The Blog

Follow along as we work towards systems change and help create better outcomes for kids in our community.

Accountability Framework

December 18, 2018

The topic of accountability is one that is frequently brought up within the non-profit sector, as people often wonder how organizations ensure that they are being managed in a good way, and that strategic decisions are being made in a way that is cohesive with the needs of the community.

In the case of The Winnipeg Boldness Project, people regularly ask us how we make strategic decisions, as well as how we choose which prototypes to work on. The truth is there is no one decision maker in our project, but rather an accountability framework that is comprised of several layers of strategic thinkers that help to keep us on track, make recommendations, and ensure that our work is being completed in a way that works for the community.

Community Wisdom & Feedback flowchart

This accountability framework includes groups that are made of people from all walks of life, which ensures diversity in opinions and allows issues to be examined through a variety of lenses. We believe that the breadth of our partnerships is one of the best things about the project, as it brings people together to work on social issues that affect all of us in different ways.

We have spent the past two Parent Guide Group meetings discussing and evaluating the project’s accountability framework in great detail, in order to gain a better understanding of not only how our parents interpret our framework, but whether they feel that this framework is of value to the community.

Our overall takeaway from these discussions is that our Parent Guide Group feels that our accountability framework, one that values community input above all else, is unique and something that could or should be applied by other groups. They feel that we’ve created a structure where their opinions and feedback are valued at a very high level, and that they are able to see their input reflected in our work.

In a society where systems and frameworks are generally designed with a top down approach, where officials and delegates commonly have the final say in policy and decision-making, our parents feel that it is positive to see a framework where the community’s voice and ideas remain the most important factors in creating change for the community. They would like to see this model applied across all systems, in order to create a city that allows families and communities to make decisions for themselves, rather than having “experts” make decisions for them.

Land Acknowledgement

The Winnipeg Boldness Project resides in and works on the ancestral, traditional, and contemporary lands of the Anishinaabeg (Ojibwe), Anishinabewaki (Oji-Cree), Dené, Michif Piyii (Métis), Nêhiyawak (Cree), and Očhéthi Sakowin (Dakota). We recognize that we have benefited from and continue to benefit from colonization on the Treaty 1, Treaty 3, and Treaty 5 Territories.

It is important to also acknowledge how we benefit in this territory at the cost to Indigenous Peoples. Winnipeg has been drinking clean water for over a century via an aqueduct from Shoal Lake. In 1917, 3000 acres of Treaty 3 was declared property of the city of Winnipeg to build the aqueduct. This aqueduct was built over ancestral burial ground, to build these structures, the ancestors were disinterred and reburied. Construction of the aqueduct changed the waters significantly, causing the peninsula to become a man-made island. This now isolated Nation faced many challenges as a direct result from this aqueduct; Necessities like water, groceries, schools, and mail were only accessible via the dangerous trek to the mainland. Lives of adults and children were lost crossing to and from the mainland. Freedom Road, an all-weather road access finally opened summer 2019, over a century after displacement. This road, a testament to the success of Indigenous-led solutions, helps bring materials to build schools and a water treatment plant.

“I always think of it, even when I turn on the tap I’m like this comes from our community and this water probably contains our ancestors and the spirits of our ancestor. I think about the hardships of the people from Shoal Lake 40 who have gone through so many things for the benefit of Winnipeg’s drinking water,” says Angelina McLeod.1

Another benefit we reap in Winnipeg at a cost to Indigenous Peoples and land is the Hydro Electricity Development in Treaty 5. To optimize water movement for greatest power production the Province of Manitoba increased waterflow by creating the Churchill River Diversion in 1976. The modification of the waterflow caused flooding, shoreline erosion, and changes to water quality. This destruction of habitat has caused disruption to waterway travel, fishing, and hunting.