March 15-16, 2018: Collaborative Leadership Initiative -Gathering One
Location: Winnipeg Art Gallery and Inn at the Forks, Winnipeg
Twenty-three Indigenous and municipal leaders have embarked on a historic process of reconciliation. Chiefs, Mayors and Reeves from Treaty One Territory and southern and central Manitoba worked together for two days forging new relationships and creating the conditions to resolve issues that have been barriers to collaborative action for over a hundred years.
Brought together by a partnership between the Southern Chiefs’ Organization, the Winnipeg Metropolitan Region (formerly the Partnership of the Manitoba Capital Region) and the Centre for Indigenous Environmental Resources (CIER), Indigenous and municipal elected leaders agreed to undertake a facilitated process aimed at building better understanding of each other and establishing relationships, while identifying actions towards reconciliation. This two-day meeting demonstrated a real commitment to tackle tough and often uncomfortable issues.
The Mayors, Reeves and Chiefs were put to work at the first meeting in a three-part series by facilitators Merrell-Ann Phare, the Executive Director of the Centre for Indigenous Environmental Resources and Michael Miltenberger (former Northwest Territories Cabinet Minister), who are the architects of world class co-drafted transboundary agreements between Territorial and Provincial governments that were developed with Indigenous governments, and focused on protecting freshwater in the Mackenzie River Basin. This first meeting, held on March 15 and 16, 2018, focused on relationship building and built the foundation to move leaders to a second meeting that will address major information gaps on regional demographics, treaty land entitlement, economic development, and water. In the final meeting, scenario planning was undertaken to allow leaders to work through possible outcomes and choose a path and action steps that will get them where they want to go.
Forging new relationships based on Collaborative Leadership allows Indigenous and municipal leaders to embark on a pathway to reconciliation and to implement the broader political and legal commitments of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and the Truth and Reconciliation Commissions Calls to Action – both calling for direct and ongoing collaboration with Indigenous peoples at all levels of government.
All leaders who took part in the first meeting of the Collaborative Leadership Initiative believe the time has come to take action and agree that by working together they have the power to move forward in leaps and bounds. They also agree this process and the anticipated positive outcomes could provide a path for jurisdictions across Canada to follow.
See the Gathering news release here.