The Winnipeg Foundation is committed to working with our community toward a shared goal of reconciliation.
Reconciliation Grants is one effort, intended to be an immediate response to The Foundation’s 2017 Vital Signs® report findings about reconciliation.
The Foundation is proud of the 20 reconciliation projects and the impact they are having in the communities involved and how the Reconciliation Grants initiative contributes to the pursuit of reconciliation in our city and province.
In October 2017, The Winnipeg Foundation produced Winnipeg’s first full Vital Signs® report. The report combined research with the results of a survey, in which community members provide insights on issue areas critical to quality of life in Winnipeg. Throughout the Vital Signs® report, key findings identified reconciliation as a central theme for community well-being, and further, as an area that requires more focused attention and immediate action.
With the Board’s direction, a Reconciliation Grants stream was developed, aimed at providing charitable organizations with grants to advance reconciliation in the community. Creating a balanced view from a First Nation, Métis and Francophone Métis perspective was important in addition to ensuring we had both an Elder/Helper and youth represented on our Reconciliation Advisory Committee.
About Reconciliation Grants
The total budget allocated for Reconciliation Grants was $1 million; organizations were able to apply for grants up to $100,000, with funding of up to three years. Based on our Advisory Committee’s feedback, a key component of successful proposals was meaningful engagement with the Indigenous community while helping organizations work towards a shared goal of reconciliation in our community.
In all, 82 applications were received with requests of more than $6 million. Of the 20 projects approved, 14 of them received full funding totaling $1,086,735, while six projects were given partial funding totaling $237,000; making the total revised budget for Reconciliation Grants $1,323,735. Six of the projects spanned three years, while 11 of them were two years in duration, and three of them were one-year.
All the reconciliation projects began in 2019 with many reporting considerable success in their first year, mostly characterized by the forming of working collaborations that were able to launch each project in the time frame, and with the impact, that was originally intended. Of course, this process was disrupted in March 2020 by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Weathering the storm of 2020 and 2021 has been challenging for the organizations involved but all have been able to modify and pivot their projects accordingly. Grantees have noted many memorable experiences as Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities together pursue working partnerships and meaningful relationships, while creating resources that will serve Manitobans on their reconciliation journey for years to come.
The following are the 20 organizations that received Reconciliation Grants. Click on their names to learn more about their project.
Camerata Nova received three years of support for Captive, an Indigenous concert they created in partnerships with four Indigenous composers, along with founder, Andrew Balfour, to write and perform works on the theme of Indigenous “captivity”. Captive is the third in a series of ground-breaking Truth and Reconciliation concerts by Camerata Nova.
Learn more about Camerata Nova, visit cameratanova.com
Centre for Indigenous Environmental Resources (CIER)
Centre for Indigenous Environmental Resources (CIER) created a video and media strategy focused on a collaborative leadership initiative involving two dozen leaders in Winnipeg and surrounding municipalities engaged in addressing economic, waste and water issues. CIER is partnered with the Winnipeg Metropolitan Region, Southern Chiefs Organization, Real World Media, the UN Institute of Water Health and the Environment, and TLE Implementation Monitoring to facilitate engagement between Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities that will identify common interests and barriers, dispel myths and provide information to make decisions that affect the health of Winnipeg and surrounding communities, lands and waters.
Learn more about CIER, visit yourcier.org
Dakota Ojibway Child and Family Services (DOCFS)
Dakota Ojibway Child and Family Services (DOCFS) received two years of support for a collaborative reconciliation project between DOCFS and Seven Oaks School Division to develop educational resources and opportunities for families and staff in the education and child welfare systems. The project is designed and led by youth in care and creates foster parent training that includes Indigenous curriculum content and supports Indigenous inclusive education in classes.
Learn more about DOCFS, visit docfs.org
The Diocese of Rupert’s Land
The Diocese of Rupert’s Land received three years of support to create the Healing Forest Winnipeg, an outdoor learning space and a living memorial to Indigenous children and families lost to or affected by residential schools. The project provides students and teachers with access to a local space to engage in land-based learning, offering a living curriculum connected to Indigenous worldviews, focusing on history, ecology and sustainability. Sadly, one of the project’s founders, Lee Anne Block, passed away in February 2022, and her inspiration and memory live on through the Healing Forest.
Learn more about The Diocese of Rupert’s Land, visit rupertsland.ca
Immigrant and Refugee Community Organization of MB (IRCOM)
Immigrant and Refugee Community Organization of MB (IRCOM) received two years of support enhancing relationships and fostering understanding between new Canadians and Indigenous peoples. For this project, IRCOM organized 12 community events with local stakeholders – Rossbrook House, Central Neighbourhoods, Dufferin School, Hugh John Macdonald School and Victoria Albert School, creating opportunities for community members to meet, learn and make meaningful connections.
Learn more about IRCOM, visit ircom.ca
Islamic Social Services Association (ISSA)
Islamic Social Services Association (ISSA) received two years of support to facilitate connections between Muslim and Indigenous organizations for women, youth, and justice related initiatives. For this project, ISSA hosted three community events where leaders, women and youth from the Indigenous and Muslim communities came together to learn about each other from the perspective of cultural practices and values.
Learn more about ISSA, visit issacanada.com
Ka Ni Kanichihk
Ka Ni Kanichihk received support for the agency’s Butterfly Club, an after-school program for Indigenous girls and two spirit youth that focuses on traditional language and culture, leadership skills, and mentoring. The Club collaborated with several schools and community organizations to assist youth in designing and facilitating their own reconciliation activities.
Learn more about Ka Ni Kanichihk, visit kanikanichihk.ca
Lake Winnipeg Foundation
Lake Winnipeg Foundation received three years of support toward a partnership between their agency and the non-profit Lake Winnipeg Indigenous Collective. They have developed policies for knowledge sharing and are working with First Nations to develop the Lake Winnipeg Indigenous Accord, highlighting the responsibility to protect the lake.
Learn more about Lake Winnipeg Foundation, visit lakewinnipegfoundation.org
Ma Mawi-Wi-Chi-Itata Centre
Ma Mawi-Wi-Chi-Itata Centre received three years of support toward the creation of space for Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples and government representatives to engage in dialogue, capacity-building, and education to achieve reconciliation and healing. For this project, Ma Mawi partnered with CUSO International to develop training resources such as a Truth and Reconciliation toolkit, facilitator’s guide, and evaluation framework for Indigenous and non-Indigenous government representatives.
Learn more about Ma Mawi-Wi-Chi-Itata Centre, visit mamawi.com
Manitoba Craft Council
Manitoba Craft Council presented, as part of the May the Land Remember You conference in January and February 2020, an art exhibition featuring contemporary Indigenous artists who explored connections to the land and to community through beadwork. Produced by Manitoba Craft Council, in cooperation with Urban Shaman Contemporary Aboriginal Art Gallery, Manitoba Métis Federation beading group and the Manitoba Museum, the beading exhibition was well attended and received positive reviews.
Learn more about Manitoba Craft Council, visit c2centreforcraft.ca/about-mcc
Mentoring Artists for Women’s Art (MAWA)
Mentoring Artists for Women’s Art (MAWA) collaborated with Lee-Ann Martin, the Manitoba Association for Art Education and University of Calgary Press, to create an educational resource regarding the history of Indigenous women in Canada told through contemporary artworks. Under MAWA’s direction, 50 First Nations, Inuit and Métis women artists are helping educators incorporate Indigenous themes into their classrooms by creating Resilience: 50 Indigenous Art Cards and Teaching Guide, a set of 50 full-colour, bilingual cards designed to inspire students to think about the importance for reconciliation in Canada.
Learn more about MAWA, visit mawa.ca
Rainbow Resource Centre (RRC)
Rainbow Resource Centre (RRC) developed culturally relevant programming, educational resources and community support for Two-Spirit and Indigenous LGBT2SQ+ people. RRC worked closely with Sunshine House to meet the needs of the Two-Spirit community, and more broadly, contribute to community reconciliation.
Learn more about RRC, visit rainbowresourcecentre.org
Red Road Lodge
Red Road Lodge launched Story Posts Project, a Winnipeg-based art, education and community outreach and knowledge sharing initiative that is a collaboration with Headingley Correctional Centre, Stony Mountain Institution, John Howard Society, Youth Build MITT, Southern First Nations Network of Care, Thunderbird House and the Winnipeg Public Library. The project solicits, collects and exhibits original artworks, poetry and narratives created by Indigenous and non-Indigenous artists who express their history, culture and lived experiences in the context of Truth and Reconciliation.
Learn more about Red Road Lodge, visit redroadlodge.ca
Sandy-Saulteaux Spiritual Centre
Sandy-Saulteaux Spiritual Centre created a series of culturally oriented land-based retreats for Indigenous parents working to get their children back from apprehension by the child welfare system. The retreats offer trauma-informed, Indigenous-led alternatives that are culturally relevant and life affirming for families seeking healing and reunification.
Learn more about Sandy-Saulteaux Spiritual Centre, visit sandysaulteaux.ca
Sarasvàti Dramatic Theatre Productions and Repertory
Sarasvàti Dramatic Theatre Productions and Repertory received two years of support for the “Seven Sacred Teachings” project, that offered reconciliation through storytelling. Beginning in early 2019, seven local organizations partnered with Sarasvàti Productions and guest artists to offer a creative and supportive space for Indigenous youth.
Learn more about Sarasvàti Dramatic Theatre Productions and Repertory, visit sarasvati.ca
The Seven Oaks School Division
The Seven Oaks School Division received two years of support for a reconciliation project that advances the land-based educational and cultural programming for K to grade 12 students offered at the newly constructed Ozhaawashkwaa Animikii-Bineshi Aki Onji Kinimaagae’ Inun (Blue Thunderbird Land-Based Teachings Learning Centre). The Centre hosts hundreds of students every year for land-based learning and exposure to the Truth and Reconciliation’s Calls to Action.
Learn more about The Seven Oaks School Division, visit 7oaks.org
Social Planning Council of Winnipeg (SPCW)
Social Planning Council of Winnipeg (SPCW) received two years of support to develop an Indigenous Orientation Tool Kit for new Canadians and refugees. For this project, SPCW worked with KAIROS Canada, the Manitoba Association of Newcomer Serving Organizations, the Treaty Relations Commission of Manitoba, and the University of Manitoba Community Engaged Learning Centre, developing curriculum and facilitating workshops. The project is informed by the Indigenous Consultation Circle, comprised of Indigenous Elders, and the Indigenous and Newcomer Engagement Sector Table, made up of community leaders from Indigenous and Newcomer communities.
Learn more about SPCW, visit spcw.mb.ca
Urban Circle Training Centre
Urban Circle Training Centre received two years of support to facilitate reconciliation activities by holding seven intergenerational cultural exchange camps at the Medicine Eagle Camp near Riding Mountain National Park and at its site on Selkirk Avenue. Camps included a variety of ceremonies and teachings by Elders and brought together students and families from Urban Circle as well as several First Nations and Winnipeg-based agencies such as Rossbrook House, Ma Mawi, New Directions, Ndinawe, Elizabeth Fry Society, and Louis Riel School Division.
Learn more about Urban Circle Training Centre, visit urbancircletraining.com
Urban Shaman received three years of support for a unique Indigenous languages revitalization initiative that saw them collaborating with Indigenous Languages Manitoba, The Manitoba Education Cultural Centre, the Winnipeg Art Gallery, University of Winnipeg, University of Manitoba and local community members fluent in Indigenous languages, to create Sacred Sounds: The Legacy of Anishinaabemowin, a public awareness campaign promoting cultural literacy in Indigenous languages tailored to Winnipeg and nearby reserve communities.
Learn more about Urban Shaman, visit urbanshaman.org
Westworth United Church
Westworth United Church offered a series of four evenings of interfaith response to the TRC Calls to Action. Participants self-identified as part of a diverse number of faith communities across Winnipeg including Anglican, Baptist, Buddhist, Indigenous, Jewish, Mormon, Lutheran, Mennonite, Muslim, Roman Catholic, Ukrainian Catholic, Salvation Army, United Church and Quaker. The response to the project was positive and indicated a strong interest among faith groups from across Winnipeg in learning more about the TRC and how faith communities can take action.
Learn more about Westworth United Church, visit westworth.ca