“It is essential to create safe spaces for all of our relations.” – Grand Chief Daniels
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 2, 2023
ANISHINAABE AND DAKOTA TERRITORY, MB — The Southern Chiefs’ Organization (SCO) is proud to celebrate our relatives during Pride Month, which takes place every June.
“The Southern Chiefs’ Organization honours our two spirit, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, intersex, asexual and gender-diverse relatives, today and every day,” shared Grand Chief Jerry Daniels. “It is essential to continue to advocate for all our peoples, especially as we hear of stolen Pride flags at schools and calls for a ban of certain books featuring 2SLGBTQQIA+ content from school libraries here in Manitoba. Internationally, we are witnessing the passage of harmful laws, where people can be killed and imprisoned simply for being who they are.”
SCO is taking an active and visible role in Pride festivities scheduled for Winnipeg this weekend. For the first time, SCO will have a presence in the annual Pride Parade on Sunday, June 4. Being a part of these festivities is one way to show support for our relatives. Pride is the second largest festival in Manitoba, and the largest in Winnipeg.
Steps from Memorial Park, in downtown Winnipeg, our Wehwehneh Bahgahkinahgohn project is showing it’s pride. The inclusivity flags have been raised and are now visible on the former HBC building at Memorial Boulevard and Portage Avenue—a fitting action, as our Anishinaabemowin name translates to “it is visible.’
“In our culture, we have the seven teachings. These teachings, such as love and respect, provide us with guidance on how to carry ourselves in the world and instruct us to care for our fellow citizens. During Pride Month, we proudly stand with and work to create safe spaces for all our relatives,” said Swan Lake First Nation Chief Jason Daniels. “This month is a good opportunity for us to express unity in caring for one another.”
“We support all relations who are fighting to be accepted for who they are. Homophobia and transphobia are colonial legacies in Canada,” stated Grand Chief Daniels. “We recognize and respect two spirit and LGBTQQIA+ peoples. SCO is committed to creating an environment of physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual health for our 2SLGBTQQIA+ community. All of us deserve to feel celebrated and to be able to enjoy full, free, and open lives.”
Pride festivities take place in a variety of locations. Pembina Valley Pride (Morden) takes place on June 10. Brandon Pride occurs on June 17, while Steinbach Pride takes place on June 25.
Skowan First Nation’s second annual Pride Walk takes place on Thursday, June 8 at 5 pm. It starts at the Band Office and there is a BBQ planned for the Youth Centre. Everyone is welcome. The event is weather permitting and will be postponed if there is bad weather.
SCO invites anyone who would like to join us at the Pride parade to walk with us on Sunday. We will meet in Memorial Park between 9:30 and 10 am on June 4. For more information on events taking place in Winnipeg this week, visit pridewinnipeg.com.
The Southern Chiefs’ Organization represents 34 First Nations and more than 83,000 citizens in what is now called southern Manitoba. SCO is an independent political organization that protects, preserves, promotes, and enhances First Nations peoples’ inherent rights, languages, customs, and traditions through the application and implementation of the spirit and intent of the Treaty-making process.
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