It’s Time, Collaborative Leadership Towards Reconciliation”

Updated: Nov 5, 2018

Friday March 16, 2018, 11:45 PM

The Inn at the Forks – Forks Ballroom, 2nd Floor

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 have worked together for the last 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 and the Partnership of the Manitoba Capital Region, Indigenous and municipal elected leaders have agreed to undertake a facilitated process aimed at building better understanding of each other and establishing relationships, while identifying actions towards reconciliation. Grand Chief Jerry Daniels believes,

“That the time has come for leaders to put their heads together and find better, more productive ways of working together to ensure we do what we set out to; make our communities better for all.”

Reeve Brad Erb and Reeve Frances Smee, Co-Chairs of the Partnership of the Manitoba Capital Region are very optimistic about the role of local governments and what can be achieved through collaborative action and real partnerships. Reeve Smee of the RM of Rosser believes,

“It is time to begin to establish new relationships with Indigenous leaders and communities; relationships built on respect and trust.”

This two-day meeting demonstrates a real commitment to tackle tough and often uncomfortable issues.

Reeve of the RM of Macdonald, Brad Erb says that,

“This is a genuine first step in finding ways that move us from just talk to real progress on increasing our economic competitiveness, protecting our precious freshwater and natural resources, as well as improving the quality of life for all of our communities.”

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 elected 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 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.


For further information, please contact either Colleen Sklar at, info@manitobacapitalregion.ca or 204-781-7346 and Juliet Cadiz at, juliet.cadiz@scoinc.mb.ca or 204-294-6678.

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