Ma Mawi Wi Chi Itata Centre, Cuso International and The Winnipeg Foundation forge new partnership

WINNIPEG, Aug. 16, 2017 – Cuso International is partnering with Winnipeg-based Ma Mawi Wi Chi Itata and The Winnipeg Foundation to launch Mino Stat An, an important project to help non-Indigenous organizations increase awareness and improve intercultural relations. The partnership was announced today at the Ma Mawi Wi Chi Itata Centre Community Meeting Space in the presence of Wally Chartrand, who performed a Pipe Ceremony and Honour Song.

“We are pleased that Ma Mawi Wi Chi Itata Centre and The Winnipeg Foundation have partnered with us on this foundational project,” said Lloyd Axworthy, Chair of Cuso International. “This work is guided by the Sustainable Development Goals, which are universal and will set new standards in Canada.”
Mino Stat An includes building a tool-kit and improving methods of reaching out to non-Indigenous organizations – such as government, public institutions, and businesses – to help them learn more and better understand Indigenous communities. This learning exercise will include aspects of Truth and Reconciliation calls to action, while also teaching organizations how to incorporate Indigenous knowledge and expertise.
To support Mino Stat An, Cuso International will assign an Indigenous consultant to work alongside Ma Mawi Wi Chi Itata, a community based organization that has over 30 years delivering services to Indigenous families. While Cuso International is recognized around the world for working in developing countries, it has recently expanded its work to support Indigenous communities in Canada. This new partnership combines decades of global development experience with Indigenous traditional knowledge and expertise.

Mino Stat An will also help Ma Mawi Wi Chi Itata expand its role as a model facilitator of healing and reconciliation, said Diane Redsky, Executive Director of Ma Mawi Wi Chi Itata Centre. “It will lead to the development of a methodology rooted in Indigenous knowledge and ways of being through the Ma Mawi Wi Chi Itata Centre’s Code of Honour so we can do the really hard but very meaningful work of reconciliation. As a grassroots community based Indigenous organization this is our unique opportunity to give voice and shape our future by all working together to help one another.

The project is being funded by The Winnipeg Foundation, which is committed to working with all members of community toward a shared goal of reconciliation. “Like so many, we’re still discovering exactly what it means to reach reconciliation,” said Rick Frost, CEO of The Winnipeg Foundation. “We know education plays a significant role, and Mino Stat An will help on the way to achieving the 94 Calls to Action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada.”

Cuso International is among the organizations that will adopt Mino Stat An methods to build cultural competency, recognizing the wrongdoing and effects of colonialization and weaving Indigenous people’s knowledge and culture into its development approach and programming in the world.

Cuso International will apply this knowledge as it expands its work in Canada with different projects and partners, thanks in part to a generous grant from Power Corporation of Canada. Over the next five years, Cuso International will work to ensure respectful and collaborative partnerships. This will complement projects already undertaken with Reconciliation Canada, the First Nations’ Health Authority and the Beaufort Delta and South Slave Divisional Education Councils.


Ma Mawi Wi Chi Itata Centre: Ma Mawi Wi Chi Itata is a grandmother in the Winnipeg family of community service providers. She was established in 1984 to reclaim Indigenous people’s inherent role and responsibility as the caregivers for Indigenous children and families in Winnipeg. We are a community mandated, Indigenous directed and supported human service organization, delivering children in care and community based programs and services to Indigenous families. The name Ma Mawi Wi Chi Itata translates from Ojibway into the phrase “we all work together to help one another” and our programs and services are developed and operate within a philosophy that is embodied in our name. These words reflect a vision of collective responsibility and reciprocity that drives our leadership in Indigenous community based care in Winnipeg.

Cuso International: Established in 1961, Cuso International is a non-profit international development organization working to improve the lives of people living with poverty and inequality around the world. With the support of generous donors, each year we mobilize hundreds of volunteer professionals who work with local partners to create positive lasting change.

The Winnipeg Foundation: The Winnipeg Foundation is Canada’s first community foundation. Founded in 1921, it has granted more than $400 million back to the community, thanks to the generosity and foresight of generations of donors from all walks of life.