Mayor Brian Bowman, as the primary leader in the city of Winnipeg, you must address the issues that are currently occurring with respect to Lake St. Martin First Nation of the First Nations in Treaty 2 Territory. Lake St. Martin First Nation evacuees that had no other option but to come to the city for lodging, and food because of the recent storm.
The reception of our First Nations spending our limited money in the city has always been welcoming, but now, some of the businesses have been refusing services and have been hijacking pricing to skyrocketing prices or adding extra charges such as security deposits on top of the hotel room cost that weren’t previously required for regular business arrangements.
Our people are in distress, they are in a state of chaos and facing racist attitudes that only adds to their stress. The inflated pricing for equipment we attempt to buy such as generators, fuel storage units, basic supplies have increased since the power outage crisis has occurred. Our people are not a commodity to be exploited in order to increase a profit margin. Many of the Lake St. Martin First Nation members continue to be displaced and are still seeking accommodations.
The City of Winnipeg issues these business licenses and has regulatory control for these licenses in these types of situations. What is the City doing to ensure that these practices are not happening? What is the Chamber of Commerce doing to alert their businesses to be more welcoming and accommodating to the people who need these immediate services?
This situation is not unusual for the City of Winnipeg, as our people have been in this situation before and we have raised these same issues previously, why do we have to raise them again?
We remind the City of Winnipeg that this city is located on our traditional territories and to be faced with systemic racism is not only unacceptable but degrading and violates our Inherent and Human Rights.
The public response to media coverage has been laterally violent. In this era of “reconciliation” we have learned a hard truth again as our elders have said for many generations; with suffering come truth. It’s a sad truth we have been shown and are experiencing once again. The genocide continues.
This requires immediate action. We look forward to your prompt response.
Lake St. Martin First Nation
CC. First Nations in Treaty 2 Territory
Last modified: October 22, 2019