Over the last 30 years a core of leaders or "organic intellectuals" has emerged in Winnipeg's growing Aboriginal population. They are shaping a distinctive approach to community revitalization, rooted in personal healing and in organizations that live and breathe Aboriginal values.
"To these people, Aboriginal community development starts with the need for individuals to heal from the damage of colonization. In part, this requires that they rebuild their own identity as an Aboriginal person and take pride in it. Although this process of rebuilding - indeed, re-creating - happens person by person, it also relies heavily on a community in which Aboriginal culture flourishes. The emergence of such a community in turn requires the building of organizations that can challenge and wrest power from those in control.
"Danger arises when we begin to look at community development simply in terms of needs, material needs, and we think that the satisfaction of material needs is going to satisfy emotional, psychological and community kinds of needs. Well, initially it might, initially, but in the long-term it probably won't, and in the long-term it will probably lead to the ... colonization of our own people."