Thursday, January 12, 2012

Building Relationships? Aboriginal people and Justice...Be Heard!!

There is often loud criticism from with the Aboriginal community about challenges with the justice system, and in my experience, specifically the Winnipeg Police. Maybe they could meet us at the Bell Tower tomorrow??

Tomorrow, Friday, we are having Meet Me @ The Bell Tower - Be Heard!  This event is the 7th of our Bell Tower meetings and some exciting things are hapening.
  • A youth hip hop group will be formed to bring recording opportunities to youth in the North End
  • We have confirmation from the Indian Family Centre that we can use their space for our After-Party
  • We are going to plan a community contest, and then approach Nepon Autobody to talk about their roof and the 'welcome to the North End' messaging
MC talks with WPS

So, I have thought about the relationships and have invited WPS to come to our event tomorrow. I e-mailed a member of the Police force, and wanted to share with you what was said, by me, and this officer.

My name is Michael Redhead Champagne, I believe we have met several times.

MEet ME @ The Bell Tower is a grassroots anti-violence movement that has been growing in momentum, led by its youth, in the North End of Winnipeg. We have been able, over the course of 6 Bell Tower Rallies, to net 300 visits to our Anti-Violence rallies (@ Selkirk and Powers). This event is organized by AYO, and community residents. We are not an organization, we are not a business, none of us get paid for any of this stuff we are doing. We have been able to successfuly engage local businesses, community agencies and politicians to lend their voices to our call.

Several times, I have invited members of Winnipeg Police Service to attend our rallies. I can conciously remembering inviting individual police officers, well in advance of the event, and receiving verbal support.  I recognize, understand and can appreciate the jobs officers have to do, but if we want to be PRO ACTIVE to stop this violence and truly build relationships between the North End, especially its youth, and the WPS, I feel you guys need to show up. Not in an enforcement role, but in an 'i suport the community' role. Its gonna take a lot of work, but many individuals at these rallies have commented that the police, and media were not around when our anti-violence rallies occur and so people don't believe that these things.

I am sending you this invite, with the hopes that at least SOME MEMBER of the WPS can come and attend our 7th rally this Friday, Be Heard, possibly even bringing greetings on behalf of the police force.

6:00pm to 7:30pm
location: Selkirk and Powers(The Bell Tower)

Please let me know if there are ways you folks can help!

Respect and courage


Now, I was lucky to get a response yesterday morning, but am not sure what to make of it, considering the video below...and the officer's response.

Thanks for taking the initiative to organize this event. I will forward this email to my supervisor so she can advise the Community Officers. It is a tough day and time for officers to attend due to other duties.

I will look to see if I can attend this Friday, however no promises at this point.
 I appreciate the response, and I hope that Chief McCaskill's message trickles down to the front line officers so that we really can begin to BUILD RELATIONSHIPS between these communities.

Respect, courage and love



  1. in fact, 2 officers from WPS did show up and marched with us!

  2. I hadn't read this Blog until after the gathering. We got there at 5:55pm and there was no one in sight other than the cruiser. I went up the the cruiser and asked if they had seen anyone around or were they here to tell us to leave. Sad that immediately I think the worse of them. They said they hadn't seen anyone at all and had been invited to be there. I stated it's strange to have no one around even if it's cold there is always somebody here before us. I said maybe the sight of the cruiser made people walk by rather than stay. They offered to move. Lucky we saw MC coming down the street and a few others started coming out of vehicles and cabs so things worked out great. Yet I have to wonder imagine if a greater police presence might help? At one time I didn't think so.....


North End MC

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Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
Representin the North End of Winnipeg since 1987. I will share my journey tryna set an example and live a proud Cree life. I'll include my challenges and feelings and progress in terms of AYO! Aboriginal Youth Opportunities. You(th) are the reason.