A garden to celebrate Aboriginal culture is being planted on Portage Ave to provide the opportunity to learn about their way of life.

In a news release, Downtown Winnipeg BIZ shared that the garden will be rooted at Air Canada Window Park once again. The initiative began eight years ago in partnership with Aboriginal Peoples Television Network (APTN).

At 10 a.m. this morning, the event began with a blessing over the plants by Elder David Budd, followed by a jingle dance performance by Kyla Henry. The event concluded with the Downtown Winnipeg BIZ's team planting the foliage.

The Garden will have a wide variety of Indigenous plants all accompanied by signage to learn more about them and their significance to life and culture for Indigenous peoples. The Garden already has junipers growing, and will be accompanied by yarrow, sweetgrass, prairie sage, wild bergamot, false sunflower, tufted hairgrass, blue fescue, Solomon's seal, and lily of the valley.

"The Indigenous Garden celebrates and shares Indigenous culture and tradition downtown, and is a step towards reconciliation," says Pamela Hardman, the Director of Marketing, Engagement and Communications for the Downtown Winnipeg BIZ. "It's especially meaningful to have this event during National Indigenous History Month—a time to recognize the achievements and diversity of First Nations, Inuit and Métis Peoples."

The release states that the goal of the Indigenous Garden is to increase the connection between Indigenous people and non-Indigenous people by promoting "understanding of 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 and beautifying the city block."

"It's especially lovely to be back in the garden after such a long and difficult Manitoba winter. There's nothing greater than planting new seeds and connecting to the earth with dear friends," says Monika Ille, CEO of APTN. "We're delighted and honoured to once again plant the Indigenous Garden with Downtown Winnipeg BIZ, a tradition that guides us along the path of reconciliation and shares our cultures with all Winnipeggers."

This is the eighth annual Indigenous Garden planted in downtown Winnipeg.