Second Annual Indigenous Gardens Sprouts on Portage Avenue


June 7, 2016


Downtown Winnipeg – The second annual Indigenous Gardens, an initiative of the Downtown Winnipeg BIZ’s Aboriginal Peoples’ Advisory Committee and Placemaking Committee, has taken root on Portage Avenue with five garden beds located in front of APTN, showcasing a variety of Indigenous plants, schemes, and materials. Building on the success of many visual enhancements along downtown’s major thoroughfares, the Indigenous Gardens celebrates the culture and traditions of our Indigenous community and adds to the list of recently announced Indigenous placemaking efforts, like the Indigenous Artwalk and Indigenous Languages Decal Initiative.

“The aim of our second annual Indigenous Gardens on Portage Avenue is to build on our work towards ensuring downtown is inviting, welcoming, alluring and a visually attractive place that will leave tourists and visitors with a memorable and positive impression,” says Ari Driver, Chair of the Downtown Winnipeg BIZ’s Placemaking Committee. “With 2016 proclaimed as the Year of Reconciliation by Mayor Brian Bowman, the Indigenous Gardens ensures that the diversity of Indigenous culture is reflected in the streetscaping of our downtown.”

Some of the plants include: prairie sage, rudbeckia, blue lobella, sweetgrass, cedar and gaillardia.

From June 7-17, members of our Downtown Winnipeg BIZ’s Customer Service Team will be positioned in front of APTN – talking to our office workers, business leaders, and general community about the traditional uses of each Indigenous plant, furthering our awareness about the diverse culture and traditions of our Indigenous community.

The Indigenous garden hopes to enhance the quality of life and increase community experience, promote communication about 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

About the Downtown Winnipeg BIZ Aboriginal Peoples’ Advisory Committee

Initiated in 2014, the Downtown Winnipeg BIZ’s Aboriginal Peoples’ Advisory Committee aims to act as a formal liaison point between the Downtown Winnipeg BIZ’s Management Board and Indigenous peoples/stakeholders. In the spirit of partnership and collaboration, the objectives of this committee are two-fold: (a) to encourage feedback from Indigenous peoples on the programs led by the Downtown Winnipeg BIZ and (b) to acknowledge Indigenous history, culture, and traditions.

The BIZ’s Aboriginal Peoples’ Advisory Committee is comprised of representatives from the Aboriginal Chamber of Commerce, Manito Ahbee Festival, Red Road Lodge, Ma Mawi Wi Chi Itata Centre, Aboriginal Council of Winnipeg, Portage Place Shopping Centre, and representatives from the Downtown Winnipeg BIZ’s Management Board. The ideas, visions, and suggestions for Indigenous initiatives emanates from this core group, in addition to comprehensive engagement with the broader community.

To learn more and/or to get involved, visit

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For more information, please contact:
Emily Ormonde, Marketing & Communications Coordinator
Tel: (204) 958-4626;