The City of Winnipeg is currently identifying and reviewing a number of short, medium and long term projects that will demonstrate the City's commitment to Reconciliation. Below is a summary of the projects undertaken in 2016.
One initiative that was created to support the City to be more inclusive and embed more diverse culture and knowledge in Indigenous peoples included planting traditional medicines in the courtyard at City Hall.
The City engaged a community Elder to support the selection of medicines and the garden bed designs. The development of these medicine beds included the collection of grandfather rocks, as well as the blessing of the ground and teachings when they were planted.
The first garden was in the shape of a medicine wheel. The grandfather rocks were placed in a shape of a medicine wheel and colored plants were placed in each quadrant, representing our journey around the circle of life.
The next garden was made with rows of colored plants found in the symbol designed for the Year of Reconciliation. This bed was designed to capture the Year of Reconciliation symbol and commitment towards Reconciliation.
Planters were also used in our Traditional beds design. These planters include Tobacco, cedar, sage, and sweet grasses that were planted. Some of the teachings that were shared with us on National Aboriginal Day when we officially launched our gardens were about the Grandfather rocks, the various medicines and the medicine wheel.
Indigenous History Displays
The City is currently developing a series of displays that will tell the history and legacy of Residential Schools as well as various other Indigenous specific topics. These displays are intended to be displayed throughout various city facilities beginning with City Hall and rotating on a regular basis thereafter.
The City developed a Smudging Standard which allows for traditional ceremonies such as smudging to occur in city facilities. This allows for Indigenous and non-Indigenous staff to embed traditional cultural practices such as a smudge in events, meetings and for personal self-care. Employees are currently identifying potential spaces in which smudging can occur within City-owned and City-run facilities.
Ongoing Research and Development
Here are some other Indigenous Accords: