A city’s budget can have profound impacts on the lives of residents. Public transit, health, social equality, community facilities, recreation and other programming, justice, policing, safety and security and other needs: Budgets enable policy and articulate priorities and should reflect the interests of its residents.
But what if your city’s budget doesn’t adequately address your community’s interests? In Winnipeg, some felt this way and developed the 2022 Winnipeg Alternative Municipal Budget (AMB), a community effort co- written by 27 authors from 18 community organisations. Released in May 2022, the AMB presents a renewed vision for Winnipeg based around community approaches to safety, poverty reduction, truth and reconciliation, and protecting the environment. Presented in a balanced financial framework, the document offers insights into how Winnipeg can rebuild a more just and sustainable city.
The city of Winnipeg has the highest urban Indigenous population in Canada with 92,810 residents, or 12.2% of its population. While Winnipeg’s AMB is centred on reconciliation, the document includes a chapter specifically on Indigenous Relations written by Michael Redhead Champagne, an Ininew public speaker, writer and community advocate. He grew up in Winnipeg’s North End and identifies as a member of Shamattawa First Nation. Michael wrote a blog post that explains how Indigenous priorities can be better met in a municipal budget and why they are important. As a community-informed policy document, we are publishing a version here: pg. 64 (EN, FR).