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2016 declared ‘Year of Reconciliation’ 1 year after Winnipeg named most racist city

Winnipeg — It has been one year since an article labeling Winnipeg as the most racist city in Canada was published in Maclean’s.

READ MORE: One year anniversary of national headline labeling Winnipeg most racist city

At an event that kicked off shortly after 10 a.m. Friday at City Hall, Winnipeg Mayor Brian Bowman gathered many people together to outline his further plans for reconciliation and declare 2016 as the ‘Year of Reconciliation’ for the city. The World Gospel Choir started the event with a rendition of Oh Canada.

Many commitments were made by the mayor as part of the announcement including the development of an Urban Aboriginal Accord for Winnipeg, Supporting the extension of the Winnipeg Private Refugee Sponsorship Assurance Program, and to visit all Winnipeg high schools over the next two years.

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“I promised I wouldn’t get emotional today,” Bowman said when he took to the podium for the first time near the end of the event.

PHOTO GALLERY: 

The audience during Mayor Brian Bowman's event marking the one year anniversary of Winnipeg being called the most racist Canadian city. Brittany Greenslade / Global News
Those invited to sit with the mayor during Friday's event. Brittany Greenslade / Global News
The event was briefly interrupted by two people who wished to spread awareness of their family's plight. Brittany Greenslade / Global News
The event was briefly interrupted by two people who wished to spread awareness of their family's plight. Brittany Greenslade / Global News

Well known broadcaster Charles Adler was emceeing the event and was interrupted at one point near the beginning of the event by a Canadian woman who claimed to be from Somalia and wanted to draw attention to the plight of her family. She and another man were escorted out of the room by the police chief, Devon Clunis six minutes after the interruption began.

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WATCH: Two removed from racism event after asking ‘Where’s the Canadian heart?’

Click to play video: '2 removed from racism event after asking ‘Where’s the Canadian heart?’' 2 removed from racism event after asking ‘Where’s the Canadian heart?’
2 removed from racism event after asking ‘Where’s the Canadian heart?’ – Jan 22, 2016

Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak Grand Chief Sheila North Wilson walked out during the event tweeting “Had to leave because there are people there that don’t acknowledge racism and others who do, that aren’t there.”

The author of the Maclean’s article that labeled Winnipeg as the most racist city in Canada was in attendance Friday morning.

Global News streamed the event live on this page.

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