Nestaweya River Trail a boon for outdoor community activity


Presented by The Winnipeg Foundation

For thousands of years, people have used the confluence of the Red and Assiniboine rivers as a place to come together. The Winnipeg Foundation, in partnership with The Forks, honoured this tradition with the name Nestaweya, connecting Winnipeg to the land’s Indigenous history.

“Nestaweya (Ness-ta-way-ah) is the original Cree name used for the site of The Forks, and the area we now call Winnipeg,” says Dr. Niigaan Sinclair, Indigenous Curator, The Forks. “Nestaweya literally means ‘three points,’ used here to mean that people came together to this site from three directions on the rivers: Cree came from the north on the Red River; Ojibway from the south on the Red River; and Lakota/Dakota/Nakota or Assiniboine came from the west on the Assiniboine River. Three points is a name that tells how communities forged a life here for millennia.”

The winter trail provided access to fun outdoor recreational activities such as skating, walking, snowshoeing, skiing, and ice biking, all while practicing safe social distancing. Although the pandemic continued to affect everyone’s way of life this past winter, the Nestaweya River Trail provided numerous ways for Manitobans to get outside and strengthen community well-being.

The Foundation’s sponsorship gave Manitobans the option to support their community and learn about some of the beautiful Indigenous art and landmarks located in the area through the Nestaweya contest. Many participated by posting a selfie at one of the five designated locations on their social media channels. Winners won one of five $1,000 grants for their Manitoba charity of choice and a $150 gift card to Kendrick’s Outdoor adventures!

The six-kilometer Nestaweya River Trail presented by The Winnipeg Foundation in 2022 ran from Churchill Drive to the Hugo Docks. Closing on March 16, the 2022 trail was open for a record-setting 70 days, the longest for this iconic winter destination.

As the river trail’s title sponsor until 2026, The Winnipeg Foundation looks forward to bringing our community together at our city’s original ‘meeting place’ for the next four years.

This story is featured in the Spring 2022 issue of our Working Together magazine. Download or view the full issue on our Publications page.

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