The Blog

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

Volunteer Appreciation Dinner 2018

March 27, 2018

We love to celebrate our volunteers in the North End, as they’re truly what makes it possible for many of the organizations in this community to provide the services that they do. At The Winnipeg Boldness Project we’re focused on research and development rather than direct services, but our need for volunteers is just as important in order to make sure our research and prototypes are grounded in community wisdom.

Each month the 12 parents and caregivers who make up our Parent Guide Group meet to discuss topics relating to our prototypes in order to inform our work. These topics can vary from what natural support systems they utilize in the community, to what items should be included in a baby basket for North End parents. We also complete a lot of arts-based research projects that help the project to connect with local residents in creative ways that are not exclusively language-based.

The Parent Guide Group has remained largely steadfast since it started roughly four years ago and we’re very grateful that the members volunteer their time each month. That’s precisely why we take the time to honour them at the Volunteer Appreciation Dinner (VAD) — an event planned by several community organizations to collectively honour and appreciate their volunteers.

As in years past, VAD was a fun-filled evening that featured great food, entertainment, a free raffle, and lots of laughs. This year we brought the event back to R.B. Russell High School, which is where VAD took place when it first began. This smaller venue allowed us to create much more of an intimate atmosphere and provide reserved seating so that organizations could be seated as a group. Through the help of R.B. Russell’s catering program, we were able to provide table service as well, which made the dinner very special and allowed the volunteers to relax and enjoy themselves even more.

Overall, we honoured over 200 volunteers from 7 different non-profit groups, including our Parent Guide Group. We’re very exited to have been a part of this important event and look forward to participating again in the future.

The Winnipeg Boldness Project Parent Guide Group and staff at hte 2018 Volunteer Appreciation Dinner
The Winnipeg Boldness Project Parent Guide Group and staff at hte 2018 Volunteer Appreciation Dinner

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.