THOMPSON is a community of 13,000 people centrally located in northern Manitoba that acts as the service “hub” of a region that covers most of northern Manitoba. It is located 740 km north of Winnipeg and is the third largest city in Manitoba. The most prominent local industry is the Vale nickel mines. Construction of the Wushwatim hydro generating station is a key economic development project in the region. Federal and provincial government offices are located in Thompson, as well as the Burntwood Regional Health Authority, University College of the North and a campus of the University of Manitoba’s Faculty of Social Work.
The city has a high proportion (36%) of Cree, Dene and Oji-Cree Aboriginal peoples. The City of Thompson signed an Aboriginal Accord  in 2009 that recognizes the traditional territory and contributions of Aboriginal peoples. Thompson is one of 13 cities across Canada that is participating in the federal Urban Aboriginal Strategy  to improve social and economic opportunities of Aboriginal people living in urban centres.
What’s new in Thompson, MB? TEDWG Update
Thompson is the hub of Manitoba’s North. It serves 65,000 people within its City limits as well as those from a large area of surrounding communities with road or air access to Thompson, who come to the city to use different services. The region is 98% Aboriginal and the City is 47% Aboriginal. Iron ore mining company Vale is the largest employer accounting for 21% of jobs.
In 2010 Vale announced the transition of the Manitoba operations, decommissioning the smelter to only do mining and milling by 2015. The need to ensure that the community was not reliant on Vale for jobs prompted the City of Thompson to create the Thompson Economic Diversification Working Group (TEDWG) and increase the jobs in Thompson by diversifying the local economy. TEDWG recently concluded a long period of public consultation and has submitted reports of their findings and Action plans to the City of Thompson.
Charlene Lafreniere, member of the FemNorthNetwork, Thompson city councilor and national co-chair of the Urban Aboriginal Strategy was deeply involved in the TEDWG process in Thompson. On May 30th she chaired a session with FemNorthNet research theme leaders during which Michelle Drylie, a Senior Planner with rePlan, presented on the key findings from the TEDWG process. rePlan is a Canadian planning organization that works with resource-based communities in Canada and internationally. Michelle was TEDWG Project Manager for the past 18 months working with the community and a team of people. This session with Michelle and Charlene prepared FNN theme research groups to analyze the Thompson Economic Diversification Plan, the action plans and the regulatory framework which was established to provide helpful feedback for city council.
HOUSING ACTION PLAN - The Thompson Economic Diversification Working Group
Final Report September 2012
1.2 Purpose of this document
REPORT - Women, Economic Development and Restructuring in Thompson (2012)
FemNorthNet Thompson launched their new report on ‘Women, Economic Development and Restructuring in Thompson' on March 21st and 22nd, 2012. Along with the report, they took the opportunity to offer the citizens, and visitors of Thompson information on the Blueprints project and a Social Infrastructure presentation. Presentations were made to the general public, the Business and Professional Women’s Club of Thompson and the Thompson Urban Aboriginal Strategy. The local media supported the launch with two radio shows and an article in the newspaper.
The Thompson Economic Diversification Working Group (TEDWG) that is developing an economic plan for Thompson to deal with the closure of the Vale nickel smelter in 2015 has also been engaged and has interest in working with FemNorthNet based on our mandate. Ultimately, FemNorthNet Thompson seeks to influence the implementation process currently underway.
Click here  to see a copy of the Thompson FemNorthNet Report on Women, Economic Development and Restructuring in Thompson (2012).
Click here  to read the article that appeared in the Thompson Citizen newspaper announcing the launch of the report.