WINNIPEG – In an effort to create a sense of place and a feeling of welcome, the Downtown Winnipeg BIZ’s Aboriginal Peoples’ Advisory Committee launched a new initiative today that will invite downtown businesses to install decals that express a feeling of welcome and inclusion, represented in Indigenous languages: Ojibwe, Cree, Dene, Michif, Dakota, and Inuktitut. Businesses leaders in attendance, who helped install the first decal at Portage Place Shopping Centre, also took part in a workshop to learn more about the historical and contemporary issues that relate to the Treaties and what this means for Winnipeg and its downtown today.
The City of Winnipeg also announced how it will be posting these decals in downtown and inner-city recreational facilities.
“The Downtown Winnipeg BIZ’s Aboriginal Peoples’ Advisory Committee believes it can play a role in inspiring downtown businesses to find and create opportunities to enhance and improve mutual respect for all Indigenous peoples,” stated Lisa Meeches, a member of the Downtown Winnipeg BIZ’s Aboriginal Peoples’ Advisory Committee. “By encouraging greater awareness of the importance of the Indigenous community in our downtown, it will hopefully unite the community, promote cross-cultural celebration and awareness, and further economic development opportunities.”
The Indigenous Languages Decal Initiative is a powerful and symbolic initiative that celebrates Indigenous arts and languages.
This initiative is a challenge to downtown businesses to work towards greater reconciliation with the Indigenous community, and in fostering understanding, respect, and dignity for all. This initiative addresses the fourth guiding principle outlined in a report by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada: “Reconciliation requires constructive action on addressing the ongoing legacies of colonialism that have had destructive impacts on Aboriginal peoples’ education, cultures, and languages.” 80+ businesses have already joined the initiative.
To learn more about the Indigenous Languages Decal initiative, visit: www.downtownwinnipegbiz.com/programs-services/image/streetscaping.