The Blog

Follow along as we work towards systems change and help create better outcomes for kids in our community.

Masters of Development Practice Blog Posts

February 15, 2017

Recently, we had a group of students from the University of Winnipeg visit The Winnipeg Boldness Project to learn more about our work and the research that we’re doing. As an assignment, they were asked to write a short blog post about their visit and what they learned. Here’s what they shared:

Amanda Appasamy

Diane Roussin’s strong voice of advocacy, as the project director of The Winnipeg Boldness Project was truly inspirational. I admire the confidence of the organization in staying true and dedicated to the core traditional Indigenous values, despite pressure faced by the organisation from mainstream worldview. I was very impressed with the community driven framework and approaches to creating an evidence-based body of work that involves the whole community. I believe it is crucial to revitalize and build strength in the North End community by staying focused on the Indigenous worldviews of relationships and interconnectedness. Traditional indigenous worldviews are inclusive and respectful of other cultures, which is vital considering the increasing immigrant population in the North End. Hence, I admire the organisation’s principles in respecting the diversity and unique nature that each individual brings to the community.

I believe that in order to achieve a successful child centred model, it is fundamental to provide the whole community with the tools required to achieve physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual wellbeing. I strongly believe that there is no better way of doing so than consulting with the community itself in order to establish a model that respects the needs, traditions, values and provide a co-learning process for all parties involved. For instance, providing support for dads, family centred decision making, addressing the transportation problems faced by the North End Community, amongst others. I admire the dedication of the organisation and the relationship building with the community in order to provide trust and hope that is much needed in order to move forward.


Ari Phanlouvong

The Winnipeg Boldness Project is unlike any other project. Winnipeg Boldness puts Indigenous perspectives at the forefront of research, which are universally relevant and applicable in today’s modern world. The child-centred model is defined by its combination of community wisdom and early childhood development science. The project have tackled a wide range of challenges affecting families within the Point Douglas neighbourhood, promoting a community engagement approach to bring great change by empowering its community members.

What I found particularly fascinating about the project is its creative approach to research. For instance, Boldness uses art as a means to communicate the community’s vision and perspectives. This arts-based research approach makes it accessible to individuals, regardless of literacy skills, to voice concerns, views, and hopes for their community through a variety of stimulating and creative art projects. Winnipeg Boldness therefore highlights a tremendous wealth of knowledge within the Point Douglas neighbourhood, bringing to light a dynamic and powerful community within the city of Winnipeg.


Cassandra Szabo

The world of non-profits and community development doesn’t always trigger conversations about marketing and branding, because improving the wellbeing of others isn’t a product that needs to be marketed, right? Well, creating a brand for a non-profit organization isn’t about increasing revenue, it’s about creating greater public discourse and increasing social impact. Branding is visual and includes logos, videos, and graphic designs used by an organization.

The Winnipeg Boldness Project has created a streamlined yet trendy logo that transcends their graphics, pamphlets and videos. This type of branding has created cohesion throughout the work that Winnipeg Boldness does. It creates visibility, and is widely recognized in the community. While the business terminology of branding may cause some to cringe instinctively, it is a useful tool to bring awareness to an organization and can also serve as a catalyst for change. So to say, the impact that Winnipeg Boldness has had in the community is not only because of branding, but it is certainly part of it.


Jordan Tabobondung

Following the MDP visit to The Winnipeg Boldness Project, I had many thoughts swirling around my mind. This poem has helped me to try and contain them to share with others. Though not perfect, I tried what I could to ensure that the messages I heard about the missions and the work of The Winnipeg Boldness Project were the inspiration of my thoughts.

I’ve really enjoyed the times my work has allowed me to cross paths with the work of Winnipeg Boldness. They do their work in creative and innovative ways that meet the needs of who they serve. The collaborative atmosphere and the shared spaces allow for the reciprocation of knowledge, strategies and opportunities to break down the walls that children face in their every day lives.


Concentric Circles

The rhythms of the days

Living to learn the many ways

To hold the balance

Of physical, mental, emotional and spiritual


The kinship ties we bind

Surrounding the bundles of our lives

Our children and the heartbeats

Of those they’re near


The rhythms of life and love

Beyond doubt and fear

Our concentric circles continue to gift

An opportunity to deal, and to heal


Ignite the creativity of passions

Against walls that destroy our attachments

Positive outlets of universal energies

For us, for them and all who hear, are here


The rhythms of creation

Present, future and past

Limited only by the constructs of illusion


By rhythms of the cosmos

Of mind, body, spirit we seek the inspirations

To hold the balance: concentric circles

Surrounding the bundles of our lives:


Our children.

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.