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For immediate release
April 22, 2022
Treaty Five territory, Thompson, MB – Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak (MKO) Grand Chief Garrison Settee applauds the historic transfer of ownership of the Hudson Bay building to First Nations ownership and the creation of the Southern Chiefs’ Organization (SCO) mixed-use development called Wehwehneh Bahgahkinahgohn. “This initiative is truly reflective of what is possible when all levels of government work in cooperation to advance reconciliation,” stated Grand Chief Settee.
The Hudson Bay Company (HBC) was chartered in May 1670 and is the oldest incorporated merchandising company in the English-speaking world. The HBC has a long history with Indigenous Peoples in Canada and Manitoba. The transfer of such an iconic landmark exemplifies reconciliation between governments, corporations, and First Nations Peoples. The strategic location of the Hudson Bay building is in the heart of Treaty One Territory which allowed travel and trade through Manitoba’s waterways to the North. “The HBC building is symbolic to commerce between Settlers and First Nation peoples and carries the hope the relationship of commerce and prosperity will continue through this partnership,” declared Grand Chief Settee.
Chief David Monias of Pimicikamak Cree Nation noted, “The Hudson Bay Company accumulated wealth as a result of economic relations with the Cree, Dene and Oji-Cree.” Chief Monias is calling on the government of Canada, Manitoba, Hudson Bay Company and the Northwest Company to enter into a partnership that will advance economic opportunities resulting in tremendous benefits to First Nations people in Northern Manitoba. “As Vice Chief of MKO, I would like to acknowledge and congratulate SCO Grand Chief Jerry Daniels on his vision and leadership in securing a building that will provide housing, a childcare facility, a seniors centre and other needed infrastructure to support First Nations people residing in Winnipeg.”
As this ground-breaking partnership unfolds, MKO looks forward to negotiating with the federal and provincial governments to create partnerships that are founded on reconciliation and the advancement of joint ventures that will benefit the MKO region and northern Manitoba.
For more information:
Ted Bland, Assistant to Grand Chief
Email: [email protected]