Wednesday, June 02, 2010

After yesterday's March Against Violence in Winnipeg's West End another event is coming hard on its heels. Winnipeg has long held first place amongst Canada's cities over half a million as the "gang capital of Canada". Last week this became national news as two different shootings (only one death) occurred. The victims in one case were two young girls who mercifully survived. In response people in one neighbourhood most affected- the West End- have organized to try and put an end to this violence. Here is the report of an event coming up tomorrow, organized by native elder women. It should be noted that their intent to "go into the jails" is "direct action" in the truest sense of the word.
Grandmothers Protecting our Children Council Pray for Peace
Date: Thursday, June 3, 2010
Time: 12:00pm - 2:00pm
Location: Directly across 542 Victor St. (the location of one of the shootings-Molly )

Description.WINNIPEG — The Kookum Gaa Na Dam Ma Waad Abinoojiig (Grandmothers Protecting our Children Council) — together with Grandmothers Protecting our Children Council Pray for Peace Ka Ni Kanichihk, Southern Chiefs’ Organization and Onashowewin, are calling upon ALL community to gather on Thursday June 3rd, 2010 at
12 noon directly across from 542 Victor Street.

The Grandmothers Protecting our Children Council is calling upon all Sacred Pipe Carriers to bring their pipes to pray for healing and peace in the community.

The Grandmothers Protecting our Children Council will speak to the hearts and spirits of those individuals who have experienced the most recent violence directly or indirectly, and, to those individuals contributing to the violence in the community.

The Grandmothers Protecting our Children Council will promote a message of peace, safety and urgent need to identify real and transformational solutions rooted in human rights, justice, cultural reclamation and self determination.

The Grandmothers Protecting our Children Council will also be going into the Province’s correctional institutions to meet with those individuals involved in gangs and ask that they support the work the Grandmothers are undertaking and work together toward identifying solutions leading to a decrease in violence.

The Grandmothers Protecting our Children Council will be calling upon Premier Greg Selinger and Minister of Justice Andrew Swan to convene an emergency Stakeholders Summit, which includes, and must be lead by, Aboriginal community leadership, to work in confirming a comprehensive, community based strategy that would begin to acknowledge and change the conditions in which gangs and its violent manifestations emerge and flourish.

“Going into the jails has not been done before,” Velma Orvis, a Grandmother Council member asserts. “We cannot keep doing the same things over and over again and expect different results.”

As Ka Ni Kanichihk Executive Director, Leslie Spillett, affirms “we will asking our Grandmothers to also speak to those who hold power and resources in the Province to bring all stakeholders to the table to address this most critical issue, especially Aboriginal community groups who work with little or dwindling resources on this issue.”

Grand Chief Morris Swan Shannacappo maintains, “The violence has to stop, and we all have a responsibility in ensuring the safety and well being of the community, and I support the Grandmothers’ call for the Government of Manitoba to bring all stakeholders in Summit to address this critical issue.”

-please forward this event to your contacts-

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