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CBC News: ‘This is just the right time’: The Forks plans Indigenous makeover at South Point

July 14, 2017 — 

As CBC News reports

Nearly three decades after The Forks in Winnipeg set aside South Point Park for some form of Indigenous development, plans are underway for $1.2 million worth of new cultural and recreation amenities on the forested peninsula bounded by both the Red and Assiniboine rivers.

The Forks is planning to improve the walkway running through South Point Park, install permanent interpretation to recognize the Indigenous history of the area, place an outdoor Indigenous art gallery on the peninsula and create a new ceremonial space to complement Oodena Circle on the north side of the Assiniboine River.

The Forks is also planning to remove or obscure from view the storage and compost operations on the national historic site, install better lighting, restore native plants, and conduct a makeover of the pedestrian entrance to the site at Queen Elizabeth Way, where “a major sculptural piece” will be erected.

“The Forks should have done this a long, long time ago,” said University of Manitoba Native Studies professor Niigaan Sinclair, who’s one of the curators of the Indigenous history interpretive walk at South Point Park and is working with Indigenous artists on the new outdoor installations on the peninsula.

Since the opening of The Forks in 1989, no fewer than four Indigenous developments were planned for South Point Park, including what Sinclair described a touristy “Indian village” concept and a more educational treaty interpretive centre.

What The Forks is planning now, in conjunction with members of the Indigenous community, has more of a sacred component, Sinclair said.

“It’s often talked about how people travelled through this area, but this is actually a place of settlement, where people actually lived,” Sinclair said Thursday an interview.

Read the full CBC story.

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