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Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, Decolonization and Reconciliation through Arts

Solidarity through the Arts

It is important that as an arts organization we show solidarity and support for those harmed by police brutality, systemic racism and anti-Indigenous racism in Canada and in the United States. We condemn racism and we affirm our commitment to fair and equitable treatment, representation, and prosperity for all peoples. We would like to acknowledge that our organization still has further to go to achieve this mission and will reflect on the meaningful actions we need to take, to get there.

Diversity Equity and Inclusion through the Arts

The Manitoba Arts Network is committed to fostering a culture of inclusion in which diversity can thrive within our workplace, events, and every aspect of our organization. MAN acknowledges that there has been systemic discrimination and exclusion in our organization’s policies, practices, and traditions. MAN is invested in the full and equal participation of all people including Indigenous peoples, people of colour, newcomers and refugees, persons with disabilities, deaf persons, 2SLGBTQ+ people, and women in all areas of arts and culture. We will strive to remove barriers to participation by actively nurturing a professional and inclusive network, ultimately creating a culture founded on intersectionality, compassion, and respect. 

MAN is reinforcing and exploring cultural representation with our members. We support and welcome new, challenging, and diverse artistic points of views in our programs. We are actively changing our systems to encourage increased representation from diverse and challenging viewpoints in our applications and seeing those artists selected, increasing access to these artists by rural audiences. We are currently working towards decolonizing our administrative practices.

Decolonization and Reconciliation through the Arts

Decolonization is:

  • Challenging the dominance of Western thought and bringing Indigenous thought to the forefront. 
  • Encouraging a shift in the way non-Indigenous people view Indigenous Peoples.
  • Putting an end to how we negatively affect Indigenous Peoples’ governments, ideologies, religions, education systems and cultures.

As a leader in the arts we can all take part in genuine decolonization by respecting the land on which we all live and thanking the traditional caretakers to whom it inherently belongs. Decolonization requires an understanding of Indigenous history and acceptance and acknowledgement of the truth and consequences of that history. Therefore, we endeavor to educate our staff, board, members, and artists as we work towards a better understanding of our shared history. We recognize that the process of decolonization must include non-Indigenous people and Indigenous Peoples working toward a future that includes all.

Reconciliation is actively working to establish and maintain a mutually respectful relationship between Indigenous Peoples and non-Indigenous people in Manitoba. 

In order to work towards reconciliation we need to: 

  • Recognize and support the deep connections Indigenous Peoples have to the land. 
  • Learn about the past and ensure that history never repeats. 
  • Acknowledge the harm that has been inflicted, atoning for the causes, and changing our behaviour, including letting go of negative perceptions and stereotypes
  • Respect Indigenous beliefs, cultures, traditions, worldviews, challenges, and goals.

MAN is committed to ensuring that First Nations, Inuit and Métis knowledge, cultures, and traditions are embraced and reflected in the delivery of our programs, and in doing so the MAN Board adopted the UNITED Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples as a reconciliation framework and will apply its principles, norms, and standards to corporate policy and core operational activities. 

In addition, from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission 94 Calls to Action we will activate the following:

  • Build member capacity for intercultural understanding, empathy, and mutual respect.
  • Undertake collaborative projects and produce works that contribute to the reconciliation process.
  • Be properly reflective of the diverse cultures, languages, and perspectives of Indigenous peoples, including, but not limited to:
    • Increasing Indigenous programming, including Indigenous-language speakers.
  • Commit to meaningful consultation and building respectful relationships.
  • Ensure that Indigenous peoples have equitable access to jobs, training, and education opportunities.
  • Provide education for board, staff, and members on the history of Indigenous peoples, including the history and legacy of residential schools. Which includes recognizing the:
    • Inter-generational impacts of colonization, attempts at assimilation, and cultural genocide.
    • Critical roles that Indigenous Peoples have held in the history of Canada, their contributions to world wars to protect Canada.

Land Acknowledgement

Manitoba Arts Network and our members live and work on Treaty 1, 2, 3, and 5 territories. We acknowledge and appreciate the contributions of the past, present, and future generations of the Anishinaabe (Ojibway), Cree, Oji-Cree, Dakota, Dene peoples, and the Métis Nation, as well as the Inuit people who have a strong community here in Manitoba. We are committed to developing a stronger relationship towards increased representation of Indigenous peoples in the arts.

Manitoba: Cree – manitou-wapow, Ojibwe – manidoobaa, Assiniboine – minnetoba. Meaning: where the spirit exists.

Winnipeg: from the Cree “win-nipi”, meaning: “dirty water” or “murky water” in relation to lakes and rivers.