The Blog

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

Parent Guide Group North Forge Visit

June 26, 2018

For our June Parent Guide Group meeting we partnered with North Forge Technology Exchange to provide an experience focused on prototyping and entrepreneurship through a visit to their Fabrication Lab.

North Forge is an innovation-based economic development agency, and their fabrication lab provides an opportunity for entrepreneurs to access equipment that they might not normally have the resources to purchase such as wood working and metal working equipment that can be very expensive. This allows entrepreneurs to develop their ideas and prototype them into a tangible product, which they can then refine and reproduce for sale. This innovation process is much like the one that Winnipeg Boldness uses to develop and prototype ideas for social change.

The purpose for our visit was to take the idea of innovation and prototyping from a social perspective through the work of The Winnipeg Boldness Project, and relate it to the prototyping of products for the purpose of arts or commerce. This would allow for the knowledge we’ve gained through learning about social innovation to be used in new ways, and open the door to new possibilities for skill building.

The great thing about North Forge’s Fabrication Lab is that anyone can purchase a membership to access the fabrication lab for a monthly fee, and the best part is that you can choose to volunteer in the lab to work off your monthly membership. So with a little hard work, your membership can be absolutely free! They also help with business start up and have low-cost co-working spaces for people who need an address for their business, but can’t afford to lease an entire office.

The Parent Guide Group was able to partake in a tour of the facility and had the opportunity to see some of the more interesting tools in action, such as a laser cutter and a gigantic 3D printer. There also happened to be a member of the fabrication lab present who chatted with the group and shared his story of starting up his business. The group capped off their tour by participating in a workshop where they assembled pre-cut pieces of wood to create engraved jewellery boxes.

Overall, the group really enjoyed the tour and seeing some of the technology in action. They were very excited and asked lots of questions about the lab, and a few of them had plans to sign up for a membership to develop some of their own ideas.

A big thanks to North Forge for hosting the project! Go check out their website for more info on the work they do:

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.