Green Action Centre’s First Nations Waste Minimization team had the opportunity to visit Oyate Tipi Cumini Yape, which is located at 606 Selkirk Avenue in Winnipeg’s North End. True to their vision, Oyate Tipi (as it’s known in the community) is providing a place where Winnipeggers can donate their gently used furniture and household items to be reused, refurbished and upcycled.

Donations have primarily served women and children affected by family violence over the years, and they have recently expanded their operations to assist people experiencing homelessness, youth aging out of care, newcomers and refugees. In addition to providing this valuable service to the community, Oyate Tipi also diverts thousands of pounds of usable household items that would otherwise end up in landfills. 

Executive Director Alexandra Beasse showed us around the facility and explained how it works. Oyate TIpi operates as a furniture bank in which donors deposit gently used furniture and household items at their warehouse. Referred families and individuals can then access whatever items the furniture bank has on-site to furnish their homes. In addition, Oyate Tipi creates opportunities for the community through employment, skills training and volunteering. 

A new service that Oyate Tipi provides for residents, businesses and organizations are heat treatments to deal with bedbug infestations. As a courtesy to clients, they also apply heat treatments to all the donations they receive to ensure clients start off on the right foot with their gently used items. 

The First Nations Waste Minimization team was happy to learn about this organization’s efforts and want to highlight the significance of the social and environmental impacts a well established furniture bank can have in the lives of its community members and surrounding environment. 

To donate any gently used furniture and household items, call or email to arrange a drop off with Oyate Tipi staff at