Revitalization

NEECHI COMMONS

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Neechi Commons was created to bring badly needed revitalization to Winnipeg’s Main Street north of the CPR tracks and to adjoining north-end neighbourhoods. It featured a neighbourhood supermarket, a fruit and vegetable courtyard, restaurant and catering, an indigenous arts centre. Over 40 payroll jobs were created, drawing heavily on local area residents in a part of town that has one of the highest urban unemployment rates in Canada. Many of the jobs went  toyouth. Economic balance and self-reliance in Aboriginal communities have been undermined for a very long time. Neechi Commons has contributed to the economic healing that is needed to support personal and social healing. It has provided an opportunity for people to support reconciliation between Indigenous people and society as a whole.

Neechi Foods Co-op is incorporated as a worker cooperative, owned and operated by its staff.  A cooperative business model is in line with the primary values of sharing and community that anchored aboriginal economies for thousands of years. The worker co-op model gives people the opportunity to be in charge of their economic destinies as business owners, as well as employees. ‘Neechi’ is an Anishinaabe and Cree term for ‘friend’, ‘sister’ or ‘brother’.

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