Indian Act Philanthropy: Why are Community Foundations Missing from Native Communities in Manitoba, Canada?


  • Craig Blacksmith
  • Keshab Thapa Native Land Mapping, Mino Bimaadiziwin Partnership
  • Tayzia Stormhunter University of Manitoba



Could a philanthropic model aimed at community development enforce colonial policy rather than providing equitable economic opportunity? This research analyzes the transcripts of 20 public webinars on philanthropy and the Indian Act and maps the 54 community foundations in Manitoba, Canada. All 54 community foundations in Manitoba service only settler-dominated cities and municipalities, with none on Native communities. As community foundations serve only their specific geographical areas, the community foundations in Manitoba effectively concentrate wealth in settler-dominated cities and municipalities, taking away needed resources from Native communities. In excluding the poorest communities in Manitoba, this philanthropic model further entrenches marginalization, poverty, and health risks for Native people on Native communities.


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