Staff members from The Winnipeg Foundation and The Forks met at The Forks Historic Port on the morning of Jan. 18 to celebrate the Nestaweya River Trail’s official opening. The Foundation entered a five-year sponsorship with The Forks in 2022, expanding the already beloved river trail into a winter wonderland that Winnipeggers gather at to skate, walk, cross country ski, ice bike, snowshoe, and more.
Nestaweya is the original Cree name used for The Forks and the area now known as Winnipeg, and means “three points,” referring to the people that came together from three directions: Cree from the north on the Red River, Ojibway from the south on the Red River, and Lakota/Dakota/Nakota or Assiniboine from the west on the Assiniboine River. Naming the river trail Nestaweya is a way of connecting with the land’s Indigenous history and honoring the tradition of using the confluence of the two rivers as a gathering place.
Dr. Niigaan Sinclair, Indigenous Curator at The Forks, offered a blessing, and Sky Bridges, CEO of The Winnipeg Foundation, invited Winnipeggers to join the fun: “No one does winter better than Winnipeg. The Nestaweya River Trail is about connecting together, having fun, and laughter… This is a wonderful gathering place, and I am so pleased that The Winnipeg Foundation gets to once again open up and welcome Winnipeg to the Nestaweya River Trail.”
The popularity of the trail ballooned throughout the pandemic and continues to grow, with enthusiastic trail-goers enjoying the Red and Assiniboine Rivers from early in the morning until well after dark. The Nestaweya River Trail is currently open from The Historic Port to the Hugo Docks on the Assiniboine River and from The Port to Churchill Drive on the Red River.
LuAnn Lovlin, CFRE
Director of Communications & Marketing, The Winnipeg Foundation
The Winnipeg Foundation is For Good. Forever. We help people give back to our shared community by connecting generous donors with Causes they care about For Good. We’re are an endowment-based public foundation, so gifts are pooled and invested, and the annual earnings are distributed back to the community Forever. Formed in 1921, we are proud to be the first community foundation in Canada.