Celebrate area’s Aboriginal heritage

By: Andrew Swan, MLA for Minto

As published in The Metro

October 16, 2013

The West End continues to be a place where we celebrate diversity.

It’s up to everyone to move forward from past failures to live up to commitments in the treaties, and our community is in an excellent position to lead the way.

There are many ways to celebrate and learn about Manitoba’s Aboriginal heritage and, you can start right in our neighbourhood.

Chief Grizzly Bear’s Garden (also known by its traditional name, Ogimaa Gichi Makwa Gitigaan) on Sherbrook Street, and Jacob Penner Park are both parts of our neighbourhood where community continues to come together. Chief Grizzly Bear’s Garden recently went through a redevelopment to create a community gathering area with a ceremonial circle, based on the Algonquin medicine wheel.

Jacob Penner Park has had an investment of $225,000 that provides local families with access to new pathways, a skateboard plaza and a basketball court to keep the young (and not-so-young) active and busy.

A partnership between The West End Cultural Centre and The Indigenous Leadership Development Institute is warming up the West End by offering valuable youth programming that inspires creativity within our young people. From Oct. 1 to Nov. 28 they are providing a free after-school music program for ages 12 to 19. It runs Tuesdays and Thursdays from 4 to 6 p.m. at 586 Sherbrook St.

The Wii Chiiwaakanak Learning Centre, located at 511 Ellice Ave., offers excellent educational programming, from early childhood to university level.

If you have questions about neighbourhood spaces or other programming available in our area, feel free to contact my office at 204-783-9860, email Andrew.Swan@yourmanitoba.ca or stop by in person at 892 Sargent Ave. I look forward to hearing from you!

We can’t stop the coming wind and snow of our prairie winter. However, we can work to continue promoting community pride, rejuvenation, understanding, and inclusion.

Maybe our good fortune in living in a community like ours will make this Manitoba winter just a little warmer.