Our Blog

  • Community Mural Project

    March 23, 2018

    Posted by: Jenna Diubaldo

    Over the past few months we've been working on a special art project with our Parent Guide Group that we're very excited to finally unveil to the community!


    Through a partnership with Graffiti Gallery, we were able to design and paint a large mural that will be installed permanently on Selkirk Avenue. It incorporates places and themes from the North End that were featured in the poem that was written collaboratively by the Parent Guide Group. 


    What was really special about this project was that our Parent Guide Group members got to bring their families to participate, as Pat Lazo from Graffiti Gallery helped us to sketch out ideas and then turn them into one cohesive design. He then helped all the kids and parents through the process of actually painting the mural, including some of the trickier details.


    For many of us, this was the first time that we were able to see the process of creating a mural from start to finish, which was a very cool skill to learn. Also, Pat was so great at helping us to figure out the painting aspect of things that even those of us that didn't consider ourselves artists (like me) were able to participate and contribute.


    The mural will be on display at the Indigenous Family Centre on March 29 at 4:30 - 6:00 pm. The event will include food and entertainment, and the Indigenous Family Centre will also have their community mural on display as well. Everyone is welcome to attend to sneak a peek at the murals before they're installed permanently in the North End.


    What: Community Mural Unveiling Event
    When: Thursday, March 29, 2018
    Time: 4:30 - 6:00 PM
    Where: Indigenous Family Centre - 470 Selkirk Ave

    Check out our Facebook event for more info!

  • Our Favourite Moments of 2017

    December 22, 2017

    Posted by: Jenna Diubaldo

    It's that time of year again, where we all recount our favourite moments from the past year. There have been so many big successes and learnings in 2017 that it's sometimes difficult to narrow it down. We feel very lucky to have so much support from the community, and we look forward to 2018 to continue our work in Point Douglas!





    Documentation of the Child Centred Model

    Seeing the research being documented around the child-centred model was particularly significant to me because I see this as knowledge that has been around forever, that is used on a daily basis in the North End, but we’ve never had the time or resources to get it down on paper. Being able to do that in this work is so important and we’ve really accomplished something that was very needed.


    A visual representation of the Child Centred Model.


    Scaling of the Canada Learning Bond Prototype

    Watching our scaling efforts happen around our first prototype was very important, as the growth around it was very intentional, but organic at the same time. To see this piece of work taken on by a huge entity like the City of Winnipeg through the Winnipeg Promise was really significant as it meant that we could really make some change happen in a large-scale, systemic way.


    Commitment of our Partners

    I’ve always said that our project is different in that we have hands-on participation and commitment from so many different sectors and partners. It’s really amazing to see government, neighbourhood residents, non-profit organizations, traditional Elders, and the private sector, all come together in one room to work towards a common goal of making things better for kids. We have such unwavering support from all of our partners, which is so important to our success as a project.




    Hosting the J.W. McConnell Family Foundation Board

    This was a really important moment for the project, to be able to meet and interact with the board. With the support they’ve given us over the past 4 years as one of our core funders, it was great to be able to show them our work in person rather than in a lengthy report.


    The J.W. McConnell Family Foundation board of directors and Winnipeg Boldness staff/partners listen to a traditional Indigenous drum song.


    Implementation of the North End Wellbeing Measure

    This is a big initiative and something we’ve been working on since beginning of project. To see it start to come together and was really gratifying.


    Research Grant for the Manitoba Indigenous Doula Initiative (MIDI)

    We have such a strong partnership with MIDI and the prototype that we ran with them went so well, to know that they’re going to be able to continue on for the next three years through this funding, while expanding their efforts is a great thing. Also, the fact that they’re tackling such an important issue around evacuation of pregnant moms on reservations means so much and is so necessary.




    Unveiling of Star Blanket Art Project

    This was an arts research project that took a bit longer to complete, so I was very happy when it was finally released to the public. We had an Elder come and share teachings on the meaning of the star blanket, and I remember that it blended so well with our work around Early Childhood Development. It made me feel like we were really on the right path.


    The Community Star Blanket art piece, created by the Point Douglas community and Winnipeg Boldness Project Parent Guide Group.


    Co-Creation Session with Dads

    This was the first session we held with dads and men specifically around this topic and it was so impactful to see how many strong, courageous Indigenous men were present in the room. I think it was possibly the most dedicated group we’ve had in a session; their passion for the topic was so evident.


    Tour of North Forge Fabrication Lab

    This was a very cool day - they took us on a tour of their fabrication lab and we got to see some of their members at work on machines like laser cutters and 3D printers. It made us all want to join and start making our own art.


    North Forge Fabrication Lab.


    Communications Strategy Consultations

    I’ve spent the better half of the year working on a new marketing and communications strategy alongside ChangeMakers Marketing Firm. The first half of this process was research through conversations with all of our guide groups, which was a really interesting way to contrast and compare the very different feedback and ideas we got from each group.


    Kara P.


    Sweat Ceremony with Vern Dano

    It’s always nice to spend time on the land to nourish our spirit, while connecting with our team in a different way. I feel like it helps us to stay grounded in our work by making time for ceremony and teachings.


    Co-Creation Session with Dads

    The dad's session was a long time coming and it was awesome to see the inspiration and motivation of everyone in the room looking to make change around this particular issue.


    Supports for Dads co-creation session at the Manitoba Metis Federation building.


    Completion/Unveiling of Star Blanket & Teachings

    Receiving the teachings around the star blanket basically validated a years worth of work, and it was really cool to see the completed project come full circle back to our child centered model; children at the centre of everything that we do.


    Kara B.


    Manitoba Indigenous Doula Initiative Graduation

    Watching the graduates from MIDI’s training program prototype receive their certificates was a significant moment. The community leadership and passion present in that room was apparent. It represented hope for the future.


    Graduates await the presentation of their certificates at the Manitoba Indigenous Doula Initiative training program graduation ceremony and celebration.


    Hosting the J.W. McConnell Family Foundation Board

    It was very special to host the board and be able to connect them with the community in order to share the wisdom that we’ve experienced firsthand.


    LabWISE Training

    Connecting with other social innovation leaders and practitioners is always something we enjoy doing, as it makes it clear that we’re not alone in the work we’re doing. And to see that we’re inspiring change across the country and receiving recognition for our work Indigenous innovation is very gratifying.


  • North End Wellbeing Measure

    November 1, 2017

    Posted by: Jenna Diubaldo

    As we've mentioned in the past, we're in the process of designing and testing a new way of evaluating health and success from a wholistic perspective, as designed through input from residents and families living in the North End community.

    By creating the NEWM alongside the community, we’re able to better define wellness from a locally-driven, strength-based perspective, rather than imposing a predetermined definition of wellness and possibly missing the mark. The NEWM also takes into consideration all aspects of self, much like the teachings of the medicine wheel, in order to evaluate wellbeing from a wholistic lens.

    We currently have a team of data collectors visiting North End organizations on a daily basis in order to collect surveys to test out this new tool. They're looking to connect with residents who have children under the age of 18, and participants will get a $15 gift card to Walmart for taking the time to talk with us and fill out a survey.

    Here's a list of places our data collectors will be visiting over the next few weeks:

    Nov 3 - Andrews Street Family Centre from 11 am to 3 pm

    Nov 4 - North Point Douglas Women's Centre from 10 am to 3 pm

    Nov 6 - North Point Douglas Women's Centre from 10 am to 3 pm

    Nov 7 - Indigenous Family Centre (time TBA)

    Nov 9 - Andrews Street Family Centre from 11 am to 3 pm

    If you're not able to drop-in during any of these dates/times you can also contact Marsha at (204) 510-2466 and arrange to take the survey at another time. 

  • We <3 Summer Festivals!

    August 2, 2017

    Posted by: Jenna Diubaldo

    There’s no better way to get out into the community and chat with families in Point Douglas than by attending a summer event! We make a point of attending at least 2 festivals/events each summer to connect with North End residents regarding our work, as well as hand out some great prizes!


    This year we’ll be connecting with families regarding the North End Wellbeing Measure (NEWM)  - a community designed measurement tool that is being used to evaluate wellbeing in North End families. By creating the NEWM alongside the community, we’re able to better define wellness from a locally-driven, strength-based perspective, rather than imposing a predetermined definition of wellness and possibly missing the mark. The NEWM also takes into consideration all aspects of self, much like the teachings of the medicine wheel, in order to evaluate wellbeing from a wholistic lens.


    We’ll be asking local residents to participate in the North End Wellbeing Measure through a survey that is completed with the help of volunteers. Each participant will get their name entered into a monthly draw for a gift card.


    Here’s some information about the events we’ll be attending this month to complete surveys:


    Austin Street Festival

    Hosted by North Point Douglas Women’s Centre

    Friday, August 11, 2017

    Austin Street at Euclid Ave


    Picnic in the Park

    hosted by North End Community Renewal Corp.

    Saturday, August 19, 2017

    St. John’s Park


    Both events will feature free food, local entertainment, kids games, and bunch of other fun and exciting activities. Make sure to come by and be sure to pop in at our tent to say hello!

  • We've had the opportunity to partner with a really amazing program called the Manitoba Indigenous Doula Initiative - a group of women who are working to promote traditional Indigenous child birth/parenting teachings and incorporate them into a training program for doulas. The result is more Indigenous doulas who are able to support Indigenous moms and families in a traditional way.


    The Winnipeg Boldness Project and Mount Carmel Clinic were able to support them in piloting Wiiji'idiwag Ikwewag Sacred Circle of New Life Program as one of our small scale prototypes. We attended their graduation ceremony recently and were very honoured to be able to cheer on such a great group of women as they received their certificates of completion.


    Through this pilot training, they were able to garner attention for their program and secured funding in the amount of $835,000 in partnership with the Dr. Jaime Cidro from the University of Winnipeg, the University of Manitoba, and Nanaandawewigamig (First Nations Health and Social Secretariat of Manitoba). They'll be working on training women on First Nation reserves in order to better support women in their own communities who are forced to fly to Winnipeg to give birth. You can read more about their grant here.


    A couple of the women who attended the training program wanted to share in their own words their experiences as doulas. Here are their stories:

    To move forward sometimes we need to look back.
    April Slater

    The room began getting warmer, flashes of light dash in my peripheral vision. On the bed my sister’s eyes looked wild. I smiled gently as her primal essence took over. A bolt of uncertainty in my stomach was immediately hushed.
    I imagined my inner child sitting down with her insecurities and doubts. While the old lady, the one with blood memory, the leader stood up. She took over and said what was needed. My inner kookum in her infinite calm guided my sister into a safe space to work through the pain until it was time to push.
    The energy of the room was electric. The feeling swept me up in it and it felt like riding a thunderbolt. It lit a fire in my blood and I welcomed the blood memory. My sister’s face flashed and changed. In one instance I saw my own face in hers, her face changed and she had many faces; ancient blood memory of the ancestors working through her and helping her as they awoke in this moment of creation.
    The room felt full of people as my sister brought life. We were swept up in the emotion and cried together. "He's here!" She exclaimed as she looked down at her sons face on her stomach. After the room cleared and mom/baby cleaned up, I sang to my new nephew Constance’s prayer. My doula journey began with looking back and finding the words our nana’s nana Constance the midwife would say at each of her births.
    "Babies heartbeat, the beat of the drum. Thank you creator.”

    And then she thanked me…
    Karen Swain

    So many thoughts and feelings are going through my mind.  I feel frozen and unable to move or think.  Maybe this was a huge mistake and I should just leave. I don’t feel worthy of this task. Okay – just focus. I recognise that I am panicking, and I take some deep breaths. The feelings subside.

    I do my best to regain my composure and calm down. I call upon my spirit to help me and I pray for the grandmothers to work though me — to renew my blood memory and to draw on the ancient knowledge of women for women. I ask to recall the reading, the discussions, the teachings, and all the energy from our Indigenous Doula training.

    Okay, its time. Get in there.

    I join them by the bed and she’s in the zone. She’s so focused, breathing and concentrating. Her supports are encouraging, telling her how proud they are of her. The health care providers are awesome and are reassuring and guiding her. I hear them saying she’s at seven centimetres and she’s almost fully effaced. That’s awesome I tell her – so much progress.  We encourage her to relax between contractions. We stay close to her surrounding her with love and support. It’s so hard she says. You’re doing it I tell her. Keep it up.

    I witness the transition in her. She has realised the strength of her mind, body, and spirit, and they all know what to do.  I hear them say she’s at ten centimetres and fully effaced. It’s time to push!

    I hear the deep breaths and the soft moan as she starts to push. She’s concentrating and holding it.  “Awesome,” says the provider. "Now rest until the next one."

    They come quickly and gain in strength. Again she breathes and softly grunts as she puts her energy into the child’s journey. I see the head says the provider – look at the hair!  We are all are in awe. It’s almost time to meet your baby we say.  Deep breaths and push! Push!

    The head is out.  Gently now – and there she comes! I see her face, her shoulders, her hips and her legs and toes! She’s here! The provider places baby on mom’s chest. Congratulations she says. I stand back as both mom and support take their first looks at this child they have waited for. It seemed like it took so long but it was just moments. I hear her tiny cries. She’s beautiful.

    I bow my head in gratitude for all that has occurred tonight. As she’s birthed her baby, I have birthed my doula self. I’ve been part of a sacred miracle! It’s changed my life and filled my heart! And then she thanked me.



Newer | Older