Ogimaa Gichi Makwa Gitigaan Community Committee (sub committee of Environment and Open Spaces at Spence Neighbourhood Association)
Ogimaa Gichi Makwa Gitigaan – Anishinaabemowin for Chief Grizzly Bear’s Garden - started when members of the Inner-City Aboriginal Neighbours (ICAN) group determined there was a need for an Aboriginal park in inner-city Winnipeg. Members of ICAN felt that a park would help to increase the visibility of the large Aboriginal population in the Spence neighbourhood while creating a space to hold ceremonies, Pow Wows, honour the Aboriginal People and land, and connect elders and youth, while allowing for access and care of indigenous plants and medicines by the community.
The lots where the park is located was once occupied by buildings that the city demolished leaving vacant lots behind. This park has increased access to green space while honouring and celebrating Indigenous culture.
A steering committee consisting of community members was formed to help make important decisions about the park. The committee worked with elders and held community consultations to come up with a design for the park. The steering committee created guidelines for future engagement which are followed and honoured by the current Ogimaa Gichi Mawka Gitigaan Community Committee.
The park’s inclusion of Indigenous plants allows community members to be hands-on, utilizing traditional knowledge while learning about horticultural practices. The plants in the park have medicinal value and allow people living in the city to access medicines that they may otherwise not have.
Parks we work in:
- Ogimaa Gichi Mawka Gitigaan
Things we do:
- community garden
- crafts/folk art
- heritage conservation/education
- indigenous culture
We're looking for volunteers in these areas:
- Regular volunteers
- Occasional volunteers