Target Area

The project’s geographic focus is the community area of Point Douglas as defined by the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority – Carruthers Avenue to the CP Railyards, and McPhillips Street to the Red River. Not to be confused with the City of Winnipeg defined neighbourhood with the same name, this community is often referred to simply as “the North End” by local residents.

Why Point Douglas?

A neighbourhood with tremendous community spirit, Point Douglas residents share a pride for their community that is genuine and steadfast. As with any neighbourhood, Point Douglas has its share of challenges that the many non-profit organizations and grassroots volunteers in the area continue to work on.

The Winnipeg Boldness Project was created to address the challenging issue of early childhood outcomes, as 56% of children in the neighbourhood of Point Douglas are reaching kindergarten at a point where they’re not ready to learn. This is caused by a number of complex, systemic factors that can negatively affect a child throughout their education and far into adulthood.

Starting with Community

While Point Douglas does face challenges, more importantly we know that the families that live here know what’s best for their children and know what they need to find solutions to this complex issue. That’s why, when beginning our work in the community, we spent an entire year speaking to residents, parents, volunteers, and leaders in the community in order to get to the bottom of the issue and build community-led solutions that will work for families.

Guide Groups

Acting as our compass throughout this journey, we work with four guide groups comprised of local residents, volunteers, workers, executives, researchers, and knowledge keepers. These guide groups meet on a regular basis to provide community-based insight and feedback around our research and prototypes, while helping to maintain a strong community voice in all aspects of the project.

Our four guide groups are:

Parent Guide Group
Approximately 15 parents and caregivers who live, work, and volunteer in the North End of Winnipeg.
Traditional Knowledge Keepers Guide Group
Comprised of local Elders who have a vast amount of experience in Indigenous knowledges and cultural practices.
Community Leadership Guide Group
Strong leaders who have spent decades working as directors or managers within local non-profit organizations.
Research Guide Group
Academics and experts on the topic of early childhood development, inner city issues, and Indigenous health.

Click here to see a full list of members for each individual guide group.

Land Acknowledgement

The Winnipeg Boldness Project resides in and works on the ancestral, traditional, and contemporary lands of the Anishinaabeg (Ojibwe), Anishinabewaki (Oji-Cree), Dené, Michif Piyii (Métis), Nêhiyawak (Cree), and Očhéthi Sakowin (Dakota). We recognize that we have benefited from and continue to benefit from colonization on the Treaty 1, Treaty 3, and Treaty 5 Territories.

It is important to also acknowledge how we benefit in this territory at the cost to Indigenous Peoples. Winnipeg has been drinking clean water for over a century via an aqueduct from Shoal Lake. In 1917, 3000 acres of Treaty 3 was declared property of the city of Winnipeg to build the aqueduct. This aqueduct was built over ancestral burial ground, to build these structures, the ancestors were disinterred and reburied. Construction of the aqueduct changed the waters significantly, causing the peninsula to become a man-made island. This now isolated Nation faced many challenges as a direct result from this aqueduct; Necessities like water, groceries, schools, and mail were only accessible via the dangerous trek to the mainland. Lives of adults and children were lost crossing to and from the mainland. Freedom Road, an all-weather road access finally opened summer 2019, over a century after displacement. This road, a testament to the success of Indigenous-led solutions, helps bring materials to build schools and a water treatment plant.

“I always think of it, even when I turn on the tap I’m like this comes from our community and this water probably contains our ancestors and the spirits of our ancestor. I think about the hardships of the people from Shoal Lake 40 who have gone through so many things for the benefit of Winnipeg’s drinking water,” says Angelina McLeod.1

Another benefit we reap in Winnipeg at a cost to Indigenous Peoples and land is the Hydro Electricity Development in Treaty 5. To optimize water movement for greatest power production the Province of Manitoba increased waterflow by creating the Churchill River Diversion in 1976. The modification of the waterflow caused flooding, shoreline erosion, and changes to water quality. This destruction of habitat has caused disruption to waterway travel, fishing, and hunting.