Winnipeg is located on Treaty One Territory, the original lands of Anishinaabe, Ininiwak, Anishininiwak, Dakota and Dene peoples, and on the homeland of the Métis Nation.
We encourage visitors and residents alike to take time to learn more about Indigenous histories, arts and cultures in our city. On June 21, we celebrate National Indigenous Peoples Day which falls over summer solstice – the longest day of the year – and throughout history, a time for Indigenous cultural celebration.
Indigenous culture isn’t just a part of Winnipeg’s past. It’s part of nearly every experience found within the city. Here are a variety of ways you can celebrate these dynamic and diverse cultures as we work toward Reconciliation.
APTN's Indigenous Day Live at The Forks
Indigenous Day Live celebrations take place annually at The Forks grounds and feature a full-days' worth of activities from drumming, to jigging, to food trucks and vendors, and so many artisans. This year they were hosted by actress Jessica Matten and rapper/actor Samian.
Subscribe to APTNtv's YouTube channel for more programming.
Continue the celebration of National Indigenous Peoples Day and month on June 24 at Assiniboine Park with a fun-filled day featuring music, food trucks, fire teachings and activities for all ages.
There is a full schedule of entertainment at the Lyric Field stage including Norman Chief Memorial Dancers, Shanley Spence, Leonard Sumner, Andrina Turenne and STUN. There will also be entertainment at the outdoor Performance Garden at The Leaf featuring Ethan Lyrics, Mitchell Makoons, Renee Lamoureaux, Cosmic River and Victoria Turko.
The Indigenous Peoples Day celebrations are part of the Assiniboine Park's Summer Entertainment Series.
Museums and Galleries
Winnipeg Art Gallery-Qaumajuq
Discover the latest exhibit, Inuit Sanaugangit: Art Across Time, at Qaumajuq, showcasing Inuit art from 200 BCE until the present day.
For an in-depth look at the exhibit, join a drop-in tour starting at 1 p.m. on June 21 for National Indigenous Peoples' Day. Explore Inuit Nunangat through the eyes and stories of the artists, and take part in a guided tour of The Art of Faye HeavyShield that will take place at 2:30 p.m.
WAG-Qaumajuq has also planned a day of Indigenous art education including music, workshops and lunch beginning at noon. The evening will wind down with a family friendly rooftop concert featuring a jigging contest and free snacks.
General Admission applies for the June 21 event; Indigenous peoples and members are free. Visit WAG-Qaumajuq for more info.
Canadian Museum for Human Rights
Visit CMHR’s permanent exhibit, Truth and Reconciliation, to learn more about Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission, established in 2008 to contribute to truth, healing and reconciliation.
As part of the Manitoba Museum's ongoing commitment to Reconciliation, they are offering complimentary 90-minute Reconciling Our Histories tours on June 21 and July 1, Canada Day, at 11 a.m.
The tours focus on monuments and Indigenous perspectives that are absent from their stories. Participants will actively engage in dialogue to reposition the story of Winnipeg. The tour starts in the Manitoba Museum foyer and follows an accessible route of about 1.2 km. You will need to reserve your spot.
If you head inside the Manitoba Museum, be sure to visit the Prairies Gallery which shows visitors the vast diversity of Manitoba’s prairie landscape, including an impressive Sioux Valley Dakota Nation tipi, 1,100-year-old bison bones and a large original map of the region that you’ve likely never seen before.
Celebrate Summer Solstice and Indigenous Peoples Day on June 21 at the Children’s Museum from 11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. and learn about the history and diversity of Indigenous culture.
Activities include a Drumming and Hoop Dancing Workshop led by Elder Barb Nepinak, an opportunity to create traditional artwork, and experience Indigenous performances. You’ll also have the chance to enjoy some tasty bannock and jam from Feast Café Bistro Catering.
The Forks National Historic Site
The grounds of The Forks have been a meeting place for Indigenous people for over 6,000 years. When you’re there, be sure to walk around and stop by places such as Niizhoziibean ('two rivers' in Ojibway), which honours Winnipeg’s Indigenous history and its place along the Red and Assiniboine Rivers, as well as the Oodena celebration circle.
Learn about treaties one to 11 and experiences between the First Nation people and the Crown at Agowiidiwinan Centre through visual and interactive tools, as well as treaty education sessions. The Agowiidiwinan Centre was created by the Treaty Relations Commission of Manitoba prompted by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's final report.
The Forks is also a great place to explore Indigenous history by taking part in a walking tour of the area. The newest guided tour, "Where Our Stories Meet" covers the history of First Nations, settlers and Métis Nation in Manitoba. “One Heart, Two Rivers, Four Directions” explores Indigenous connections to The Forks and can be accessed by downloading the Parks Canada National App on Apple or Android devices.
For more treaty history, visit the Lower Fort Garry National Historic site north of Winnipeg, where Treaty No. 1 was signed in 1871.
Located in the middle of the city, Upper Fort Garry Provincial Park pays homage to this region’s history through a massive Heritage Wall full of art, inscriptions and a sound and light show that plays regularly throughout the day and evening.
Local restaurants & makers
Support local Indigenous-led makers by visiting Cree-Ations Artist Showcase on Main Street where you'll find handmade moccasins, art, beadwork and so much more. Teekca’s Aboriginal Boutique, which offers handmade, Manitoba-made gifts, now has three locations across the city, including a large shop at The Forks Market. Also at The Forks, the new Manitoba Mukluks shop is a real stunner and a great spot to find some of the best footwear made on Turtle Island. In the hip South Osborne neighbourhood you'll find Anne Mulaire, a Winnipeg fashion designer of French-Métis descent committed to fair trade, environmental stewardship and inclusive sizing.
To experience Ojibway, Cree and Métis cuisine, check out our new Indigenous Culinary Guide. Learn about pizza joints like Shelly’s Indigenous Bistro (served on bannock) and T-Town Style Pizza; Métis spots showcasing many local suppliers serving breakfast through dinner like Bistro on Notre Dame and Promenade Brasserie; new food truck The Indigenous Kitchen; and Feast Café Bistro whose owner Christa Bruneau-Guenther is a Food Network regular.
Plus, there’s Manoomin, located within the new Wyndham Garden Winnipeg Airport hotel owned by Long Plain First Nation (more on that below). Manoomin is 'wild rice' in Ojibway, and the menu (breakfast through dinner) is run by Red Seal chef Jennifer Ballantyne, a member of the Opaskwayak Cree Nation.
Where to stay
You’ll love the soothing Earth-tone colour palette and Indigenous culture embedded from top to bottom at the Wyndham Garden Winnipeg Airport hotel. Owned by Long Plain First Nation, the hotel is located Treaty One Territory on Long Plain Madison Reserve, the city’s first urban reserve.
Run by Sparrow Hotels, the 132-room hotel features a unique curvature not seen in your typical hotel blocks as a reflection of the circle of life. Space for natural light is also prominent throughout the hotel which was designed to greet the sun with an east-facing main entrance, a common theme among Indigenous traditions and cultures. Smudging and pipe ceremonies are welcome in the hotel, with spaces built to fire code keeping these important traditions top-of-mind.
The hotel offers bilingual service in English and Ojibway, with way-finding signs throughout. Located in the lobby, Kookum’s Korner is open 24/7, offering beautiful pieces of jewellery and dream catchers for purchase, supporting Long Plains First Nation artists. The well-appointed rooms feature bathrooms with touch mirrors, allowing you to customize the light settings to your needs, while the property also has a waterslide and pool area. Learn more here.