Agowiidiwinan Centre offers the public a chance to learn about Indigenous history with interactive tools and educational sessions.
Yesterday, The Forks announced the official opening of the Treaty Relations Commission of Manitoba's (TRCM) Agowiidiwinan Centre on its grounds.
"The Treaty Knowledge Centre is part of the long-term planning of the Treaty Relations Commission of Manitoba to continue our work of engaging and educating First Nation and non-First Nation people on Treaties," says Treaty Commissioner Loretta Ross. "The high traffic area of The Forks allows us to create a publicly accessible environment that showcases oral history, archival history, and a contemporary understanding of Treaties, that will provide tools to assist us on the reconciliation journey."
The new centre will give visitors the opportunity to learn about treaties through a short tour using visual and interactive tools, while also offering Treaty education sessions, "Lunch & Learn" sessions. It can be used as a space for meetings and special events as well.
"As a critical meeting place for cultural exchange, trade, and gathering for millennia, I can’t think of a more natural place for this Centre than right here at The Forks," says Sara Stasiuk, CEO of The Forks North Portage Partnership. "The Agowiidiwinan Centre is integral to building understanding that we are all Treaty people, and this Centre will create connections between our diverse communities. We are so happy to welcome the Treaty Relations Commission and their beautiful new knowledge centre to this site."
The TRCM worked with Elders and Knowledge Keepers to finalize this space that serves as a tool for learning, acquiring resources and for people to gather to share stories and knowledge with the intent to continue to expand its collection of materials.
With the financial help of Prairies Economic Development Canada (PrairiesCan) this project would not have possible. The TRCM and The Forks also thanks the Federal Government for understand and recognizing how integral it is to show support for this project.
"Our government is supporting the important work the Agowiidiwinan Centre does, and we look forward to seeing the meaningful impact it will have on our city, residents, and visitors," says the Honourable Dan Vandal, Minister for PrairiesCan. "This new Centre will attract visitors and strengthen the connection between Indigenous culture and heritage already present at The Forks."
The Forks also thanked the Manitoba First Nations Education Resource Centre, the Indigenous Services Canada-LEDSP, and the Manitoba indigenous Inclusion Directorate for funding in support of the Agowiidiwinan Centre.
The Agowiidiwinan Centre will operate from Monday to Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.