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

Our Favourite Moments of 2016

December 21, 2016

It’s hard to believe that it’s almost 2017 already! As this new year approaches, we find ourselves reflecting on the past and all the exciting things we’ve worked on at The Winnipeg Boldness Project over the past year, so we decided to share some of our favourite moments of 2016 with you to cap off the year in a really fun way!

Here are each #wpgboldness staff members’ top 3 memories of 2016, organized in no particular order:

Lisa Dixon – Executive Assistant

Winnipeg Boldness Media Event

We held a media event to celebrate the release of our two year report and renewed funding from the Province of Manitoba and the J.W. McConnell Family Foundation. It was really exciting to see a commitment for this work to continue and to see all the partners and groups that we’ve worked with come together in one room to show their support for the project.

Winnipeg Boldness Parent Guide Group member speaking
at the media event held in September 2016.

Manitoba Indigenous Doula Initiative Community Consultation Session

The Manitoba Indigenous Doula Initiative is a really exciting prototype that we’ve been working on to help better support Indigenous families in the community. It was very powerful to hear what the training will look like and how important it will be for families to have those supports and resources throughout pregnancy and beyond.

Hosted a Session at The National Reconciliation Gathering

We were able to host this session to talk about reconciliation in action and how to help families reach their optimum potential. It was an amazing afternoon with important dialogue, and it was just great to be discussing in depth such an important issue.

Kara Passey – Research Coordinator

Medicine Picking at Birds Hill

Getting an opportunity to go out as a team to be with the land is always something that I enjoy. It’s such a relaxing thing to be able to think about ceremony and prepare for ceremonies that we’ll take part in over the next year by gathering sacred medicines.

Winnipeg Boldness staff medicine picking at Birds Hill Park

Presenting at the National Indigenous Social Work Conference

This was a great opportunity to share all the hard work we do, especially regarding our arts based research, which I had the opportunity to coordinate over the past year. It’s important to make sure that we’re sharing our methodologies and findings in a variety of ways so that others can learn from our work.

Full Moon Ceremony

This was my first time taking part in a full moon ceremony and it was such an empowering and awesome experience. I always love sitting in ceremony with Mae Louise Campbell, she’s the coolest.


Jenna Diubaldo – Communications Manager

I couldn’t decide on just three moments so I picked five!

Creating the Star Blanket

We engaged in another arts based activity this year where we made a star blanket with community art incorporated into the design. I took everyone’s drawings and turned them into digital designs which could then be printed onto transfer paper to be ironed onto the blanket. It was very time consuming, but also very cool to see the blanket take shape. I’m excited to plan an art show to unveil the blanket in 2017.

Making a Homemade Cake for North Point Douglas Women’s Centre

Kara P. and I decided it would be fun to make a cake for the North Point Douglas Women’s Centre annual fundraiser cake auction in our free time, so we set aside a couple evenings to make a three layer cake with pies baked inside the cakes (we saw it on pinterest). Needless to say, we failed miserably and ended up buying a cake from a bakery to donate. It’s the thought that counts I guess?

Completing our Two-Year Report

After two years of the project, we decided it was time to report back to the community with a two-year report to summarize our goals and accomplishments, which I helped to create alongside our former research manager, Gladys Rowe. Completing this report was a challenge, but overall I’m very proud of how it turned out.

Summer Contest

We ran a contest in the summer with the prize of a family fun day for 6 people, and I was lucky enough to get to join the family and film the whole thing! They got to jump on trampolines at SkyZone Trampoline Park, attend a Winnipeg Blue Bombers football game, and even hang with Ace Burpee while eating free pizza at Boston Pizza! All while being chauffeured around in a brand new van from Birchwood Automotive Group. It was a very cool day, and you can watch the whole thing here.

The winning family hanging out with local radio personality Ace Burpee.

The Revitalization of Selkirk Avenue

While this was not a direct result of our project, some of us have been working in the North End for a long time and have played a role in helping along the renewal of Selkirk Avenue. To see the street being completely repaved and construction begin on Powers Park and the Merchants Hotel was a very significant moment for me and for the community.


Kara Boles – Prototype Coordinator

Thompson Highway at the Indigenous Innovation Summit 2016

Thompson Highway was the keynote speaker on the first day of the conference and I was blown away by how smart and funny he was. He was able to take topics like sacred teachings and make them light and comical, and his mix of cree and south american music was really interesting and different.

Boba the Chihuahua Getting His Boldness Shirt

Boba is the office mascot, so naturally when we had Winnipeg Boldness staff shirts made we had to chip in for a tiny dog shirt to be made. Needless to say, it was a cuteness overload.

Boba the chihuahua showing off his new shirt.

Announcement of Winnipeg Promise

Winnipeg Mayor Brian Bowman announced the Winnipeg Promise this year as his commitment to ensure that every child in Winnipeg is signed up for the Canada Learning Bond. This marked the launch of the Winnipeg Promise Steering Committee which will be informed by the work of our project. Mayor Bowman also called on leaders from other cities to do the same. It was very inspiring to see leaders from various sectors making a promise to children and seeing our hard work making a difference in the city.


Diane Roussin – Project Director

Leadership Training Prototype

Participating in this training prototype was very grounding for me. Sitting in circle was a reminder of the importance of working in this good way and really reinforced our whole model. There’s something moving about seeing the model in practice rather than just discussing it.

Media Event

I really enjoyed the media event we held in September. It was great to have all of our partners together and to host a celebration of our journey thus far.

Summer Events

This year we participated in Picnic in the Park, Austin Street Festival, and even held our own community event in June alongside Andrews Street Family Centre. These types of events are really a time for everyone to just have fun and enjoy the positive aspects of community. It was so great to see all the kids having a blast and the families collecting their donated bicycles that they won in the raffle.

A collage of pictures from our family fun day held in June 2016

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.