For over 20 years, Southern Chiefs’ Organization has been front and centre in its work to advocate for southern First Nations in what is now called Manitoba.
'I feel like I'm not behind': Indigenous students in Manitoba embrace Jordan's Principle supports
Low graduation rates have been linked to a disconnect between Indigenous and Western education, chronic underfunding for Indigenous students and systemic discrimination. With this in mind, the Southern Chiefs' Organization, which represents 34 First Nations in southern Manitoba, decided to start a Jordan's Principle co-ordinator program. Last year, the advocacy group partnered with two school divisions to bring a Jordan's Principle co-ordinator into schools. Earlier this year, the organization added seven more school divisions as partners.
May 27, 2023
First Nations leaders decry patronage appointment
Jerry Daniels, grand chief of the Southern Chiefs’ Organization, said McCrae’s appointment was “extremely disappointing,” while noting how intergenerational trauma continues to affect First Nations citizens. “As First Nations continue to be over-represented within the justice system, it is imperative that people working within this system have a clear understanding of the true and lasting impact of residential schools,” he said in a statement.
May 25, 2023
SCO's plan for downtown Bay honoured
The Southern Chiefs’ Organization’s reimagining of the downtown Hudson’s Bay Co. building has been labelled “world changing” and has received an international award. “I think in terms of quality of life, there is going to be an impact felt,” said SCO Grand Chief Jerry Daniels. “It’s going to change the paradigm, the thinking of Manitobans and Winnipeggers as it relates to First Nations.”
May 17, 2023
Manitoba marks King Charles's coronation at home and abroad
Southern Chiefs' Organization Grand Chief Jerry Daniels, who represents 34 Anishinaabe and Dakota First Nations in Manitoba, travelled to England to remind the monarchy of the Crown's historic relationship with Indigenous people. "I think he has to understand the sacredness of the relationship that was established," he told CBC News on Friday.
May 7, 2023
More needs to be done to keep Indigenous women, girls safe: Southern Chiefs' leader
As Canada marked Red Dress Day, a Manitoba Grand Chief called on all levels of government to do more to keep Indigenous women and girls safe in Manitoba, and across Canada. “It is essential that governments of all levels work with First Nations on an urgent basis on this issue, as it is indeed a national emergency,” Southern Chiefs’ Organization Grand Chief Jerry Daniels said in a Friday media release.
May 5, 2023
Manitoba's Southern Chiefs' Organization new youth council inspired by leadership opportunities
A new youth chief and council were elected at a Southern Chiefs' Organization event on the weekend, and one of the new heads hopes to elevate the voices and mental health of First Nations young people in Manitoba. The two new chiefs and council members were elected during Oshkii Wadizaag Ga Niiganwendamwaad/Tec'a pi hena wowapi yuha skan pi — a youth gathering in Winnipeg April 25-27 focused on career development. Tréchelle Bunn from Birdtail Sioux Dakota Nation and John Dorie from Sagkeeng Anishinaabe First Nation were elected as new youth chiefs.
April 30, 2023
Take a look inside the former Hudson's Bay building
The historic Hudson's Bay building has stood in downtown Winnipeg for nearly a century, and now work by the Southern Chiefs' Organization is underway to make sure it stands for another 100 years. The SCO officially took possession of the building last month after the Hudson's Bay Company transferred ownership last year. On Tuesday, SCO Grand Chief Jerry Daniels gave CTV News a look inside.
April 18, 2023
Southern Chiefs' Organization reveals plans for iconic HBC building: WATCH
On the way to Wehwehneh: What it takes to transform downtown Winnipeg's former Bay
There were only three floors open to the public when the former Bay department store in downtown Winnipeg was shuttered for good in November 2020. The Hudson's Bay Company's Manitoba flagship had been withering for decades, floor closure after floor closure, by the time the COVID-19 pandemic delivered the final death blow.
April 17, 2023
Get a first look at the future of the former Bay building in downtown Winnipeg
New photos from the Southern Chiefs Organizations (SCO) reveal what Winnipeggers can expect for the future of the Hudson’s Bay building in downtown Winnipeg. The SCO took possession of the historic landmark last month, with plans to transform the building into a space for reconciliation.
April 10, 2023
Brandon office symbol of growth: SCO
Opening a new office in Brandon will allow the Southern Chiefs’ Organization to improve outreach among its members who live in Westman, says Grand Chief Jerry Daniels. The SCO has been working to open an office in Brandon for some time to better serve, advocate for and represent its members, he said.
March 31, 2023
Bay building in downtown Winnipeg officially transferred to Southern Chiefs' Organization, plans to open in 2026
The Hudson’s Bay Company building in downtown Winnipeg has officially been transferred to the Southern Chiefs Organization with an aim to open in 2026. On Thursday, SCO Grand Chief Jerry Daniels said the formal transfer of the building on Portage Avenue is a “monumental moment” for southern First Nations.
March 30, 2023
Slow, steady path forward for highly visible First Nations project
Winnipeg Free Press
If you want to know why a consortium of 34 First Nations behind the reimagining of the former Hudson’s Bay Co. historic downtown Winnipeg store have waited a year to start construction, you need only look at the Ojibwa name given to the project. Wehwehneh Bahgahkinahgohn, or “it is visible.”
March 29, 2023
The Bay transformation slow going
Winnipeg Free Press
The First Nations that are transforming the historic Hudson’s Bay Co. building downtown say it’s taking longer than they had hoped, but they’re determined to avoid legal and financial messes to ensure the $130-million project is done right. “We’re trying to be fast about it, but we have to make sure that it’s done properly, too,” said Southern Chiefs Organization Grand Chief Jerry Daniels in an interview Tuesday.
March 28, 2023
Traditional healing program will help combat intergenerational harm, Southern Chiefs' Organization says
The Southern Chiefs' Organization officially launched a program Monday that it says will help Manitoba's Indigenous communities move forward. The traditional healers program will use culturally informed practices to treat the spirit, body and mind while also deepening participants' cultural connection, says the organization, which represents nearly three dozen Anishinaabe and Dakota Nations in southern Manitoba.
March 27, 2023
Southern chiefs unveil MMIWG2S+ family support team
Winnipeg Free Press
A dedicated team to support First Nations families whose loved ones have been slain or gone missing has been established in southern Manitoba. The Southern Chiefs’ Organization has organized a support team for member First Nations that can provide trauma-informed and culturally appropriate support for relatives of missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls, two-spirit and gender-diverse people.
March 8, 2023
Bonding with my new besties as survivors come together
Winnipeg Free Press
I attended Mino-si-toon Wichozani last week, the first annual Southern Chiefs’ Organization survivors healing gathering in Treaty One territory. The two-day event, which involves 550 survivors from 79 First Nations, was developed for and by southern First Nation survivors and intergenerational survivors of the residential school and day school system, the ’60s Scoop, the child welfare system, and for all those affected by the issue of murdered and missing Indigenous women, girls, two spirit, and gender-diverse people.
March 6, 2023
'People's spirits connect': Hundreds of First Nations survivors take part in new healing gathering
Hundreds of First Nation survivors came together on Monday intending to heal past trauma. The Southern Chiefs' Organization (SCO) hosted its first annual healing gathering at the RBC Convention Centre called "Mino-si-toon Wichozani" which means "Putting things right" and "Healing."
February 27, 2023
Women's Memorial March honours MMIWG2S in Manitoba amid case of alleged serial killer
The smell of sage and sweetgrass filled the gymnasium at Magnus Eliason Recreation Centre Tuesday night as people gathered for the annual Women's Memorial March. As marchers headed out the door to walk the streets of Winnipeg's West End, organizers handed out packets of tobacco and butterfly wings bearing the names of missing or murdered women, girls and two-spirit people.
February 14, 2023
Indigenous-run community developments taking shape in Winnipeg
SCO Court Program Coming to Dauphin
The Manitoba government has announced that the First Nation Court Worker Program would be taken over by Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak, Southern Chiefs' Organization (SCO), Manitoba Metis Federation, and the Island Lake Tribal Council. SCO will have court workers in Dauphin, Portage la Prairie, and Selkirk, who will also attend circuit court locations, including those in Bloodvein, Berens River, and other court locations within SCO member Nations.
February 8, 2023
First Nations must be included in health-care meetings with premiers, PM: Southern Chiefs' Organization
The Southern Chiefs' Organization says it wants to be at the upcoming meeting between the federal government and provinces as they discuss health-care funding. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced last week that he will host a meeting in Ottawa on Feb. 7 as his government looks to finalize a deal on health-care funding with the provinces. The grand chief of the southern Manitoba organization says First Nations must be represented too.
January 30, 2023
Southern chiefs want voice in national health-care funding talks
A week before Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is set to meet with the premiers in Ottawa, five First Nations chiefs held a news conference Monday to bring attention to their concerns. Every week, they hear about incidents in which their citizens are not given appropriate treatment, said Jerry Daniels, grand chief of the Southern Chiefs’ Organization, which represents 34 First Nations communities.
January 30, 2023
First Nations want seat at table when PM, premiers talk health care
A meeting scheduled to take place in Ottawa on Feb. 7, will see the 13 premiers meet face to face with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on health care funding, as provinces and territories look to get a bigger cut of the annual Canada Health Transfer. But during a Monday media conference in Winnipeg, Southern Chiefs’ Organization (SCO) Grand Chief Jerry Daniels gathered with several other First Nations leaders and lambasted both the federal government and the provinces for not inviting any First Nations leadership to the meeting.
January 30, 2023
Land and culture will feature in SCO addictions programs, says grand chief
In a Wednesday media release, Southern Chiefs Organization (SCO) Grand Chief Jerry Daniels announced that the SCO has introduced a new Harm Reduction Program, and a new Land-Based Healing Fund. The Harm Reduction Program will assist those who struggle with addictions and keep people safe by offering “positive change through minimizing harms associated with substance use.”
January 25, 2023
Indigenous people need control of their own water authorities, says SCO grand chief
Today is the First Ever National Ribbon Skirt Day
Grand Chief of the Southern Chiefs Organization, Jerry Daniels, said, "While the significance of the ribbon skirt is well known by many First Nations citizens, the events that led to the creation of this day clearly show there is much learning to be done about the sacredness and ceremonial importance of ribbon skirts.
January 4, 2023
Orange Santa Returns to nine southern First Nations in Manitoba
Orange Santa is returning for a second season to make holiday wishes come true for thousands of children in nine southern First Nations in Manitoba, the Southern Chiefs’ Organization (SCO) announced Saturday. “The timing of these visits could not be better, with so many heavy issues impacting our citizens and Nations over the last few weeks,” said SCO Grand Chief Jerry Daniels.”
December 17, 2022
First Nations leaders want Winnipeg police chief to resign for not searching landfill
Communities left grieving after 4 Indigenous women are believed to have been killed by serial killer
Community members are honouring and remembering the four Indigenous women who are believed to have been killed at the hands of a serial killer. SCO Grand Chief Jerry Daniels said he is “extremely distressed” by the news of these deaths. “On behalf of SCO, I extend our deep condolences to the families, friends, and those who loved these four women,” he said.
December 2, 2022
Indigenous women gather to discuss roles as community leaders
The Southern Chiefs Organization (SCO) is hosting the Women’s Gathering on Nation Rebuilding event Monday and Tuesday at the Victoria Inn in Winnipeg, an event that is bringing Indigenous women together to discuss their roles as leaders, and as nation and community builders.
November 28, 2022
SCO survey to examine First Nations involvment with justice system in Manitoba
An organization representing First Nations across southern Manitoba says it’s looking for feedback about the justice system from an Indigenous perspective. The Southern Chiefs’ Organization (SCO) said Tuesday that it’s conducting an online survey to address the overrepresentation of First Nations, Métis and Inuit people in the justice system, as well as focusing on issues of systemic discrimination.
November 22, 2022
State of the Nation: Indigenous Business in Manitoba
The SCO represents 34 First Nations in the province, encompassing 90,000 people, or about 10 per cent of all Indigenous people in Canada. The redevelopment of the Hudson’s Bay Company building on the corner of Portage Avenue and Memorial Boulevard will play a crucial role in changing those odds. The multi-million-dollar project will include affordable housing, assisted living for elders, a health and wellness centre, two restaurants (including a rebooted Paddlewheel, the long-time staple on the top floor at The Bay), a museum and space to honour both the survivors and victims of residential schools.
'Getting your identity back': Hundreds of First Nations people register for status cards at Brandon event
A two-day event in Brandon this week helped more than 400 First Nations people in southwestern Manitoba obtain status cards, which can be essential in proving their eligibility for certain benefits and rights. "It's easier because we have the help that we need here and they can explain things."
October 29, 2022
Converting office buildings to hybrid spaces, multiuse facilities, key to downtown planning
New Jordan's Principle co-ordinator will help First Nations students in Brandon find success
A southwestern Manitoba school division and the Southern Chiefs' Organization say they're working together to improve outcomes for its First Nation students by hiring a Jordan's Principle co-ordinator for the Brandon School Division. Joni Wilson is the Jordan's Principle and wellness services lead with the Southern Chiefs' Organization. She says the goal is to keep expanding the program across the province.
October 14, 2022
The historic Bay building, at Portage Avenue and Memorial Boulevard, has been an iconic presence in downtown Winnipeg for almost a century. As a young boy growing up in Long Plain First Nation, I can remember taking the bus from Portage la Prairie to Winnipeg with my grandmother to visit the Bay and shop on special occasions. These are fond memories.
October 11, 2022
Campaign to raise awareness of MMIWG
Honouring missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls is the motivation behind a newly launched campaign from the Southern Chiefs’ Organization, which represents 34 First Nations in southern Manitoba. On Tuesday, the National Day of Action for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG), the Southern Chiefs’ Organization (SCO) rolled out an awareness campaign to draw attention to the crisis.
October 5, 2022
Southern Chiefs' Organization reveals totem pole in honour of residential school children
The Southern Chiefs' Organization (SCO) held a ceremony to raise its new totem pole at Assiniboine Park on Sunday. Grand Chief Jerry Daniels said the Residential School Totem Pole, which came from British Columbia, has a place in Manitoba because of the significant impact residential schools had in the Prairie province.
October 2, 2022
Winnipeg's downtown is in trouble. Here's what some key stakeholders want to see
An up-and-coming player in the downtown is the Southern Chiefs' Organization, which recently took over the former Hudson's Bay building on Portage Avenue. The organization plans to overhaul the historic building to include 300 affordable housing units, two restaurants, a public atrium, a rooftop garden, a museum and an art gallery.
September 23, 2022
Reimagining office space, Indigenous investment key to downtown Winnipeg's future, leaders say
SCO launches healing programs to support residential school survivors
Southern Manitoba First Nations walk to raise support for new health authority
For years, the Southern Chiefs' Organization has pushed to take more control over the delivery of health services to their people, and in June it announced it was working with the federal and Manitoba governments on the first steps toward developing its own health authority.
August 10, 2022
Province to partner on First Nations health authority
The Manitoba government said it will partner with the Southern Chiefs’ Organization and the federal government to develop a First Nations health authority for the 34-member communities. In a joint release, the SCO said the Manitoba government will sign a tripartite agreement-in-principle to establish a southern First Nation health authority to launch later this year.
June 25, 2022
Southern Chiefs sign deal with province to create First Nation health authority
First Nations health authority to launch in Manitoba this year: Southern Chiefs' Organization
Three years after taking the first steps toward transforming health care delivery for the people it represents, the Southern Chiefs' Organization is on the verge of establishing its own health authority in Manitoba. In a joint news release on Friday, the SCO, along with the provincial and federal governments, announced Manitoba has committed to developing an agreement-in-principle to formalize the commitment of all three parties to a working relationship.
June 24, 2022
Winnipeg council approves tax deals with First Nations groups for urban reserve, Hudson's Bay redevelopment
Province reaffirms commitment to reconciliation over residential schools
Winnipeg Free Press
Smoke from burning sage drifted on the strong southern wind and through the canopy of trees rooted firmly in front of the former Portage residential school on Long Plain First Nation. On Wednesday, the three-storey brick building, converted into a museum that memorializes the experience of residential school survivors, served as the backdrop for a ceremony to transfer $2.5 million from the Manitoba government to seven Indigenous organizations.
June 15, 2022
Canada colonial icon returned to Indigenous hands
Christian Science Monitor
After the Hudson’s Bay Co. department store shuttered its hulking, 650,000-plus-square-foot building in downtown Winnipeg in 2020, Peatr Thomas was asked to replicate one of his murals in the empty windows. This spring HBC, now a holding company that owns businesses and investments including Saks Fifth Avenue, transferred the building to the SCO.
June 2, 2022
What Peguis First Nation leaders say needs to happen to end flooding issues
Chiefs call for permanent protection for Peguis First Nation after historic flood
A Winnipeg Landmark rich in Symbolism Comes Under Indigenous Control
Historic Hudson's Bay building in downtown Winnipeg transferred to Southern Chiefs' Organization
The Hudson’s Bay Company is transferring ownership of its historic flagship store in Winnipeg to First Nations leadership after the iconic building was shut down in November of 2020. The Hudson’s Bay building, which opened its doors in 1926, will be taken over by the Southern Chiefs’ Organization (SCO) and redeveloped as a symbol of reconciliation.
April 22, 2022
Hudson's Bay gifting flagship downtown Winnipeg store to First Nations group
Hudson's Bay Transfers Ownership of Store to Winnipeg First Nations
'Historic and monumental' step taken as Winnipeg's Bay building handed to First Nations group
Hudson's Bay calls donation of Winnipeg building an act of reconciliation
North America's oldest company with fur-trading roots is transferring what was one of its flagship stores to a First Nations group in what is being praised as an example of reconciliation in action. Animal pelts, blankets and other items were exchanged in a lengthy ceremony Friday marking the handover of the Hudson's Bay Co. building in Winnipeg. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Manitoba Premier Heather Stefanson and chiefs from across southern Manitoba attended.
April 22, 2022
SCO's Project to Reimagine Hudson's Bay Heritage Building in Downtown Winnipeg
“Today can be another step forward to a brighter future, one that reflects what our ancestors dreamed of,” stated Grand Chief Jerry Daniels. “This project is an act of reconciliation and is our vision to revitalize the heart of Winnipeg’s downtown, for the benefit of all, in line with our traditional, holistic approach to sustainable economic development.”
April 22, 2022
New Indigenous-led council to advise residential school burial searches
Searches at the burial sites for children who died at residential schools in Manitoba will have Indigenous leaders to guide them. Southern Chiefs' Organization Grand Chief Jerry Daniels will be co-chairing a new council with the Province of Manitoba. The council will offer advice as people search residential school burial sites.
March 23, 2022
Manitoba chiefs call for reform after Anishinaabe woman subjected to racial slurs during court hearing
The organization that represents First Nations in southern Manitoba is calling for justice reform after an Anishinaabe woman suffered repeated racist and misogynistic verbal attacks during a trial last year. The Southern Chiefs' Organization is calling for an official complaint to be made against Manitoba provincial court Judge Samuel Raposo, who didn't intervene or address repeated slurs uttered by a witness during the April 2021 hearing.
March 15, 2022
Jordan's Principle deal signed between SCO and Winnipeg School Division to benefit First Nation students
The Southern Chiefs Organization (SCO) has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Winnipeg’s largest school division to ensure First Nations students have access to the support and resources they need to succeed. The MOU signed by the Winnipeg School Division (WSD) and SCO will see a new Jordan’s Principle coordinator work with First Nation students.
March 7, 2022
SCO launches Jordan's Principle post in WSD
Winnipeg Free Press
FIRST Nations students enrolled in Manitoba’s largest school district can now contact a designated employee with concerns about racism in the classroom and barriers to course achievement. The Southern Chiefs’ Organization and Winnipeg School Division have partnered to launch a facilitator position that will support learners and policy change.
March 4, 2022
New partnership aims to ensure equal access to supports for First Nations students in Winnipeg
Winnipeg School Division and Southern Chiefs' Organization appoint new Jordan's Principle co-ordinator. Winnipeg's largest school division and the Southern Chiefs' Organization say they are working together on a new partnership intended to ensure First Nations students have access to the support and resources they need to succeed in school.
March 2, 2022
Manitoba looking into baby name registry changes after Indigenous couple's name denied
The Grand Chief of the Southern Chiefs Organization (SCO) says he was outraged when he heard that Indigenous parents were recently denied the opportunity to register their newborn child’s chosen name, and he now wants to see immediate changes to how birth names are registered in this province.
February 23, 2022
SCO launches Mobile Crisis Response Team
The Southern Chiefs’ Organization has launched its new Mobile Crisis Response Team, a project designed to support First Nations experiencing crises in their communities. "This is a 24-hour support system … It’s 24-7 prevention, crisis response and continuation of care," said Southern Chiefs’ Organization (SCO) Grand Chief Jerry Daniels. "We’ve got a very knowledgeable team with hundreds of years combined experience in the mental health field."
February 21, 2022
'This is very important': SCO launches new crisis response team
The Southern Chiefs' Organization (SCO) is launching a new initiative to help those who are in crisis. The organization is starting a Mobile Crisis Response Team (MCRT) program, which will feature people who are trained in trauma-informed practice and will be able to offer crisis response, intervention, and case coordination services.
February 16, 2022
Two Indigenous counter-protesters detained by Winnipeg police
The Southern Chiefs' Organization (SCO) wants answers from the Winnipeg Police Service after two Indigenous counter-protesters were detained by officers. The SCO said two people were detained by police under the Intoxicated Person Detention Act after they were seen standing and blocking traffic at times over the weekend.
February 14, 2022
Southern chiefs decry 'unacceptable' delay in rapid test supply
Winnipeg Free Press
Federally supplied rapid tests are finally headed to Manitoba reserves, months after southern chiefs say Ottawa lost the supplies they’d requested at the onset of the Omicron variant. “It is absolutely unacceptable,” Grand Chief Jerry Daniels told the Free Press.
February 4, 2022
Southern Chiefs' Organization delivers PPE to 34 member nations
SCO demanding ‘thorough investigation’ into death of Pine Creek First Nation man in Stony Mountain prison
Manitoba Indigenous leaders, advocates hope federal compensation will help with healing
Orange Santa delivers Every Child Matters message to First Nations in Manitoba
Santa has traded in his traditional red colours for an orange suit to bring a special message to First Nations children in Manitoba: every child matters. "I explained to everybody why I'm wearing orange … because you all matter," said Orange Santa, who stopped by Roseau River Anishinabe First Nation on Monday. "All children matter, no matter what race you are. Every child matters.''
December 14, 2021
SCO working to break down barriers for young business developers
The Southern Chiefs Organization (SCO) say a newly signed agreement will help young First Nations entrepreneurs in this province to succeed and prosper, by working to break down systemic barriers to success. Advertisement Article content “We know First Nation business owners have to overcome systemic obstacles,” SCO Grand Chief Jerry Daniels said in a press release. “I am confident this new partnership will help to break down those barriers and biases.”
December 8, 2021
Service offers status card renewal replacement
The Southern Chiefs’ Organization has launched a new service designed to help First Nation citizens in southern Manitoba renew or replace their status cards. The new status card renewal or replacement service will include trained pathfinders offering support to Status First Nation citizens when navigating the application process.
December 4, 2021
Southern Chiefs helping First Nations Manitobans navigate status card process
The Southern Chiefs’ Organization is helping First Nation Manitobans who need to renew or replace their status cards. The organization’s Grand Chief, Jerry Daniels, made the announcement on Monday. “Navigating the federal government’s renewal or replacement process for status cards can be challenging, and it involves paperwork that can be complex,” said Daniels.
November 29, 2021
'Canada must own up': Manitoba First Nations leaders call for national inquiry into Sixties Scoop
First Nations leaders in Manitoba are adding their voices to the call for a federal inquiry into a dark history known as the Sixties Scoop. Beginning in the mid-1950s and lasting until the early 1990s, a series of policies enacted by provincial child welfare authorities saw thousands of First Nations and Inuit children taken from their homes and families, placed in foster homes, and eventually adopted out to white families from across Canada and the United States.
November 1, 2021
Yesterday, the Southern Chiefs’ Organization released the results of its survey regarding missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls. The organization launched an anonymous survey in May to identify First Nations’ priorities about the final report of the national inquiry into MMIWG and the report’s 231 calls for justice.
October 5, 2021
More action needed on calls for justice, survivor says on MMIWG Awareness Day
How you can get involved on the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation
'I am First Nation and I vote' campaign aims to get Manitoba First Nations voters to the polls
First Nations leaders in Manitoba are calling on every eligible First Nations person in the province to get out and vote in next week's federal election. "Get your cousins to vote, get your aunties and uncles to vote, and make sure that you're being heard because we need you. Leadership cannot do it alone — we need you to help us," said Grand Chief Jerry Daniels of the Southern Chiefs' Organization.
September 16, 2021
First Nations in southern Manitoba start Indian Residential Schools solidarity campaign
Round dance organized to celebrate Brian Pallister's departure from premier's office
Manitoba Indigenous groups welcome Brian Pallister's exit as premier
Manitoba Indigenous leaders celebrate Pallister's departure
Winnipeg Free Press
Indigenous leaders are celebrating after Brian Pallister announced Tuesday he's stepping down as Manitoba's premier and leader of the Progressive Conservatives. Pallister's retirement "couldn’t come any sooner," said Jerry Daniels, grand chief of the Southern Chiefs’ Organization, which represents 34 Manitoba First Nations.
August 10, 2021
'The damage has already been done': Pallister's apology not enough for Man. Indigenous leaders
Archdiocese apologizes after priest accuses residential school survivors of lying
MLA Clarke breaks silence, says her voice was 'not being heard' by Pallister
Mountie who filed systemic racism class action against RCMP reacts to vets association post
Retired Mountie explains why he blew whistle on RCMP Veteran's Association post
APTN National News
When retired RCMP sergeant Bruce Pitt-Payne first saw a post on the RCMP Veterans’ Association website called “My Canada – is it Your Canada?” he said he thought it would be about not burning down churches and stopping vandalism in the wake of unmarked graves found at residential schools across the country.
July 12, 2021
Groups taking over Indigenous Court Workers Program
Indigenous rights holder organizations will now have control over the Indigenous Court Workers Program in a move the province says is aimed at reconciliation and improving outcomes in the justice system. The Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak, Manitoba Metis Federation, the Southern Chiefs’ Organization and the Island Lake Tribal Council will now be responsible for administering the program, Justice Minster Cameron Friesen announced Tuesday.
June 30, 2021
Manitoba to transition court workers program to Indigenous organizations
Responsibility for Manitoba’s Indigenous Court Workers Program is being transitioned to four Indigenous-led organizations, the province announced Tuesday. Justice Minister Cameron Friesen said shifting the program, which helps Indigenous people navigate the court system, to Indigenous rights-holders is another step toward reconciliation.
June 29, 2021
'Every child matters': Manitoba reacts to discovery of unmarked gravesites at former residential school in Saskatchewan
Many in Manitoba are reacting to another discovery of an unmarked gravesite at a former residential school in Canada. Cowessess First Nation in Saskatchewan said it has found 751 unmarked gravesites after ground-penetrating radar was used at the Marieval Indian Residential School site, which started back on June 2.
June 24, 2021
'The truth is finally being reavealed': Manitoba grand chiefs react to Cowessess announcement
The discovery of 751 unmarked graves near a former residential school by Cowessess First Nation in Saskatchewan was felt by many across the country and around the world. The grand chiefs of the Southern Chiefs Organization (SCO) and Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak (MKO) held a joint press conference to reflect on the news, which was announced moments earlier.
June 24, 2021
Manitoba children attended Sask. residential school where unmarked graves found
Winnipeg Free Press
Manitoba children are likely buried among the potential 751 unmarked graves identified at a former Saskatchewan residential school this week, as the country braces for more burial sites to be uncovered. "We are not asking for pity, but we are asking for understanding," Cowessess Chief Cadmus Delorme said Thursday, as he revealed that a ground-radar search had found evidence of hundreds of Indigenous children buried in unmarked graves.
June 24, 2021
Brandon event mourns residential school's victims
Winnipeg Free PRess
Themes of truth, love and healing dominated an event to honour residential school survivors at the site of the former Brandon Indian Residential School. The Monday event, called Prayer for the Children, was held at the property in conjunction with National Indigenous Peoples Day, to mourn the children who died at the residential school and similar sites across the country. The event was hosted by Sioux Valley Dakota Nation and the Southern Chiefs’ Organization.
June 22, 2021
Indigenous liaison boosts supports at vaccine site
A Steinbach nursing student is helping to make the city’s vaccination site more accessible to First Nation, Metis, and Inuit clients. Victoria Hickes is one of 22 Indigenous liaisons hired by the Southern Chiefs’ Organization to work at vaccination sites across Manitoba this summer.
June 12, 2021
Manitoba MP to call on Ottawa to recognize residential schools as genocide
A Manitoba MP intends to call on Ottawa to formally recognize what happened at residential schools as an act of genocide. NDP MP Leah Gazan, who represents Winnipeg Centre, says she will ask for unanimous consent in the House of Commons following question period on Thursday.
June 9, 2021
Residential school tragedy renews calls for name change
Winnipeg Free Press
DEMAND is growing to remove the Bishop Grandin name from a Winnipeg greenway and boulevard, as outrage spreads across Canada over the tragic toll of residential schools. The City of Winnipeg said it received its first calls to rename the local destinations in 2018, due to Bishop Vital-Justin Grandin’s (1829-1902) support for the residential school system.
June 1, 2021
Manitoba First Nations react with shock, sadness at discovery of remains at B.C. residential school
Manitoba ICU patient who died before transfer to Ontario identified
Manitoba First Nations leader lashes out at Pallister over COVID failure
Winnipeg Free Press
"The blame for this disaster rests squarely on the shoulders of Premier Pallister and his cabinet," Southern Chiefs Grand Chief Jerry Daniels wrote in a Wednesday news release. "They have let political interests interfere and not followed the science, and that has had deadly consequences."
May 19, 2021
Residential school survivor and author Ted Fontaine has died
Manitoba grand chief calls for public inquiry into in-custody death of William Ahmo
Tribal councils in Manitoba call on Ottawa to release plan to counter violence against Indigenous women
Health region responds to racism survey
The majority of First Nations people have experienced racism in Manitoba’s health-care system, according to the results of a survey issued by the Southern Chiefs’ Organization. The organization released the report Friday in advance of International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination the following day.
March 23, 2021
Many First Nations people in Manitoba experienced racism while accessing care – survey – VIDEO
Seventy-two per cent First Nations people polled in Manitoba said they experienced racist treatment first-hand when accessing care – while 80 per cent have witnessed it happen to a loved ones. That’s according to a new survey by the Southern Chiefs' Organization, which suggests a pattern of discrimination, neglect and even abuse. SCO Grand Chief Jerry Daniels says the findings are appalling.
March 22, 2021
Survey shows consistent pattern of discrimination, neglect, abuse of First Nation people in health care
A new report on experiences of systemic racism in Manitoba’s health care system was released based on findings from the Southern Chiefs’ Organization’s (SCO) Survey on Racism in Health Care. The survey consisted of nine closed-ended and two open-ended questions and was shared online for six weeks in December 2020.
March 20, 2021
Southern Chiefs demands answers, investigation following police response to Indigenous woman in distress
The Southern Chiefs’ Organization (SCO) is calling answers and a thorough investigation following Winnipeg Police’s response to an Indigenous woman who was in mental distress and attempted to take her own life in an incident First Nations leaders were calling “disturbing”.
March 20, 2021
First Nations advocate accuses Winnipeg police of mistreating suicidal woman in bridge incident
Peter Nygard has a phone in jail cell for constant contact with legal team, court documents reveal
Advocate says that kind of access to outside world not available to everyone Crystal Brown, a community justice development coordinator at Southern Chiefs Organization, which includes 34 First Nations, was frustrated to learn about the accommodations Nygard is afforded behind bars. She said having phone access 16 hours a day shows the different treatment Nygard is getting compared to others in jail.
March 18, 2021
Groups line up to fight Manitoba's proposed anti-protest law
Winnipeg Free Press
A proposed Manitoba law that would restrict the rights of protesters will likely face a court challenge, Indigenous and environmental groups say. Southern Chiefs’ Organization Grand Chief Jerry Daniels said Tuesday he believes the government was targeting Indigenous protests when it drafted the bill. "It’s a strategy, obviously, to silence the voices and the views of First Nations people who have been excluded for a very long time from infrastructure strategy and investments in terms of our partnership on a government-to-government basis," Daniels said in an interview.
March 17, 2021
Manitoba Grand Chief forsees legal challenges to critical infrastructure bill
The Grand Chief of the Southern Chiefs Organization says legal challenges to a bill which clamps down on protesting around “critical infrastructure” are almost inevitable. “We have to challenge it at every aspect,” Grand Chief Jerry Daniels told 680 CJOB Tuesday, one day after Bill 57 was revealed at the Manitoba legislature.
March 16, 2021
SCO concerned about the impact of proposed education changes on Indigenous students
First Nation leaders appaled by lack of progress to improve child welfare system
First Nation leaders are appalled by the recent findings in the Still Waiting: Investigating Child Maltreatment after the Phoenix Sinclair Inquiry, released last week by the Manitoba Advocate for Children and Youth (MACY). Southern Chiefs’ Organization (SCO) urges the province to prioritize the implementation of the five recommendations from the recent report as well as the previous 62 recommendations on improving the child welfare system.
March 16, 2021
Southern Chiefs Organization speaks out on child welfare report
The Southern Chiefs' Organization (SCO) is speaking out after a report by the Manitoba Advocate for Children and Youth found that child maltreatment deaths continue to be a significant concern in the province. SCO Grand Chief Jerry Daniels is calling on the provincial government to immediately prioritize the implementation of the five recommendations from the report.
March 13, 2021
First Nations stepped up to tackle COVID-19 since first confirmed case a year ago
First Nations have stepped up tremendously since the first presumptive positive case of COVID-19 was confirmed by Manitoba a year ago. “Today, we mourn the loss of 150 First Nation citizens, and grieve with their families and loved ones,” said Grand Chief Jerry Daniels of the Southern Chiefs’ Organization (SCO).
March 13, 2021
Manitoba's proposed smoking ban 'intrusion' on jurisdiction of First Nations say chiefs
The Manitoba government has introduced a bill that would see smoking exemptions in First Nations communities revoked. Indoor public smoking has been banned for a number of years in Manitoba but the ban hasn’t applied to First Nations because they fall under federal jurisdiction. Southern Chiefs Organization Grand Chief Jerry Daniels said First Nation communities already have limits on smoking in their communities.
March 12, 2021
Stony inmate complained of opiate withdrawal before death: lawyer
Winnipeg Free Press
One day before he was found dead inside Stony Mountain penitentiary, Dwayne Simard told his lawyer he was suffering from opiate withdrawal and thought he was dying. Simard is one of two Sagkeeng First Nation men to die in custody in less than a month. The Southern Chiefs Organization has called for a public inquiry.
March 9, 2021
Hollow Water First Nation hangs red dresses to honour Jana Williams
Hollow Water First Nation is coming together to support the family of Jana Williams, 28, whose body was found last week on Alfred Avenue near the Red River in Winnipeg, by hanging red dresses in her honour and organizing a candlelight vigil. Jerry Daniels, grand chief of Southern Chiefs' Organization Inc. (SCO), described what happened to Williams as "absolutely appalling" in an interview with CBC News.
March 9, 2021
Province holding back long-awaited Police Services bill
The provincial government is holding back their long-awaited Police Services Amendment Act. Jerry Daniels, Grand Chief of the Southern Chiefs’ Organization, said the culture needs to be addressed, including sensitivity training and zero tolerance for racism and undertones. He said the issues go beyond just policing and justice, but they need to see tangible action taken.
March 9, 2021
"Welcome development" as inquest called in police-involved fatal shooting of teen
First Nations vaccination visits to start mid-March
Vaccination teams will begin visiting First Nations communities in Manitoba in mid-March, public health officials announced Friday. In a statement to the media, Southern Chiefs’ Organization Grand Chief Jerry Daniels applauded the announcement. "This announcement is what we have been waiting to hear," said Daniels.
March 6, 2021
Anishinaabe and Dakota chiefs call for inquiry over revelations in Broken Promises investigation
An advocacy organization representing Anishinaabe and Dakota communities in Manitoba is calling for an inquiry into how the federal government reviews major infrastructure projects on First Nations. The Southern Chiefs’ Organization (SCO), which represents 34 First Nations in the province, says federal officials often force First Nations to work with sub-standard firms in order “to save a few bucks,” especially on key water projects.
February 28, 2021
Southern Chiefs' Organization launches survey to gauge racism in policing in Manitoba
A survey on experiences of racism in policing by the Southern Chiefs’ Organization (SCO) was launched to mark Indigenous Justice Awareness Day. The survey is open to all Manitoba First Nations and will report on experiences of racism when dealing with police services across the province.
February 27, 2021
Manitoba chiefs push Ottawa on use of 'sub-standard' contractors
Family of Will Ahmo looking for answers into his death at Headingley Correctional Centre
The family of a man who died after an altercation with correctional officers is calling for an independent investigation to be done regarding his death. William ‘Will’ Walter Ahmo, 45, from Sagkeeng First Nation north of Winnipeg died Sunday after what’s been called “an incident” with staff at the Headingley provincial jail just outside of Winnipeg.
February 17, 2021
'Our story is all too common': Family calls for inquest into death of inmate at Manitoba jail
The family of William Walter Ahmo is speaking out after an incident involving corrections officers left him in hospital where he died a week later. They are calling for an inquest and an independent investigation into his death, a call echoed by the Southern Chiefs' Organization.
February 17, 2021
First Nations immunization site pops up in Winnipeg
Winnipeg Free Press
A pop-up COVID-19 vaccination site in Winnipeg has put its focus on immunizing First Nations health-care workers, knowledge keepers and traditional healers — a first of its kind in the province. "Yesterday’s site opening was the result of many hours of tireless work by a small group of dedicated staff, health experts and front-line workers. They had limited resources but their efforts have created something wonderful and life-saving," Grand Chief Jerry Daniels of the Southern Chiefs' Organization said Tuesday.
February 9, 2021
First Nations family advocate, chief question why newborns still being apprehended in Manitoba
Grand Chief Jerry Daniels of the Southern Chiefs' Organization says despite the province's decision to end the widely criticized use of birth alerts, the child welfare system is still apprehending children — an archaic practice, he says, and something that should only happen after all other avenues have been exhausted.
February 7, 2021
Reserves that assert CFS autonomy not guaranteed tribunal-ordered funding: Ottawa
First Nations, provincial leaders meet to explore circular economy
Additional 1,200 Moderna vaccine doses made available to Manitoba First Nations: Public health officials
Manitoba public health officials have confirmed that an additional 1,200 doses of the Moderna vaccine have been made immediately available for further First Nations prioritizations. Doses will be provided to health-care workers in non-remote First Nations communities, First Nations alternative isolation accommodation (AIA) workers and traditional Healers and Knowledge Keepers.
February 1, 2021
No charges for Winnipeg officer who shot 16-year-old girl after police chase
Southern Chiefs Organization 'appalled' by what happened to Ojibway woman in Alberta hospital
An organization representing 34 Anishinaabe and Dakota communities in Manitoba is speaking out after an APTN News story about how an Alberta hospital cared for Lillian Vanasse (Ashley), a member of the Sandy Bay Ojibway Nation. “The Southern Chiefs Organization (SCO) is appalled by the tragic death of Lillian Vanasse,: said SCO Grand Chief Jerry Daniels in a release sent out Tuesday. “The message is very clear and simple.”
January 26, 2021
Southern chiefs say Pallister's comments on Indigenous leadership are 'dangerous'
The Southern Chiefs’ Organization (SCO) is denouncing comments made by Premier Brian Pallister, saying it is “dangerous” to blame Indigenous leaders for the high number of COVID-19 cases in northern Manitoba. On Thursday, Pallister made a comment regarding Peguis First Nation Chief Glenn Hudson’s decision to relax restrictions over the holidays and allow visitors in the community.
January 22, 2021
Manitoba shipping 5,300 vaccine doses to First Nations communities
Vaccines begin rolling out to First Nations communities in Manitoba – VIDEO
'It's a game-changer': Indigenous leaders encourage communities to line up for COVID-19 vaccine
Vaccine partnership building bridges between First Nations and Manitoba
As 1st Manitobans get COVID-19 vaccine, questions linger about distribution, access on First Nations
Province needs to share decision making on vaccination plans with First Nations, says SCO grand chief. Indigenous people are disproportionately affected by COVID-19, but they were not first in line to get vaccinated when Manitobans started rolling up their sleeves on Wednesday.
December 16, 2020
Indigenous leaders take Manitoba child care funds issue to court
Southern Chiefs, MMF launch legal action against provincial gov't over Bill 2
'We can make these decisions,' Peguis chief says about relaxed holiday COVID-19 restrictions
Manitoba’s First Nations children face barriers in nearly every socioeconomic factor: report
NDP say Manitoba needs COVID-19 vaccine campaign to battle anti-vaxxers.
Manitoba to receive larger share of Moderna vaccine because of high Indigenous population, premier says
SCO Grand Chief Daniels unleashes on Premier Pallister – VIDEO
Southern Chiefs' Organization claims Pallister is fear mongering over COVID-19 distribution
Manitoba chiefs not impressed with premier's warning of exodus to the north to receive COVID-19 vaccine
SCO makes urgent appeal to province about COVID spread in jails
Southern Chiefs' Organization testing project aims to improve First Nations water quality
Southern Chiefs call on province to step up efforts, free up funds to keep Manitobans safe
The Southern Chiefs’ Organization (SCO) is calling on the Manitoba government to step up its efforts and free up critically needed funds to keep Manitobans safe during the pandemic. “Let me be very clear, our lives are literally on the line,” said SCO Grand Chief Jerry Daniels in a press release.
November 7, 2020
Manitoba Indigenous leaders call on province to step up COVID-19 response efforts
First Nations, Métis groups rebuke Pallister government
Southern Chiefs’ Organization made "an urgent appeal to all orders of government to free up critically needed funds and to drastically step up their efforts to keep First Nation citizens and all Manitobans safe from COVID-19." "Let me be very clear, our lives are literally on the line," Daniels stated in a news release.
November 3, 2020
SCO grand chief calls on province, feds to commit and fast-track First Nations COVID-19 response funding
Test positivity rate on First Nations in Manitoba is 11 per cent, Jerry Daniels told CBC News. The organization representing First Nations in southern Manitoba is calling on the provincial government to hold itself accountable for its response to the second wave of COVID-19, and to commit more funding to its pandemic response.
November 2, 2020
Attack on harvesting rights taking place across the country InFocus hears
Most people are aware of what’s happening in Nova Scotia as Mi’kmaw harvesters exercise their right to fish for a moderate livelihood in the lobster trade. Boats have been burned and sunk, harvesters have been assaulted and harassed by angry mobs, a lobster catch destroyed, traps stolen and most recently a lobster pound was burned to the ground. But what’s happening on the east coast – while headline grabbing – isn’t the only attack on harvesting rights.
October 29, 2020
Manitoba Indigenous leaders stand in solidarity with Mi’kmaw fishers with ceremonial ride in Winnipeg
Indigenous leaders in Manitoba are showing support for Mi’kmaw lobster fishers with a horse spirit ride planned in Winnipeg on Wednesday. Leaders representing the Assembly of First Nations (AFN), the Southern Chiefs Organization, Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak, and the Manitoba Metis Federation will all take part in the ride starting at RCMP Headquarters on Portage Avenue at 1 p.m
October 21, 2020
Manitoba First Nations leaders urge citizens to get flu shot
Morden, Man., senior hockey team changes derogatory name to Bombers
Manitoba government and Metis federation battling over moose hunt restrictions
Grand Chief Jerry Daniels of the Southern Chiefs Organization said he also believes the new restrictions threaten Indigenous rights. “I think right now Brian Pallister doesn’t understand consultation or accommodation because none of them have occurred as it relates to hunting in southern Manitoba,” said Daniels. “Hunting and fishing has been the economy of our communities for millennia.”
October 9, 2020
Anishinaabe woman sends 280 bags of cedar to Little Grand Rapids amid outbreak
An Anishinaabe woman has been busy gathering a special gift — 280 bags of hand-picked cedar sprigs — to send to Little Grand Rapids First Nation. On Tuesday, Grand Chief Jerry Daniels, of the Southern Chief's Organization, told CBC News the community remains in complete lockdown and testing is underway.
October 6, 2020
Indigenous leaders call out provincial gov't over moose hunt restrictions
Death of Atikamekw woman in Quebec hospital draws comparisons to death of Brain Sinclair 12 years earlier
"While shocking to many in Canada and the rest of the world, this video confirms what First Nation people and communities across the country have been reporting for years," said SCO Grand Chief Jerry Daniels. "No one should ever be subjected to that level of racist treatment. She went to the hospital seeking medical care, and instead was met with insults and judgments purely based on being a First Nation person."
October 1, 2020
Orange Shirt Day shares residential school experience with wide national audience
First Nations worry clean-water promise won't be met
Winnipeg Free Press
Grand Chief Jerry Daniels, of the Southern Chiefs Organization, said he’s heard from Ottawa that the spring deadline might not be met. The Liberal government's throne speech last week noted the need to end advisories, but a clear time frame was omitted. Daniels says that a further delay would be unacceptable, and an indication of poor planning and communication between the federal Department of Indigenous Services and the regional departments responsible for water stewardship and infrastructure.
September 29, 2020
Manitoba CFS minister sued over claim $10M lease to house at-risk kids was 'waste of taxpayer money'
$55 million in funding pulled from Northern Manitoba internet network
“Given everything that has happened this year – from those working remotely, to school closures and homeschooling, to all who have had to go into isolation – this decision could not have come at a worse time,” said Grand Chief of the Southern Chiefs’ Organization Jerry Daniels in the news release.
September 16, 2020
SCO, Liberals claim mistreatment of children by provincial government
The Southern Chiefs' Organization (SCO) Grand Chief Jerry Daniels and Manitoba Liberal Leader and MLA for St. Boniface Dougald Lamont held a press conference on Wednesday to discuss the mistreatment of children in care by the Manitoba Government. Both Daniels and Lamont call on the PCs to withdraw the two measures from the budget that denies those who have been wronged by the province for suing for compensation in regards to the care of Child and Family Services (CFS).
September 16, 2020
Southern chiefs, Liberals accuse Manitoba government of withholding millions intended for kids in care
The Southern Chiefs' Organization is calling the Manitoba government dishonourable in the way it treats vulnerable children in the province. Southern Chiefs' Organization Grand Chief Jerry Daniels says Brian Pallister's Progressive Conservative government is attempting to present legislation that would prevent the government from being liable for taking hundreds of millions of dollars intended for children in care.
September 16, 2020
Manitoba Liberals allege province using budget as 'get out of jail free' card
SCO concerned about about sending kids back to school
The Southern Chiefs Organization (SCO) wants to know who will be held accountable should First Nations students bring COVID-19 from provincial schools home to their reserves.
September 12, 2020
Golf tourney raises more than $70K
The third annual golf tournament hosted by the Southern Chiefs’ Organization (SCO) raised more than $70,000 for post-secondary scholarships for Indigenous students. The scholarships will be awarded to students from the 34 SCO-member communities in partnership with Indspire, a national Indigenous charity that invests in the education of First Nations people.
September 4, 2020
Residential school survivors speaking up after historic site designations
“The residential school system is one of the darkest events in our shared history. First Nation people have had to deal with its destructive effects, which amounted to genocide, for generations, and Survivors and their families continue to deal with the aftermath,” said Grand Chief Jerry Daniels of the Southern Chiefs’ Organization.
September 3, 2020