations, thank you.
To those able to give and share our journalism with others, please Pay it Forward.
The Free Press has shared COVID-19 stories free of charge because we believe everyone deserves access to trusted and critical information during the pandemic.
While we stand by this decision, it has undoubtedly affected our bottom line.
After nearly 150 years of reporting on our city, we don’t want to stop any time soon. With your support, we’ll be able to forge ahead with our journalistic mission.
If you believe in an independent, transparent, and democratic press, please consider subscribing today.
We understand that some readers cannot afford a subscription during these difficult times and invite them to apply for a free digital subscription through our Pay it Forward program.
The Free Press Election Extra lets you know about everything that matters in 2018’s civic election. Receive it in your inbox three times a week until Election Day.Subscribe to Election Extra
By subscribing to the above e-mail alerts I agree to receive selected communications from Winnipeg Free Press, even if I have previously opted out from communications. E-mail preferences can be changed at any time under 'My Account->My Email Alerts'.