The Blog

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

Our Favourite Moments of 2017

December 22, 2017

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.


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.