“The safety of our citizens in Treaty One Territory is essential.” -Grand Chief Jerry Daniels
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 20, 2024
ANISHINAABE AND DAKOTA TERRITORY, MB — The Southern Chiefs’ Organization (SCO) is alarmed by a video circulating online in which a young person appears to have her hands tied behind her back while she is confined within a hotel establishment in downtown Winnipeg.
“The Southern Chiefs’ Organization joins calls for a thorough investigation into the hotel in downtown Winnipeg as it relates to the apparent confinement being shown in this video,” shared Grand Chief Jerry Daniels. “On behalf of SCO, I also want to pray for the safety of the young woman in this video. I feel saddened by what you experienced.”
SCO also supports calls that patients travelling from SCO Nations to access health care in Winnipeg should not need to stay at this hotel.
“Many of the people within our Nations continue to be deeply impacted by the national emergency of missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls, two spirit, and gender-diverse people. It is essential that businesses are aware of, and take clear steps to adopt, the 231 Calls for Justice that were a result of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls,” said Grand Chief Daniels. “It is also essential that our citizens, when travelling to access services in urban centres, are able to receive accommodation with hotels that will work to guarantee their safety.”
SCO is aware of a protest planned at the Marlborough Hotel on Sunday, January 21, at 2 pm and joins calls for any protest to be carried out in a peaceful manner.
In the City of Winnipeg, Indigenous people make up just over 12 per cent of the city’s population. It is essential that businesses in Winnipeg take tangible steps to support the ongoing safety and dignity of our women, girls, two spirit, and gender-diverse citizens.
SCO continues to move work forward with federal and provincial Treaty partners to respond to the national emergency of MMIWG2S+.
SCO’s MMIWG2S+ Liaison is available to provide information, advocacy, systems navigation, and referrals to help First Nations citizens access the programs, services, and support they need:
Toll Free: 1.866.876.9701
If there is anyone who requires emotional support, please call the national, independent MMIWG2S+ toll free 24/7 support line at 1-844-413-6649 to speak to a counsellor. This service is available in English, Anishnaabemowin, and Cree.
The Southern Chiefs’ Organization represents 34 First Nations and more than 85,500 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.
For media inquiries: Email: firstname.lastname@example.org