Winnipeg crowd pledges to lead by example

Rally against violence turns into a call to action against racism

Drummers play on Selkirk Avenue in Winnipeg Friday evening.

Drummers play on Selkirk Avenue in Winnipeg Friday evening. (John Woods)

A rally against violence in North End Winnipeg turned into a call to action in the wake of Maclean’s story this week that called out Winnipeg for racism.

“We can’t change what’s happened in the past,” organizer Michael Champagne told a crowd at the Selkirk Avenue Belltower Friday night. “But we can change the future if we lead with our example.”

“Our secret is out. I think we’ll become a better, stronger, healthier, kinder city if we acknowledge our failing and act proactively to change it,” Leah Gazan, president of the city’s Social Planning Council told Maclean’s. “It’s our secrets that keep us sick.”

Related: Racism in Canada: The conversation begins 

Winnipeggers of all ethnic backgrounds said they were there to stand up against the ugly racism many indigenous residents tell Maclean’s is their daily reality. Andrew Vineberg said he wanted to be part of “bridging that divide.”

City resident Arden Ogg said it was crucially important to stand beside the city’s indigenous community today, and in the weeks ahead. “Non-Aboriginal people need to understand the burden some carry, and find ways to restore respect.”

Indigenous youth activist Jenna Wirch said the week’s debates had opened the “floodgates” on a dialogue that is essential and long overdue. “We’re making history right now,” Wirch added, shaking her head. “It’s been an amazing week.”

Michael Champagne speaks Friday night at a community event in Winnipeg. (John Woods)

Michael Champagne speaks Friday night at a community event in Winnipeg. (John Woods)

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Winnipeg crowd pledges to lead by example

  1. This whole thing is just another way of getting more money from the white man,they kill eatch other and blame the white man all the time,i am sick of paying for these gas sniffing drug additcs to do nothing all day and bitch and moan that they are poor,try working for once and stop sucking off the tax payers tit;s,natives have only themself to blame period. Why dont they do something about the 100,000″ of missing and murdered white men in Canada?You cause it is not P.C to view any white man as human,enough of the handouts and cut them off.

    • Obviously Mike knows nothing about the treaties that were signed, the history of Residential Schools and the “60s Scoop” and these attempts at “removing the Indian out of the child” (not to mention the mental, physical and sexual abuse) have lead to the problems of today. I’m not sure that educating Mike would do any good as he seems to like to invent facts (100.000 missing white guys?). I just hope Mike doesn’t have kids that are being taught (lied to) about his narrow-minded fantasies and creating another generation of racists.

  2. Personally, I’m a bit tired of MACLEAN’s magazine’s articles of portrayal of racism in Winnipeg. If the articles were in some way balanced, it might matter. Winnipeg is a city that has recently had a female mayor, a gay mayor, a Jewish mayor, and currently has a mayor with some Metis heritage. Why don’t the writers of MACLEAN’S include a study or the numbers for aboriginal crime in Winnipeg, and then ask the question of how that may contribute to racial tension in the city? That’s the kind of reporting that would require integrity. Won’t find it here.

  3. Looks like there was more media in attendance than actual participants. I guess anytime someone with a bullhorn starts yelling on a street corner, it becomes national news. Would be nice if Macleans were to try to do some actual reporting of facts, instead of just publishing sensational headlines that aren’t backed up by any facts.

  4. Both of Nancy’s articles are pure failures. She misleads her audience, and basically lies. Below is a link to an interview that she did on her Winnipeg article. When confronted that she had misled her readers and used examples that actually were contrary to what she was writing about, she does not answer the questions, but keep dodging.


    I can’t believe that Canada’s top magazine has allowed this piece to go public, when the author is blatantly telling lies to its readers, such as the Harper incident. Harper was actually assaulted by Aboriginals, but was found and cared for by two white men, who gave her their jackets and waited with her while police arrived. THIS IS NOT RACISM, BUT THE OPPOSITE! McLean’s should be issuing an apology for bad journalism.

    • Maclean’s is not Canada’s top magazine. The article is a desperate attempt for attention, it worked to a point until the validity of the article was exposed and now it is major blowback for the author and the magazine. Sensational journalism is risky but I think Maclean’s is quite desperate for traffic.

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