June 18, 2020, Winnipeg, MB – The sixth annual Indigenous Garden will once again be rooted at Air Canada Park on Portage Avenue at Carlton. The initiative launched by the Downtown Winnipeg BIZ’s Indigenous Advisory Circle and Public Realm Committee, and in partnership with APTN, will begin with an elder blessing of the plants on Thursday, June 18 at 11:00 am. The blessing will be live-streamed on the Downtown Winnipeg BIZ Facebook page. Volunteers will then plant the garden, following physical distancing protocols.
The Garden will showcase a variety of Indigenous plants and material, complete with on-site signage to give visitors an opportunity to learn more about the plants and their importance to Indigenous life and culture.
“Diversity and inclusion are key to helping us make downtown a welcoming place for all,” says Kate Fenske, CEO of Downtown Winnipeg BIZ. “The planting of the annual Indigenous Garden is an important project that celebrates diversity and helps educate all of us about Indigenous culture and traditions.”
“There’s nothing quite like planting new seeds, nurturing new life and connecting to the earth with good friends,” says Monika Ille, CEO of APTN. “We are delighted and honoured to once again replenish the Indigenous Garden with Downtown Winnipeg BIZ, a tradition which guides us along the path towards reconciliation and shares our cultures with all Winnipeggers.”
Plants in the Garden will include: bergamot, giant blue hyssop, prairie sage, Rudbeckia laciniata and purple fountain grass, all of which will be added to the existing cedars and sweet grass.
The Indigenous Garden hopes to increase community experience, promote understanding of Indigenous culture and improve the visual landscape of downtown, in addition to:
- Bringing communities together
- Building a common experience
- Promoting a conversation and education about Indigenous culture and tradition
- Improving the visual landscape of the city block, improving perceptions
The Downtown Winnipeg BIZ is working with partners this summer, including O.P.K. and Mama Bear Clan to strengthen relationships and beautify public space in the downtown, including Air Canada Park. Staff and volunteer teams walk around the neighbourhood twice a week connecting with members of the community.
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Pamela Hardman, Director of Marketing, Engagement and Communications
Cell: 204-806-2506, Email: Pamela@downtownwinnipegbiz.com