The Blog

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

So… What is The Winnipeg Boldness Project?

August 20, 2014

Given that we’re a brand new project, this is a question that we get a lot, and to be honest, the answer isn’t a quick one.

Often times it’s easy to take a project or an organization and place it into a category such as a resource centre, a recreation facility, a training centre, etc. The thing that makes The Winnipeg Boldness Project so difficult to define is that we don’t fit into a category and we’re not delivering services.

The Winnipeg Boldness Project is a combination of many perspectives mixed together to create a multi-faceted approach to achieving better outcomes for children in Point Douglas. We’re a little bit social innovation, a little bit collective impact, and a lot community development.

So what do the terms social innovation and collective impact really mean? Well we could give you a long drawn out explanation of the theories and mechanisms behind these perspectives, but in short, it means that we’re trying to do things differently, in new and inventive ways, while making sure that we’re working in strong partnership with others.

With the help of the community and our many partners, The Winnipeg Boldness Project has three key deliverables that we’re aiming to accomplish by March 2015:

  1. We’re creating a 6-year Early Childhood Development (ECD) intervention strategy for future implementation, that will help young children develop the tools they need to succeed in life. Currently about 60% of kids in Point Douglas are doing well and we intend on raising that number, because we believe that every child should have opportunities for success.
  2. We want to create a narrative for the North End of Winnipeg that accents the strengths of the community rather than focusing on the negatives, because we recognize that community pride both within and outside of the North End is a factor in the success of children. We’re all proud of the North End and we want everyone to know about it! We’ll do this through story-telling, and other community driven mechanisms, paired with different forms of multimedia, such as still image, video, and social media.
  3. Relying heavily on the deep community wisdom that already exists in the community, we want to document the things that help children and families lead healthy lives, from a North End perspective. With this knowledge we can then come up with a model that really captures the essence of how we work together as a community, and what we believe to be the best ways to support communities and families in raising their children.

The Winnipeg Boldness Project began in 2014, so we’re already 7 months into this one-year process and therefore have quickly waded right into the vast pool of knowledge that exists in the North End of Winnipeg. We’ve been conversing with lots of people, have developed a few essential guide groups, met many new community residents who have shared their stories with us. We have much more to learn over the next little while, so stay tuned for more updates!

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.