WINNIPEG, MANITOBA. July 27, 2022 – The Southeast Resource Development Council (SERDC) has purchased the building currently known as Neechi Commons from Assiniboine Credit Union, and received the keys July 1st 2022. SERDC will be leasing the space to Shawenim Abinoojii Inc. (SAI) beginning August 1st, 2022.
SERDC delivers programs and services to the eight First Nations who make up the Southeast Tribal Council. Shawnano Wapunong Investments Corporation (SWIC) is SERDC’s for-profit arm that has been actively investing in real estate over the past several years. This is part of SERDC’s strategy to provide needs-based services, create jobs for members, and generate own-source revenue to invest back into the communities.
Doug Mercer is SERDC’s executive director and president of the SWIC board. His vision since stepping into the role in 2015 has focused on Indigenous people taking control of their own services.
“It is important that we provide for our members through a culturally appropriate service delivery model. We are pleased to be able to make this purchase using 100 percent of our own source revenue,” Mercer says.
“Another major recent example of this has been the purchase of the former St. Benedict’s Monastery in West St. Paul which we are converting into a medical receiving home and wellness lodge. This partnership with Shawenim Abinoojii fits perfectly within our model, so we are honoured to support a transition that will enhance benefits to SERDC members.”
Shawenim Abinoojii is Anishinaabe and means to nurture the child. The organization is a First Nations-led not-for-profit that aims to support the wellness of Indigenous children, youth, and families. SAI provides services to Southeast Child and Family Services, and exclusive, specialized home placement options to SERDC members.
SAI programs and services include:
- Support work program
- Foster care programs
- Wholistic wellness servicesEducational services for children and young people
- Memengwaa youth transitional services for young people exiting care
SAI has operated based in Winnipeg’s North End since 2018 and currently occupies four offices in the area. This goal of centralization at 865 Main Street will further improve service recipient experiences and improve the coordination and effectiveness of services.
“Moving to 865 Main Street will bring our programs and services together under one roof,” says SAI’s executive director Victoria Fisher.
“This will support staff in working collaboratively across programs and will allow service recipients to access resources at one location. As a First Nations organization, we aim to provide a wholistic experience that accommodates and respects the needs of those we serve.”
In addition to offices, Fisher says retrofit plans for their new space include a community meeting area, common areas and classrooms. The estimated timeline to be based out of 865 Main Street is March 2023.
“Shawenim Abinoojii provides a vital service to Indigenous children, youth and families in Manitoba, and this central location will make those services more accessible to community members across Winnipeg”, said Assiniboine Credit Union’s President and CEO, Kevin Sitka.
“We are excited to witness the coming together of Shawenim Abinoojii’s services under one roof in Winnipeg’s North End, and look forward to seeing what the future holds for their organization and the families it serves in our communities”.
For more information, contact:
Renée Simcoe, communications coordinator