Circles for Reconciliation has been in partnership with Peter Croal and Patricia Stirbys, Co-Founders of the National Healing Forest Initiative.  There is a healing forest named “Kapabamayak Achaak (Wandering Spirit) Healing Forest” located in the north section of St. John’s Park in Winnipeg. The park is on the corner of Mountain and Main Street facing the river. It’s a gathering place for reconciliation by remembering the past and envisioning the future.

You can find artwork on boulders, a circle for reflection,  trees, and so much more. Take time for a visit and see the different sites around Treaty One Territory-the traditional land of the ininew (Cree), Anishinabe (Ojibwe), Anishiniw (Ojibwe), Dakota and Dene people as well as the Birthplace of the Métis Nation and the Heart of the Métis Homeland.

Visit their website:; Here are a few lines from their site:

The Healing Forest is a living memorial to Indigenous children lost to or affected by the residential school system, located in St. John’s Park in the North End of Winnipeg.

Site development began in 2017 in collaboration with the Healing Forest Winnipeg Steering Committee and Community Elders.

It was the second Healing Forest developed in Canada and is part of a growing network of sites linked by the National Healing Forest Initiative.

The Keepers of the Forest are working with neighbourhood schools and communities to develop a living curriculum to learn about medicine plants and Indigenous teachings. A small resource library is also available.

Land, Learn, Heal:  A Path to Reconciliation
Kapabamayak Achaak Healing Forest honours Indigenous children lost to or affected by the residential school system, and offers a place for teaching and learning about all injustices from colonialism and racism, past and present.  The sharing of our collective stories is a pathway to understanding All Our Relations.

2024 Treaty Annuity Payments at RBC Convention Centre

The RBC Convention Centre is the Manitoba site for 2024 Treaty Annuity Payments. More information is available at this link on the Government of Canada website including details on eligibility.

The event is open from June 10 – 14, 2024 from 11:00 am to 7:00 pm all days. The RBC Convention Centre is located at 375 York Ave in Winnipeg. 

“When attending urban treaty payment events, recipients should bring:

  • A form of photo identification. If you do not have photo identification, you may be given a mail-in request form.
  • Your identification should include at least your: full name, date of birth and a photo.
  • You may also be asked additional questions to validate your identity.

Photo identification that does not include a photo may be used for minors accompanied by an adult.”

As National Indigenous Peoples Day (NIPD) approaches, Circles for Reconciliation gears up for a special celebration at Sergeant Tommy Prince Place on Friday, June 21st, 2024. Among the festivities, the Artisan Market stands out as a vibrant showcase of First Nation, Inuit and Métis (FNIM) creativity and craftsmanship. Here’s an exciting tidbit: Artisan Tables are available FREE of charge!

First Nation, Inuit, and Métis artisans are invited to participate in the Artisan Market at NIPD completely free of charge, alongside non-Indigenous individuals. It’s an opportunity not only to showcase exquisite handcrafted items but also to connect with a diverse audience and potential customers.

At Circles for Reconciliation, we believe in the power of community support. By offering Artisan Tables at no cost, we aim to empower FNIM entrepreneurs and small businesses, providing them with a platform to thrive and flourish. It’s our way of fostering economic growth and sustainability within FNIM communities.

Whether you’re a seasoned artisan or just starting your entrepreneurial journey, we welcome you to be part of our NIPD celebration. Reserve your FREE Artisan Table today and be a vital part of this cultural extravaganza.

For more information on how to register as an artisan vendor, please contact Janelle, at or call 1-866-794-2017. Additionally, please note that corporate vendors are priced at $200, while non-profit organizations can secure a table for $75. However,  the Artisan Tables are FREE!

In the spirit of community and generosity, we kindly ask artisans to donate one item from their collection for hourly draws during the event. Your contribution will add to the excitement of the celebration and showcase the beauty of FNIM and non-Indigenous craftsmanship.

Let’s make this National Indigenous Peoples Day a memorable and impactful event together. Join us in celebrating FNIM culture, creativity, and entrepreneurship.

The celebration of National Indigenous Peoples Day (NIPD) formerly known as “Aboriginal Day” was in the North End for over 15 years. Our organization has brought it back for the community and we will be hosting for our second time, the NIPD Celebration, Friday, June 21st, 2024.

Last year we had a “Free Barbeque, Sharing Circles, Children’s Activities, Artisan market, Exhibition tables, and entertainment for all!” This interactive community event will celebrate NIPD at the community centre and provide further education on the name change of the centre. The centre was renamed in 2018 from the North Centennial Recreation and Leisure Facility to Sergeant Tommy Prince Place as part of the City of Winnipeg’s commitment to reconciliation.

Sergeant Thomas George Prince was born October 25, 1915 and comes from the Brokenhead First Nation, Manitoba. He became Canada’s most decorated war hero having served in WWII and the Korean War. For more info on Sergeant Tommy Prince, please click here.

The centre is in the Dufferin community and located at 90 Sinclair Street (North End-Winnipeg). The event is from 11:am to 2:30 pm. This is a day that Canada recognizes and celebrates the cultures and contributions of our First Nations, Inuit & Métis people.

The NIPD Event will bring community members and families together in the spirit of reconciliation and the celebration of National Indigenous Peoples Day!

View the 2024 Poster here.

See you there!
CFR Staff Members.

Chase McKay-Campbell may be like any other 11 year old kid calling Sioux Valley Dakota Nation (SVDN)
home and playing the Canadian dream and a chance to reach the professional leagues.
According to the SVDN Youth Spotlight website, McKay-Campbell has a “passion … [for] hockey” as he is on the ice “everyday for hours” and “he absolutely loves it”. McKay-Campbell had a great season with the St. James-Assiniboia Minor Hockey Association (SJAMHA) U13 St. James Canucks scoring 4 goals in the semi-finals. His team finished second in the league of nineteen teams. Click here to view Chase’s hockey photo.
To move ahead in Canadian hockey, Canadian kids start the long road to the NHL as soon as they can skate and start playing in the U7 (Under 7 years old) or the Mini Mites Division. After that, there are 6 more levels, U9, U11, U13, U15, U18 and U20 where some can move on if selected to the Pro leagues.
For your info, there are 26,596 hockey players in Manitoba playing league hockey in one form or another, including the 1 Western Hockey League team in Brandon. The rest are in some other leagues like U7-U21 teams that have 19,377 players, 13 Junior A teams (in towns like Virden, Steinbach, and 2 First Nation communities, OCN and Waywayseecappo Wolverines). Of this total, there are 5,648 Adults and
Seniors who participate in league play.
In Canada, there are 527,098 hockey players. (See Page 7.)
Truth and Reconciliation Call to Action #90 – “Ensure national sports policies and programs and initiatives are inclusive.”

People used to be able to travel around Manitoba until Greyhound pulled their services out of Western Canada in 2018 and the rest of Canada in 2021. The move left many people in rural and Indigenous communities without any lifeline to flee domestic violent situations.

Now, an Indigenous company in Manitoba has stepped up to the plate and started offering Bus services from Winnipeg to Flin Flon stopping in a lot of rural towns on the way. Mahihkan Bus Lines will be offering services from Winnipeg to Brandon.

Opaskwayak Cree Nation applied to the Manitoba Government shortly after Greyhound left Western Canada that its bus line, Kelsey Bus Lines, start providing bus services to and from Flin Flon and Thompson.

And you can even buy your ticket On-Line.

Jacoby Hotain is 15 years old and comes from Sioux Valley Dakota Nation (SVDN). When he was 15 years old, Hotain, started with Crocus Plains Regional Secondary School in Brandon, Manitoba, just east of SVDN.

In his first year at Crocus Plains, Hotain joined the football team where “all his hard work on and off the field has paid off when he was asked to join the Varsity squad”. He was later awarded “Junior Varsity Lineman of the year”.

Jacoby Hotain also joined the Manitoba Selects, a Winnipeg Blue Bomber initiative designed to assist young football player aspirations, by arranging games with teams in the United States. He got to travel to Grand Forks, Minneapolis, Miami and Orlando Florida, While in Florida his team won over the teams from Miami and Orlando. He even got a chance to travel to Las Vegas where he got to see an NFL game between the Las Vegas Raiders and the Kansas City Chiefs.

All this would not be possible without the grateful assistance from Sioux Valley’s Jordan’s Principle Initiative and Dakota Tiwahe Services.

There are 17 First Nation communities in Manitoba that can claim compensation from the First Nations Drinking Water Settlement. However, if you come from one of those communities, you have until March 7th, 2024 to apply.

There is a Government of Canada website called Drinking water litigation at this link. The page was updated January 10, 2024.

There is a government sanctioned/appointed administrator, that has been entrusted to administer this claim at this link can be found at the bottom of the government website. The administrator’s website is called First Nations Drinking Water Settlement.

There is a link on the Administrator’s website called Impacted First Nations List, to help you determine if your community is one of those communities affected.

There are 347 First Nation communities in Canada that have been identified as qualifying for this settlement. Most are in BC with 143 followed with Ontario with 74 eligible Class Action members. All Canadian provinces have qualifying communities.

This claim affects both First Nations communities and individuals. There is one year period to be living in your community during the qualifying time period.

This year’s Festival du Voyageur will take place February 16-25, 2024. Western Canada’s largest  winter festival has a wide variety of entertainment from national to local entertainers, Indigenous/FNIM cuisine, fiddling and jigging competitions, a beard growing competition and lots of activities for kids. There is even a giant ice wall you can climb with the help of professional assistants.

The Festival takes place at Whittier Park at the southeast confluence of where the AssiniboineRiver intersects with the Red River at 836 Rue St Joseph in St. Boniface, Winnipeg, Manitoba R2Y 0H8.

For a brief history of Festival du Voyageur, please go to this link.

The 2023 Canadian mini series, Little Bird, about the the “60’s Scoop”, was filmed in Manitoba. Episodes were shot in Brokenhead Ojibway Nation, Sioux Valley Dakota Nation and Winnipeg. The Story is about a young girl who was taken away by Child Welfare Authorities in 1968 from a Saskatchewan First Nation community and sent to a Montreal Jewish family and her attempts to reconcile with her Indigenous community.

A TV Critic for the Los Angeles Times, Robert Lloyd, referred to Little Bird as a powerful exploration of contemporary Canadian socials ills like the “Sixties Scoop” and assimilation. While these sociological phenomena are not as prevalent as in American society, the LA Times TV Critic does mention that people of color in the United States are making great strides, especially in the entertainment industry. The series is going to be aired in the United States on their public broadcasting network, the PBS network in 2024.

Interim payments are now being issued to eligible class members in the Sixties Scoop action. For more information, please consult the Sixties Scoop settlement website or call 1-844-287-4270.

If you are experiencing emotional distress and want to talk, free counselling and crisis intervention services are available from the Hope for Wellness Help Line at 1-855-242-3310, or online at


Now that it’s finally cold in Winnipeg, you may be looking for a warm place to go skateboarding in the comfort of a downtown shopping mall.

While the future of the Portage Place Mall are being worked out, the ground floor anchor position on the on the west side of the mall has been repurposed into an in-door skatepark so that skateboard enthusiast can enjoy their passion year-around.The park takes up the entire floor space where the old Staples store used to be.

According to a online Cree Dictionary, “Pitikwé” means “enter or come in”.
Admission prices are $5 under 25 years old, and $10 for 25 and older. The space will also be available for group rentals on weekends. For more information, please go to or visit this link to find out about bookings to reserve your space.

View a typical weekly schedule. There are many open sessions for anybody to attend and you can bring your BMX, Inline Skates, your scooter or your skateboard.

There are several Video’s to view:

CTV News at Noon announced on their noon newscast on Dec 19th, 2023 that Disney/Lucasfilm will release an Ojibwe version of the poplar 1977 space drama: “Star Wars – A New Hope”.
The Dakota Ojibway Tribal Council, APTN and the University of Manitoba will be collaborating with Lucasfilm to make the first Star Wars saga in Ojibwe.
And Ojibwe people in Manitoba can can participate by applying through
There is more info at this link.

Most of the world’s cultures have looked to the night sky as a cultural source of inspiration. Canada’s Indigenous used the night sky as a as a map, clock and calendar.

Indigenous Knowledge Keeper and Scientist, William Buck is a Cree Elder from the Opaskwayak Cree Nation.
He is also the Science Facilitator for the Manitoba First Nation Education Resource Center (MFNERC). He has an extensive knowledge of Astronomy and in particular Indigenous Astronomy. He refers to North Star or Polaris, also commonly known as the bright star at the of the Big Dipper’s handle, as the going home star (6 Minute, 53 Second Mark).
Buck has his own YouTube show called ‘Lessons From Beyond with Wilfred Buck’ and was named as one of the most interesting people in Manitoba by a local celebrity, Ace Burpee’s Top 100 Fascinating Manitobans.

The Christmas Cheer Board provides grocery hampers & gifts for children 14 years and under during the holiday season.

Who can apply?
People in need and living in Winnipeg can apply for a hamper for their household. Referrals are not accepted. Individuals and families must apply on their own.
How to apply?
All hamper applications are taken by phone at Hamper Application Call Centres.

Income Assistance Applicants
IA case number required. Address must be current with IA. IA application hours: 

Monday – Friday 8:30am – 4:30 pm

Low Income, Pensioners, Students & New Canadian Applicants
Have your Manitoba Health card ready for all adults in home.
November – normal business hours – Monday – Friday 8:30am – 4:30 pm
December – Extended business hours

Hamper Distribution Options
Hamper pickup begins Tuesday, December 5
Households can pickup their hamper (grocery & toys) or have it delivered to their home between December 5 and 23. Deliveries are attempted two times. On the second unsuccessful attempt, an info sheet is left with instructions that the hamper must be picked up at 895 Century St.


When I was about 4 years old, somebody dressed me up my Dad’s war uniform, complete with his boots, helmet, boots and his rifle, all the things he needed in WWII

I was never privileged to learn the details of his service to our country, but we should all take time on National Aboriginal Veterans Day, November 8th  to honor all our veterans who fought for our country.

To my Dad, Amos Demas and for the countless others who did not make it back. We are forever grateful. 

Rick Demas

Eagle Vision Video Productions Ltd., an Indigenous Production company and the History Channel have teamed up to produce “True Story – Part Two“,  a two-hour documentary that explores Canada’s colonial past and illuminates a possible path forward by examining such issues as Residential Schools and the Indian Act. If these past colonial instances could be conveyed to Non-Indigenous Canadians in an impactful way, just maybe “we can move forward as a nation”. “True Story Part Two” producers hope that “through authentic storytelling … [in] an inspiring and uplifting tone”, they hope to show “what Canada could truly be if we learn from the past”.
True Story – Part Two will air September 30 on the same day as the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. You can see it on the History Channel at 8 PM, Winnipeg time. It will follow True Story – Part One which will be at 6:00 PM. Part One aired in 2022 and focused on the Pre-Contact era up to the Indian Act.

This coming Saturday on Sept 30 is the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.

September 30 was originally called Orange Shirt Day, a grassroots movement started in 2013 by Phyllis Webstad in her response to her “Residential School experience“.

September 30 is now an official Canadian holiday, created by “Federal Statute“.

The Circles for Reconciliation team will be at the march starting at The Forks, Saturday, September 30th. We will be at the circle near the Manitoba Children’s Museum at 10:30 am. You will see us in our CFR t-shirts with orange accessories and/or Orange Shirts. More details to come.

The Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs (AMC) and Elections Manitoba are trying to make it easier for First Nations people to vote in the October 3, 2023 Provincial Election. Elections Manitoba is working with the AMC to overcome one of the most common barriers that inhibits First Nation People from Voting – the lack of proper identification. To overcome this obstacle, a declaration of First Nations guarantor for proof of identity form
has been developed to replace any government issued ID. The form must be filled out by your home community leadership, the Chief, or a Council Member or the Band Membership Clerk.

Currently, all voters must produce one government-issued ID or two documents including the voter’s name before they can enter the voting booth.

There is a Fillable PDF Form you can fill out at this link.

The Stanley Cup will be coming to Sioux Valley Dakota Nation, Wednesday, August 23, 2023 states Tim Whitecloud, Zach Whitecloud’s father.
Zach Whitecloud along with the team members of the Vegas Golden Knights captured the Stanley Cup in Game 5 over the Florida Panthers.
About “200 Band members” from Zach’s home community gathered together at the local community hall to cheer on one of their own to capture the Stanley Cup on the evening of June 13, 2023.

An advocacy group, Justice for Day Scholars 2021, wants to get the word out that the application form for the Day Scholars Class Action settlement is still open until October 4, 2023 for survivors to apply for compensation.
If you know anybody affected by this settlement agreement, you should send them this LINK.
Even if this person has since passed on, tell their beneficiaries that they can apply for the deceased’s benefits if the affected Day Scholar passed away on or after May 30, 2005.
The website has a number of resources and tools to assist Day Scholars with their application, even an online tool to help determine an applicant’s eligibility to receive compensation. That tool is located at this LINK.
The official Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada information for this settlement agreement is available at this LINK.

New “specialty”  licence plates will be available this fall for Manitobans who want to support the plight of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls, and Two Spirited people (MMIWG2S). The plates will feature the now emblematic ‘Red Dress’ or the ‘Red Hand Print’ and will be available for $70, with $30 going to support all those families that are affected by intersectoral violence against Indigenous woman.

Call to Action 41. “We call upon the federal government, in consultation with Aboriginal organizations, to appoint a public inquiry into the causes of, and remedies for, the disproportionate victimization of Aboriginal women and girls. The inquiry’s mandate would include: i. Investigation into missing and murdered Aboriginal women and girls. ii. Links to the intergenerational legacy of residential schools.” (Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada: Calls to Action, p. 7.)

The key to the survival of the Rocky Cree language may very well reside in the discovery of a 350 year old Rocky Cree womannear present day South Indian Lake.

The Rocky Cree communities are the six First Nation communities in Manitoba that live along the “Churchill River”. The discovery of this long lost Indigenous woman will now serve as an impetus for reviving the Rocky Cree language.

William Dumas, works as the First Nations Language & Culture Facilitator for Manitoba First Nations Education Resource Centre (MFNERC) and he is worried about the survivability of the Rocky Cree language given that it is spoken less and less and is only being spoken by the older generation, says Dumas in a YouTube video  filmed at Paint Lake in the Traditional Territory of the Rocky Cree. Dumas hopes to preserve the Rocky Cree Language by documenting the “language, history, concepts, and holistic way of life of the Rocky Cree … directly from the knowledge keepers”. Dumas also wants to develop an educational Resource App to assist Indigenous Students with the retention of the Rocky Cree language. The seven year project is its second year and is been done in conjunction with The University of Winnipeg, the Indigenous Inclusion Directorate of the Manitoba Government and MFNERC.

It is hoped the resource will become part of the regular Manitoba educational curriculum. The project is one of the key recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation’s 94 Calls To Action. There is additional info at this link.

The 2023 North American Indigenous Games (NAIG) will be taking place in Nova Scotia from July 15-23 and will feature 16 different sporting events including 3 Traditional Sports –  “Canoe/Kayak, Lacrosse, and 3D Archery”.

If you know somebody, or if your kids will be participating at the NAIG 2023, or if you just interested in sports, especially Indigenous sports and you can’t make the long trip to Nova Scotia; you’re in luck, as you can stream the games from the comfort of your TV, computer, laptop or your phone. Just click HERE and click the blue Live Stream Button.

The Manitoba government will “waive” all processing fees indefinitely for those Residential School Survivors who were stripped of their traditional Indigenous name upon entering into a Residential School. The move is in response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Call to Action # 17 which called for “all levels” of government to waive all administrative fees for Survivors trying to get back their real Traditional names.

The BC Government did a similar move earlier this year when they allowed Indigenous People to reclaim their names like when they allowed a baby boy to have his legal name, “λugʷaləs” to appear on his BC Birth Certificate.