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HomePolicy Articles Article Summary

Aboriginal Involvement in Community Development: The Case of Winnipeg's Spence Neighbourhood

Report by Jim Silver, Joan Hay, Peter Gorzen

In this study, Jim Silver, Joan Hay and Peter Gorzen attempt to answer two questions: 1) to what extent, and in what ways, the rapidly growing numbers of Aboriginal people in Winnipeg’s inner-city Spence neighbourhood are participating in community development initiatives; and, 2) how Aboriginal people themselves define community development and what they would like to see happen to improve the Spence neighbourhood.

The authors consulted with Aboriginal people to answer these questions. They conducted in-depth interviews with the neighbourhood residents, and worked closely with the Spence Neighbourhood Association (SNA). Despite the SNA’s efforts to secure their participation, most Aboriginal people are not involved with the organization because they feel excluded from the community. These feelings of exclusion extended to their broader sense of social exclusion from non-Aboriginal culture and its institutions.

Despite social fragmentization and exclusion, Silver, Hay and Gorzen found that most of their interviewees saw the promotion of Aboriginal cultures as being integral to any community development initiative undertaken in Spence neighbourhood. The authors remark that this is a positive development, since culture can be an important means of bringing Aboriginal people together to work as a community. The authors conclude that establishing a Spence Aboriginal Residents Group would be the best way to promote community development in the Spence neighbourhood.

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Policy Publication Details

Author(s): Jim Silver; Joan Hay; Peter Gorzen;
Publisher: Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives [ Visit Website ]
Year Published: 2004; Publisher Type: Research Institute
Publicly Available: Yes Research Focus: Municipal;
Registration Required: No Language: English
Payment Required: No Publication Format: Adobe PDF

Subjects / Categories:

Policy Articles / Aboriginal / Urban Development
Policy Articles / Aboriginal / Urban Development / 2004
Policy Articles / Aboriginal


Keywords / Tags:

community development; inner-city neighbourhoods; Aboriginal culture; social inclusion; neighbourhood associations; community improvement;