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

Meet Lisa – Our Research Coordinator of Six Years!

January 11, 2021

For someone that has been with The Winnipeg Boldness Project (Boldness) as long as she has, it’s way overdue that we highlight Lisa Wlasichuk, our Research Coordinator.


Not everyone can say they did a field placement for their masters in Finland, but Lisa can!


Let’s back up a little bit though.


Originally when Lisa was in university she was working toward a politics degree. She took a bit of time off between semesters and ended up registering late for an upcoming year, which meant there weren’t as many options left for classes. Trying to still plan ahead, Lisa decided to enroll in some degree-required courses and signed up for an Aboriginal Politics class.


“It kind of changed my whole world,” says Lisa. “I always think, after that course, the anchor of my life changed, it shifted.”


The class was eye opening for her as she admits, she didn’t know much about Indigenous history, culture, etc.


“The more I learned, anger and fury set in about how little I knew and then also what I was hearing,” says Lisa. “So much of what I thought I knew was based on a very different narrative or history than what I learned in those classes and from classmates.”


She switched to Indigenous studies the following academic year.


Lisa became aware of Boldness after Diane Roussin, Boldness’s Project Director, did a presentation about the new project, to the program she was in.


After graduating, Lisa wasn’t entirely sure where she wanted to work, but knew she was looking for something that connected her to the issues she cared about. A position opened up at Boldness and she has been with the team for almost six years now!


Ok, now back to the field placement in Finland!


While working on her masters, Lisa became really interested in Indigenous language revitalization. One of the academic books she used was about a group that was doing similar work in Finland. After some coordinating, things were all set and she was going to spend three months in the community/town of Inari, Finland.


Lisa immersed herself in the work they were doing and the culture and spent a lot of her time transcribing their work into english and among different platforms.


Through this, Lisa met a colleague whose father was a reindeer herder and she got to go out on the land where there were hundreds of reindeer! Pretty cool right? Yes! But that wasn’t the only cool thing she did while abroad. Lisa also got to experience the Midnight Sun, which is a natural phenomenon where the sun stays up for 24-hours! Could you imagine waking up around 3am to get a drink of water and the sun still being up!


Academics and work aside, Lisa adores her five-and-a-half-year old dog Hudson (or Huddy). She says he wasn’t always a sweetheart and although adopting the rescue has made her and her husband’s lives rather interesting, it also flipped their world upside down.


“We got him when he was 10-months old and used to call him the Bread Bandit because he would steal whole loaves of bread off the counter and eat it,” laughs Lisa. “We’ve also found him multiple times on all-fours on top of the kitchen table.”


Picture that, a medium to larger sized dog just hanging out on your table like that!


Having never previously been a dog owner, it was an adjustment, but Lisa says it was one of the best responsibilities she took on.


Lisa also loves cooking and says she is most known for making/bringing various dips to get-togethers with friends or family. Appetizers are her thing, but she has been slowly starting to expand on her baking skills.


Normally we would end off with a big “Welcome to the Team Lisa,” but since she has been with Boldness longer than most of us, we would like to just say thank you for all of your hard work and dedication. It really is a true pleasure to work with you.


Thank you Lisa!

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.