After Maclean’s Magazine published its feature story earlier this year tagging Winnipeg as Canada’s most racist city – Welcome to Winnipeg, where Canada’s racism problem is at its worst; how the death of Tina Fontaine has finally forced the city to face its festering race problem – the reaction was swift.
While citizens – from Mayor Bowman to the person in the street – acknowledged the city’s racism problem, many saw this as an opportunity to confront racism and to change destructive perceptions and attitudes that contribute to its prevalence.
One of the responses took the form of a panel discussion held at the University of Winnipeg, focused on race, community and possibilities, in light of the issues raised in the national magazine article.
The panelists included, Nancy McDonald, the magazine article’s author; Wab Kinew, Associate Vice-President University of Winnipeg; Leah Gazan, instructor in the Faculty of Education at UofW and member of the Wood Mountain Lakota Nation and President of the Social Planning Council of Winnipeg; Dr. Mary Jane Logan McCallum, assistant professor in the Department of History at UofW; and Rory McLeod Arnaud, past president of UofW Students Association.
The event was recorded by CKUW 95.9 FM. Click on the link below to listen to the panel discussion that begins at about 1:20 with magazine writer Nancy McDonald explaining how the systemic racism against Canada’s First Peoples was what prompted her to write the article in the first place.