Neechi Commons Multi-stakeholder Cooperative Inc.
Neechi Commons Multi-stakeholder Cooperative Inc. (NCMSC) was founded in March 2022 and received its incorporation papers in June 2022. It was designed to host businesses and social services that benefit its north-end Winnipeg neighbourhood and beyond. The businesses and social services were to be operated by tenants, with a special focus on a regional, healthy foods hub and health services. The reopening of Kookum’s Bakery and an Indigenous arts centre, education and training, and long-term inclusive housing (above or beside the parking lot) were also envisioned.
In July the new cooperative held a well attended public meeting at Barber House in North Point Douglas and explained that financing was being assembled to allow Neechi Foods Co-Op Ltd. to transfer ownership to the Multi-stakeholder Cooperative. However, two days later the sale of Neechi Commons to the South East Resource Development Council (SERDC) was completed by Neechi’s commercial lender. It was quite a shock because Neechi and the new owner had been unaware of each other’s plans. A child, youth and family support agency of the SERDC is interested in the possibility of Neechi returning to Neechi Commons to host some activities that complement their own programs.
The Multi-stakeholder Cooperative is a not-for-profit entity. Any surpluses must be used for community benefit. Its control structure prioritizes community groups that provide services in the Lord Selkirk Park and North Point Douglas neighbourhoods as well as tenants. However there also is a ‘Friends of Neechi Commons’ membership category that is open to individuals and to organizations based in other parts of the city.
Neechi Foods Co-Op Ltd. created Neechi Commons and operated it from 2013 to 2018 with a huge investment of personal funds and volunteer time.