Winnipeg mayor hopes summit sparks real change on racial inclusion
Published Friday, September 18, 2015 3:25PM CST Last Updated Friday, September 18, 2015 7:10PM CST
The talking is over, now the hope is change can take place.
A two-day summit on racism at the Canadian Museum for Human Rights wrapped up Friday. Many Indigenous people on hand shared stories of how they're treated differently on a daily basis in Winnipeg, from looks on the street to mistreatment by store clerks.
"Racism does exist, and I know for a fact, like I question the subtle type," said summit-goer Ralph Paul.
Mayor Brian Bowman hopes the summit sparks conversations across the city, at home, in the workplace and on the streets.
"We'd like to demonstrate to Canadians that Winnipeg took the task of the Maclean’s headline and tag to heart,” said Bowan.
That article last January, the catalyst behind the summit, labelled Winnipeg the most racist city in Canada.
Joey Reynolds, who raised money through his church in Regina to travel to the summit, said the magazine's conclusion was eye-opening.
"I was very shocked, saddened to see that article, but it had to be addressed." said Reynolds.
While the event was about bringing people together, the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs and Manitoba Metis Federation said they were left out.
"For the mayor to exclude us boggles my mind. How do you call it racial inclusion if you don't include everybody?" said MMF President Dave Chartrand.
It’s a notion the mayor disputes.
"In terms of attendance at this event, no one was told they were not welcome; this is an open invitation,” said Bowman.
The mayor said information gathered at the event will be used for an action plan to be released in January, a year removed from the scathing magazine headline.