Thursday, 29 Oct 2020

Indigenous students hand out food, winter gear to homeless in Winnipeg

University students braved the freezing cold temperatures over the weekend to complete a campaign they’ve been working on for over a month.

Indigenous students from the University of Manitoba were at the corner of Main Street and Dufferin Avenue on Sunday afternoon handing out jackets, gloves, hygiene supplies and more to those in need.

Sunday afternoon’s lineup to pick and choose from various items collected during this year’s “Bannock and Backpacks” campaign.

“To be able to give to them things that are useful, that they can go away with and be thankful for, you don’t do it for the reward but it’s a good feeling,” said Amanda Fredlund, a member of the student group organizing the event.

The “Bannock and Backpacks” campaign has been in action for three years, and each year it’s been organized by the U of M’s Indigenous Circle of Empowerment.

Members of the group said this year’s campaign has been the most successful by far.

While the backpacks of supplies are provided by the students, the bannock is made and served by Althea Guiboche, a Winnipeg resident know locally as “The Bannock Lady.”

“Watching them carry all their gifts away just fills me with pride that our people are still here and still surviving. We are still laughing and happy,” Guiboche said.

The 2018 Winnipeg Street Census showed that 65 per cent of Winnipeg’s homeless population is Indigenous.

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