Today’s HAAM is just the latest of several Humanist organizations in Manitoba going back to the 1920s, with the Winnipeg Rationalist Society, and later, Marshall J. Gauvin’s Winnipeg Humanist Society.
The current organization began around 1992 and was originally known as the Humanist Association of Winnipeg. Many of our original members came together through their association with the Unitarian Universalist Church, and for a while, meetings were held there. Our first president was Cecil Drummond Muldrew (1923 – 2004). Cec (as he was known) is listed by the Manitoba Historical Society as one of our Memorable Manitobans. Other founding members were Len Evans (long-time MLA for Brandon East) and Barrie Webster. In the mid 90s, the name was changed to Humanist Association of Manitoba, since not all members lived in Winnipeg. Cec was followed as president by Helen Friesen, Barrie Webster, Jeffrey Olsson, Donna Harris, and now Pat Morrow.
HAAM has come a long way since its inception. Back then, meetings were generally just a few people getting together socially to talk about the issues of the day. Today, with the advent of social media, HAAM has a broad range of supporters from around the province, the country, and even internationally. We have helped found Humanist groups in Eastern Manitoba, the Pembina Valley, and Brandon. Our outreaches have connected with thousands of people, with many folks discovering they were probably Humanists long before they knew what the word meant. We’ve been able to hook up people needing help with trained secular counselors and therapists. Our members have donated thousands of dollars to lesser known but vital, and mostly local, charities. Most notable among our charitable projects is, of course, Kasese Humanist Primary School in Kasese, Uganda.
In 2012, we decided that it was time to change our name to be more inclusive. After much discussion, we became known as Humanists, Atheists and Agnostics of Manitoba (HA2M or HAAM), not wanting to exclude like-minded people who might not identify as Humanists.
While its membership is largely atheist and agnostic, HAAM also looks for common links with other people and groups interested in pursuing social justice and freedom of (as well as from) religion for everyone.
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|Humanists, Atheists, & Agnostics of Manitoba (HAAM) would like to acknowledge that we are in Treaty 1 territory and that the land on which we gather is the traditional territory of Anishinaabeg, Cree, Oji-Cree, Dakota, and Dene Peoples, and the homeland of the Métis Nation. We are all Treaty people.|