June 21, 2022 – Brokenhead Ojibway Nation is pleased to announce the Grand Opening of its’ Multi Use Community Arbour, “Maamawiitaawiinan” – which means gathering place in Ojibway.
The celebration will take place on June 21, 2022 – National Indigenous Peoples Day. This is a day for all Canadians to recognize and celebrate the unique heritage, diverse cultures and outstanding contributions of First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples. In cooperation with Indigenous organizations, June 21, was chosen National Indigenous Peoples Day to recognize the significance of the summer solstice, which signifies warmth, light and growth, and its interconnectedness with Indigenous Peoples.
The Project will be a multi-use facility to be used by BON and surrounding First Nations for a multitude of uses, including cultural teachings and workshops, cultural programming, rentals and community events. The vision for this Multi Use Arbour was to have a gathering place for multiple community events and uses, land based learning opportunities, and a place to welcome visitors from near and far.
Construction of this Arbour commenced in 2021 to commemorate the 150th Anniversary of the Signing of Treaty 1, which was negotiated and entered into on August 3, 1871 in Lower Fort Garry. Treaty 1 includes seven First Nations: Brokenhead Ojibway Nation, Sagkeeng First Nation, Long Plain First Nation, Pequis First Nation, Roseau River First Nation, Sandy Bay First Nation and Swan Lake First Nation.
We dedicate this Arbour to all our Knowledge Keepers who have passed on their knowledge and spiritually to all members of Brokenhead Ojibway Nation.
This project would not have been possible without assistance from the following; BON Treaty Day/Pow Wow Committee, Brokenhead Ojibway Nation’s Jordan’s Principal, the Government of Canada and the Province of Manitoba.
“As our community continues to grow, it is crucial to have infrastructure in place to keep us connected to the places where we can gather to learn, share and experience our culture. This Multi Use Arbour is about connecting our community, increasing participation from the youth, the elders and many visitors from near and far in cultural activities and events. Without our partners in this project it may have take us a little longer to achieve this goal for our community, for these partnerships we are grateful.” – Chief Gordon Bluesky, Brokenhead Ojibway Nation
“Today marks a very special occasion on Brokenhead Reserve as we celebrate not only National Indigenous Peoples Day, but also the Grand Opening of the new Multi-Use Community Arbour on Brokenhead Reserve. Community-led projects like this are essential to preserving the unique and diverse cultures and rich histories and traditions of First Nations, Inuit, and Métis in Canada. This new gathering place will be a hub for the Brokenhead Ojibway Nation and surrounding First Nations to come together to share and grow in their respective cultures. Our government is proud to support this project in partnership with the Brokenhead Ojibway nation.” – The Honourable Daniel Vandal, Minister of Northern Affairs, Minister responsible for Prairies Economic Development Canada, Minister responsible for the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency, and MP for Saint Boniface—Saint Vital, on behalf of the Honourable Dominic LeBlanc, Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, Infrastructure and Communities
“We hope that this Multi Use Arbour will bring the community of Brokenhead Ojibway Nation together in a place where they can grow and gather for an exchange of stories between youth and elders and engage in a rich cultural environment. The Government of Canada will continue to support initiatives that help Indigenous communities in their commemorative projects that celebrate their rich and valuable culture.” – Honourable Pablo Rodriguez, Minister of Canadian Heritage
“Over 150 years after Treaty 1 was signed, we recognize there is still significant work to be done to advance reconciliation. The opening of culturally significant spaces such as the Maamawiitaawiinan Multi Use Community Arbour is incredibly important for reconciliation. They create space for ceremonies and celebration; provide ways for communities to come together, creating opportunities to learn and form meaningful connections; and welcome others so we can all come together in the spirit of reconciliation. The Province of Manitoba is thrilled to partner with Brokenhead Ojibway Nation to support this important asset to the community.” – Honourable Alan Lagimodiere, Minister of Indigenous Reconciliation and Northern Relations, Province of Manitoba
PHOTOS COURTESY OF ASSEMBLY OF MANITOBA CHIEFS