Hot Spots in Man­i­toba

Say Magazine - - TOURISM -

Spring brings the prom­ise of vi­brant colours, fes­ti­vals, cel­e­bra­tions and out­door ad­ven­tures, and in Canada, at the cen­ter of North Amer­ica, there is no bet­ter time to ex­pe­ri­ence what our com­mu­ni­ties and land have to of­fer in all re­gions. Ac­cord­ing to Travel Man­i­toba, th­ese six places are a must to ex­pe­ri­ence and cel­e­brate Indige­nous cul­ture in Man­i­toba.

A Cen­tral Meet­ing Place

Nes­tled in the heart of down­town Win­nipeg is The Forks – one of Win­nipeg’s most cher­ished and pop­u­lar meet­ing places. It has al­ways been re­garded as a his­toric site, and has been a sa­cred meet­ing place for First Na­tions for over 6,000 years. In the past it served as a key trading post for Indige­nous peo­ples, fol­lowed by Euro­pean fur traders, Métis buf­falo hunters, Scot­tish set­tlers, river­boat work­ers, rail­way pi­o­neers and im­mi­grants. The Forks is an all-en­com­pass­ing ex­pe­ri­ence dur­ing any sea­son and is a must see for tourists and lo­cals alike.

www.the­forks.com

Mik­i­nak-Keya Tour

At a time when hu­man rights are al­ways at the fore­front of our con­ver­sa­tions, the Canadian Mu­seum for Hu­man Rights (Win­nipeg) is a great place to ex­plore Indige­nous cul­ture, its im­pact on life and per­spec­tives on Indige­nous mat­ters. De­scribed as a living, breath­ing, walk­ing ex­hibit, the Mik­i­nak-Keya Spirit Tour re­flects the seven sa­cred teach­ings of First Na­tions peo­ples, and each teach­ing is rep­re­sented by a spirit an­i­mal. What’s even more fas­ci­nat­ing is that each sa­cred teach­ing and spirit an­i­mal is rep­re­sented in the de­sign of the mu­seum. The re­sult of an on­go­ing col­lab­o­ra­tion be­tween the mu­seum and a group of seven First Na­tions El­ders from the re­gion, the tour not only ties the build­ing’s de­sign into its sa­cred teach­ings but also con­nects its oral tra­di­tions to the present-day topic of hu­man rights. https://hu­man­rights.ca/visit/tours/mik­i­nak-keya

Food

In­dulge in Indige­nous-in­spired cui­sine at Feast Café Bistro, at the cor­ner of El­lice Av­enue and Sher­brook Street in Win­nipeg. Owner Christa Bruneau-Guen­ther is a proud mem­ber of Peguis First Na­tion and has spent over 15 years re­fin­ing her cook­ing skills and ex­pand­ing her knowl­edge of Indige­nous foods. Feast fo­cuses on sea­sonal foods and uses lo­cal in­gre­di­ents deeply rooted in First Na­tions cul­ture, in­clud­ing bi­son, which is pro­foundly con­nected to Indige­nous peo­ple and the prov­ince of Man­i­toba. Make sure to mark this din­ing hotspot on your list of culi­nary pur­suits for this sum­mer.

www.feast­cafebistro.com

Ex­plore Art

Lo­cated in down­town Win­nipeg is the Ur­ban Shaman Con­tem­po­rary Abo­rig­i­nal Art Gallery. It is not only the place for Abo­rig­i­nal artists of all dis­ci­plines to show­case their work, but it’s a space of dis­cov­ery and cul­ti­vat­ing tal­ent among Indige­nous peo­ples. From its arts and crafts to its ab­stract ex­hibits, the gallery seeks to main­tain its au­then­tic­ity and to re­main deeply rooted in Indige­nous cul­ture. If you’re in Win­nipeg this sum­mer, ad­mis­sion to the gallery is free, so there’s no ex­cuse not to ex­plore this mod­ern Art Gallery.

Na­ture’s Class­room

Ex­plor­ing na­ture is one of the best ways to ex­pe­ri­ence Indige­nous cul­ture, and the Bro­ken­head Wet­land In­ter­pre­tive Trail (Anikan­o­tabi­ji­gade) is a great place to start. Not only does this trail pos­sess medic­i­nal plants that are sa­cred to Indige­nous cul­ture, its tree-shaded board­walks and open marshy ar­eas of­fer the per­fect place and op­por­tu­nity for re­flec­tion on the teach­ings of love, re­spect, courage, hon­esty, wis­dom, hu­mil­ity and truth, which Indige­nous peo­ples hold in the high­est es­teem.

www.gov.mb.ca/sd/pai/mb_net­work/bro­ken­head

Thun­der­bird Nest is a des­ig­nated his­toric site in Man­i­toba lo­cated just two hours north of Win­nipeg in the Ru­ral Mu­nic­i­pal­ity of Alonsa. This site, de­fined by a cir­cle of sa­cred stones and built by the Anishi­naabe, was con­structed to at­tract the Thun­der­bird as a guardian spirit. The Thun­der­bird is be­lieved to be a guardian spirit that pro­tects mankind from the ser­pent of the un­der­world. Con­structed many years ago by their an­ces­tors, this site is still used by Ojib­way peo­ple to this day for cer­e­monies.

www.trav­el­man­i­toba.com

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