NEWS RELEASE                                                                                   December 12, 2017

Neechi Commons celebrates the creativity of Children of the Earth School students with the Royal Winnipeg Ballet  —   Winnipeg: Neechi Commons is promoting youth arts with inner city youth at a special event with the public.

Saturday, December 16th    11:30 to 2pm

Neechi Niche, a cultural art and crafts store inside Neechi Commons has teamed up with Children of the Earth high school to bring their students in their art program to Neechi Commons  for an exhibition of their art and to sell their 2018 Calendars.

The Children of the Earth art program is supported by the Omazinibii’igig Artist Collective since 2014. The influence of indigenous teaching can be seen in the varied works of arts that the youth express their perceptions of the world, their identity and culture.

Louise Champagne, President of Neechi Foods, states “We are delighted to help support Children of the Earth’s art program and their wonderful work.They’re an inspiration and an important part of our community in the north end.”  

The event will include a special visit from the Royal Winnipeg Ballet and their mascot Filbert who will be available for photos and to talk about the upcoming production of Nutcracker. Guests will be able to enter a draw to win tickets for a family of four to attend the Nutcracker at the Centennial Concert Hall. 

We invite all Winnipeggers to come down and support the students and the artist collective.

Neechi Niche features Aboriginal art and crafts from local artist, including  paintings, jewelry,  handmade mucklucks and much more

For more information, go to    Contact: Bob Axworthy  (204) 489-0720

Institute for International Women’s Rights – Manitoba

Post-secondary students met with Mary Scott (far left) from IIWR-Mb today over brunch to discuss their upcoming trip to the United Nations headquarters in New York. The students will be helping to facilitate a panel at the 62nd session on the Commission on the Status of Women this upcoming March.”   Go to



Chef David Wolfman Launches Indigenous Fusion Book       at Neechi, October 26…..

UofM Indigenous Development Students

Indigenous Development students from the University of Winnipeg in the Neechi Commons Board Room, September 21, 2017. They were discussing research protocols in Indigenous Studies.

‘LOVE LETTER’ TO NEECHI COMMONS                                     Dear Neechi Commons

 It is with tremendous affection and gratitude that I write this letter. As a non-Indigenous university educator engaged in community-based research with Indigenous youth in north Winnipeg and beyond, I am grateful for the incredible example that Neechi Commons provides for everyone in our community. I am grateful that the young people involved in the University of Manitoba’s Rec and Read/Aboriginal Youth Mentorship Programs have learned about ethical social enterprise through our partnership with Neechi Commons, and before that, Neechi Foods Co-op.

 I appreciate how your Aboriginal-owned worker co-operative supports community economic development; how you have become an employment hub for our Indigenous youth mentors who seek entry level jobs within their neighbourhood. I appreciate that when we have Indigenous youth visit from First Nations communities up north or from across Canada, their cultural identities are affirmed whenever they visit your store. There is a sense of pride that emerges the minute they see themselves represented in the workers behind the till, meat counter or bakery. They hear the laughter and feel at home; after all, where’s the panic when you’ve got bannock?

 I greatly respect your commitment to health and wellness; how you have collaborated with my university colleagues to promote diabetes prevention through (national award winning) educational signage on your store shelves or walking programs in the neighbourhood. How many Winnipeggers know that your workers have always provided a subsidized fruit basket for neighbourhood children? How you have never sold cigarettes, despite the significant loss in potential sales? How your revolving local art displays on the second floor add a community dynamic that enhances the feelings of cultural affirmation that our young people seek. What you offer is integrity and a social-determinants of health approach to community development via education, employment and cultural safety that benefits all of Winnipeg.

 I love how I am always greeted with smiles and a friendly hello whenever I enter the store. I love that I can shop for Indigenous artwork and crafts that are locally made; that I can not only buy a signed copy of Beatrice Moissonier’s April Raintree, but I might even meet Beatrice when I grab a bite to eat over lunch. I love the Bison Berry Restaurant on the second floor, with its excellent food and sunny views of Main Street below. Talia’s Original remains my go-to early morning breakfast and for lunch, I appreciate that the pickerel burger I order is prepared and delivered by local community members who are working hard to transform this central Winnipeg neighbourhood.

 I have attended your special events and marvelled at the revival of Indigenous cultural pride so integral to reconciliation in our community. I appreciate how hard you have worked to establish a catering service and our programs will always order from Neechi Commons because we love your bison stew, bannock pizza and banana bread! We will always shop at Neechi Commons because we know that with every purchase, every penny contributes to a vision of Indigenous community revitalization that is grounded in courage, self-determination and the traditional cultural values of respect, caring and sharing.

 I know you are having a difficult time. You have given your heart and soul to make our community better and like so many others, I am very grateful for your principled leadership. Whatever the outcome of your July 12th deadline for re-financing, I look forward to many more years of partnership in support of Winnipeg’s Indigenous youth.

 C’mon Winnipeg! Shopping at Neechi Commons provides all of us a meaningful pathway on the road to reconciliation … and the parking is great!

 Your friend,  Joannie Halas, PhD

Faculty of Kinesiology and Recreation Management, University of Manitoba

Green Wave Team @ NEECHI

Two members of the North End BIZ Green Wave Team were at NEECHI this week, helping clean up around the parking lot. Aidan Murphy and Nick Bartenski did a great job and we look forward to the Team coming back.



NEWS RELEASE June 28: The building and land housing Neechi have been listed for auction, but NEECHI COMMONS is not for sale.

“We’re hopeful this will be an opportunity to partner with one or more organizations that can bring in resources we need to maintain our commitment to the community and to the indigenous staff and people who appreciate what we stand for,” said Louise Champagne, chair of the Board of Directors.

The cooperative has been exploring options to address its financial needs for some time including raising investment capital, securing grants and considering a property sale to a partner organization.

At the same time, the cooperative has been strengthening its operations by engaging new management staff, implementing a promotional strategy and getting into new markets.

According the Neechi’s Treasurer, Russ Rothney, “while this may not look good, it’s actually an opportunity for Neechi to renew its financial commitments and reduce our debt. We know that we are not alone in wanting to preserve Neechi Commons as a very strategic community asset.”

NEECHI COMMONS that includes a grocery store, produce market, meats department, bakery, restaurant, catering service, and arts and crafts shop opened on Main Street in 2013. It has become a focal point for community health, discussion and development action.  The cooperative continues to provide and upgrade its business and community services. The Board of Directors and staff remain optimistic about Neechi’s future.

Contact: Dennis Lewycky, Media Relations  204 793 3289 (cell)

PARKING LOT to host Three Sisters

A partnership of community groups is showing how sterile urban space can be cultivated to grow food and beautify their neighbourhood.

The Point Douglas Residents Committee and Neechi Commons are collaborating to plant a garden in the Neechi parking lot on Main Street. The PDRC received a grant from City Councillor Ross Eadie to help promote urban gardening and beautify the neighbourhood. Urban Eatin Landscapes volunteered to provide the planting expertise and plants were bought and donated from Prairie Originals.

Sel Burrows, Chair of the PDRA attended the first planting when City TV was also present. He spoke about the potential in the community to supplement people’s food needs with community gardens. He noted many of the others initiatives in the community to improve the lives of residents and beautify the neighbourhood at the same time.

According to Louise Champagne, Neechi Foods Coop Chairperson, “we thought this would be a great way of contributing to the improvements in the neighbourhood as well as reflect what we are doing at Neechi Commons, promoting healthy eating.”

Three islands within the parking lot were filled with soil last week. Then sage, sweet grass, sunflower and flowers were planted. Central to the planting is the Three Sisters, an aboriginal method of planting winter crops of corn, beans and squash. These plants support each other as they grow, conserving moisture and putting nutrients into the soil.

The garden is also part of the Neechi philosophy of promoting healthy eating and living in the neighbourhood. The store is packed with Manitoban fish, bison, wild rice, blueberry jam, cheese and much more. The BisonBerry Restaurant has a unique menu and Neechi Niche is full of art and crafts made by over 200 local artisans.

(left to right) Amelia Laidlaw, Neechi Coordinator; Candice Irvine, Neechi staff and Board member; Sel Burrows, Chair of the PDRC; and Shannon Bahuaud of Urban Eatin.



past events held at neechi commons

THE BREAK By Katherena Vermette

A new novel by the winner of The 2013 Governor General’s Literary Award for Poetry, ‘North End Love Songs’





By Beatrice Mosionier

The school edition of ‘In Search of April Raintree’  with a foreword by Senator Murray Sinclair



Hosted by David McLeod

Located: Bison Berry Restaurant – 2nd Floor



Wednesday, August 24th, 2016 6:30PM

This work by Kevin Anderson tells the powerful story of one man’s survival over hardship through the illustration of his past.

‘Streetlife’ opens up a discussion that can lead to a better understanding of homelessness, and the many intersecting and complex factors that lead to homelessness—an understanding that can encourage the cultivation of empathy and compassion for those who have experienced a different and challenging life

Exhibit will run through to the end of September



Tuesday, May 31  – 7:30am to 9:00am

Toasting Winnipeg slide - May2016_20840412

Join us for a special Toasting Winnipeg!

Celebrating two successful North End businesses that are shaping their community Toasting Winnipeg is a new breakfast series that celebrates innovative, original and inspiring stories proving business success is possible, especially in Winnipeg.

Hear from Louise (Desmarais) Champagne the President of Neechi Commons. In addition, find out how Kyle Mason, the founder of the North End Family Centre, built the important community gathering place.

7:30 a.m. – Registration, networking and breakfast

8:00 a.m. – Program begins

9:00 a.m. – Program ends

For more information about this event including registration you can visit the Aboriginal Chamber of Commerce website here

Visit our Facebook event page!!


BUTTERFLY – a Tribute to MMIWG’s – by Jackie Traverse


BUTTERFLY – a Tribute to MMIWG’s – by Jackie Traverse

‘Legend has it if you catch a butterfly and hold it in your hands you can whisper a wish to the butterfly and the butterfly will carry your wish to the Creator and your wish will come true . My wish was that our women would never be forgotten that they would be given the love and respect they deserve.’

Join us for Jackie Traverse’s second show at Neechi Commons on the first day of Spring, March 20th

From 2pm to 4pm, Jackie will be showcasing her works on the issue of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women from 2007 to date. There will also be a screening of ‘Butterfly’, a short film created by Jackie in honour of MMIW.

This is what Jackie has to say on her inspiration for ‘Butterfly’

“In 2007 I made a short stop motion video called Butterfly. It was a tribute piece to honour our women who were murdered and went missing. I saw the way indigenous women were portrayed in the media and it hurt. The way these women were described I could not imagine being a mother in mourning and reading such callous words about my child – from that time on I have been creating works on MMIWGS.

I am the mother of 3 daughters and grandmother to Lily. The issue of MMIWGS is very dear to me and a strong foundation on which I’ve built my art practice on. I am honoured to be a voice for those that cannot speak and I hope the spirit of our women shines through in my works.”



Oct 17, – Jan 2016 – BRAVE NEW WORLD – by Jade Hullen



Artist Statement

Since childhood I have been in some sort of creative endeavor.  My parents marveled at my imagination. I thrived in any kind of artistic adventure. And always felt fully content with a creative outlet.  It isn’t something that I choose to do it is something that I have become, an artist.

My mediums of choice are oil paints, oil pastels, graphite, pen and ink and watercolors. Each of these mediums assist me emotionally, mentally, physically but most importantly spiritually. I adore my Ojibwe culture and have come to learn that Anishinabe culture and philosophy is a philosophy of interconnection. This act of interconnection occurs when I am in the act of creation.

When I paint I honor the spirit of the person, the animal, the landscape of Mother Earth in the hopes of capturing their beauty.  The colors I choose or the mediums I utilize become the subject’s essence.  It is here where I become interconnected.  The connection of the medium that is used and the spirit of the creation meet. Perhaps this is why I paint.



Raised in Canada and France, Jade Hullen makes her home in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Her multinational beginnings exposed Jade to a fascinating variety of cultures, all of which influenced her creatively. She went to a multicultural high school, which gave her more understanding of diverse cultures.  Being of First Nations decent and adopted at birth also played an important part in forging a curiosity cultural identity and community.

Hullen feels her artistic career was inevitable, as she has been drawing since she could hold a pencil. She has always been creative and feels at peace when she is creating. “I feel as though I am following my path,” she comments. “It’s something I love to do and it is a privilege to create and be able to share it with others.”

Hullen feels that appreciation and love of art are because of her mother who took her and her sister to countless museums and castles in France when she was young. The appreciation of the arts was a very big part of her education “For me, art is a place to feel connected and peaceful, there’s always something new to learn so hopefully one’s work is always evolving, changing, growing.”

The artist paints and draws whenever she can, and nearly always entering sketches in her sketchbook. Sketching helps her get into the right frame of mind to later put the medium on the canvas or paper. She feels that her work communicates an interest in cultures and color harmony, and her ability to capture the essence of a subject and allow this to evolve.

Hullen received most of her education in Canada and is a member of the Broken Head Ojibwe Nation.


March 31, 2016

First Nation Christian Writers Conference and Book Launch

Brought to you by Goldrock Press


Date: Thursday, March 31, 2016

Place: Neechi Niche, 865 Main Street (upstairs), Winnipeg

Time: 2:00 PM    Readings of

Niwanawin by Pauline Poker

The Big Fish by Samuel Parmar

First Nations Christian Writers edited by Dorene Meyer

Cost: Free



Date: Thursday, March 31, 2016

Place: Neechi Niche, 865 Main Street (upstairs), Winnipeg

Further Info:


February 20, 2016   From 12 noon – 2pm



Famed broadcaster and environmentalist David Suzuki describes Leonard Flett as a modest man doing heroic work.

Come meet the man, the myth, the legend – Leonard will be in store at Neechi Niche signing copies of his book on Saturday, Feb. 20th



This is a story about the fur trade and First Nations, and the development of northern Canada, seen and experienced not only through Leonard Flett’s eyes, but also through the eyes of his father, grandfather, and great-grandfather.

The lives of indigenous people in remote areas of northern Ontario, Manitoba and Saskatchewan in the 1960s and 1970s are examined in detail. Flett’s successful career with both the Hudson’s Bay Company and the North West Company provides an insight into the dying days of the fur trade and the rise of a new retail business tailored to First Nations.


Leonard Flett is a Cree status member of the Big Trout Lake Ontario First Nation. Originally from Cumberland House, Saskatchewan and Shamattawa, Manitoba, he has an extensive 42-year background with the Hudson’s Bay Company and the North West Company, retiring as vice-president in 2005. He has been recognized by the Aboriginal community with the bestowal of a National Aboriginal Achievement Award in 2002, by the province of Manitoba with the Order of Manitoba in 2012, and by Canada with the induction into the Order of Canada in 2004. He is also a recipient of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee medal.



February 7, 1:00-5:00 pm Boreal Workshop

Tanis Thomas of Boreal Workshop will be in the house at Neechi Niche Gallery for jewellery consultation and sizing services! She will assist with custom orders before Valentine’s Day!


Boreal Workshop is a Manitoba based, Cree owned company.  They design and produce traditional and custom work, typically in copper, silver, gold, and mixed media, with and without gemstones.  Our services include fine jewellery and art object design, production, and gem cutting (faceting, cabochon, mixed, and custom).  All of their work is hand made in Canada.

Their work is informed by First Nations and European cultures and traditions of art and craft, and our environment.  Having lived and worked in diverse regions of Canada, from the Arctic to the Prairies, and the influences of cultures, traditions, and the beauty of the natural world are intrinsic to their art.  In addition to jewellery and personal goods, they produce art objects, and vessels and containers suitable for personal and ceremonial use.



Jan 27, 2016  7pm-9pm

Red Rising Magazine Issue #2 Launch!

Red Rising Magazine


ABOUT RED RISING: An indigenous magazine from Winnipeg that is unfiltered, uncensored, and is able to tell a story about what is happening now, and what is about to happen next.

We have partnered with Fernwood Publishing to officially launch issue 2 of Red Rising Magazine

Everyone is welcome to attend.
The night will include select readings from some of the issue 2 contributors.

There will also be acoustic sets by:
-Leonard Sumner
-Ali Fontaine

$5 entry fee  which will include a copy of the magazine. (All proceeds go towards printing costs)

Bannock, tea and homemade jam will be provided.

All ages event!!  Visit our Facebook Event page!!

(19) Tree (Jackie St. Goddard)

TREE by Jackie Traverse From Issue #1


Saturday Jan 9, 2016 @ 3pm-6pm


Presented by MAWA and Neechi Niche at Neechi Commons


Free! All materials and child-minding provided

Participants will learn the basics of moose/caribou hair tufting while creating their own floral designs. This technique includes securing of hairs with a loop stitch and then relief carving the hair with scissors to sculpt it. Come and learn about the tradition of this craft, developed by Métis women artists Katherine Bouvier and Madeleine Lafferty in the early 1900s.

Amy Malbeuf is a Métis visual artist from Rich Lake, Alberta. She learned caribou/moose hair tufting from Ruby Sweetman, a Native Artisan who is skilled in a variety of traditional Native art forms. Amy incorporates tufting into her work in the form of traditional Métis floral motifs, tufted text works, and in the creation of earrings and necklaces. She has been exhibited nationally and internationally, most recently at the Dunlop Art Gallery as part of Material Girls and at the Art Gallery of Alberta as part of Future Station: Alberta Biennial of Contemporary Art.

Malbeuf has participated in many international artist residencies including at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, Australia; The Banff Centre, Alberta; The Labrador Research Institute, Labrador; and in 2015 was named one of two Canada Council for the Arts fellows at the Santa Fe Art Institute, New Mexico.

Through caribou hair tufting, beadwork, installation and performance, Malbeuf explores notions of identity, place, language and ecology. Her art practice examines the relationships between humanity and nature, deconstructs popular misunderstandings of Indignity, and explores the intersections between race and culture. Malbeuf lives and works in Kelowna where she is working towards a MFA from the University of British Columbia Okanagan.

Visit our Facebook Event Page!


Friday Nov 20 – 7-9pm

Lee Maracle – Talking to the Diaspora – book launch and readings

With guests Katherena Vermette and Columpa Bobb


In a career that has spanned more than a quarter century, Lee Maracle has earned the reputation as one of Canada’s most ardent and celebrated writers. Talking to the Diaspora, Maracle’s second book of poetry, is at once personal and profound. From the revolutionary “Where Is that Odd Dandelion-Looking-Flower” to the tender poem “Salmon Dance,” from the biting “Language” to the elegiac “Boy in the Archives,” these poems embody the fearless passion and spirited wit for which Lee Maracle is beloved and revered.

Here’s a link to the Facebook Event Page



Of Salish and Cree ancestry, Lee Maracle is originally from British Columbia. She has published over 10 books of poetry, fiction, and non-fiction and is the editor of several anthologies of aboriginal writing. For many years, Maracle has been a staunch activist in the struggle against racism, sexism, and economic oppression faced by Canada’s Aboriginal peoples.

Lee Maracle is the author of a number of critically acclaimed literary works including Sojourner’s and Sundogs, Ravensong, Bobbi Lee: Indian Rebel, Daughters Are Forever, Will’s Garden, Bent Box, I Am Woman, and Celia’s Song. Born in North Vancouver, Maracle is a member of the Sto: Loh nation. She is the mother of four, grandmother of seven and a granddaughter of Chief Dan George. She currently serves as the Traditional Teacher for First Nation’s House and an instructor with the Centre for Indigenous Theatre and Support for Aboriginal Graduate Education (SAGE) at the University of Toronto, as well as writing instructor at the Banff Centre for the Arts. For her work promoting writing among Aboriginal youth, Maracle received the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal and, in 2014, was awarded the Ontario Premier’s Award for Excellence in the Arts.

Katherena Vermette is a Métis writer of poetry, fiction and children’s literature. Her first book, North End Love Songs (The Muses’ Company) won the 2013 Governor General Literary Award for Poetry and was the 2015 selection for On the Same Page, Manitoba’s Book Club. Her work has appeared in literary magazines and anthologies across the globe. Vermette lives, works and plays in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.

Columpa Bobb has been a theatre artist for 25 years. She has turned a multi-faceted career as a performer, playwright, director and producer into some of the immediate tools needed to start and run the only Aboriginal Theatre company in Manitoba that has produced theatre for and by Indigenous people for the last nine consecutive years. Columpa is the Artistic Director of The Urban Indigenous Theatre Company (UITC) and works alonside Ryan Black and Tracey Nepinak.


Wednesday, Oct 21, 6-8pm

Dr. Pamela Palmater – Indigenous Nationhood – Book Launch and reading


Indigenous Nationhood is a selection of blog posts by well-known lawyer, activist and academic Pamela Palmater. Palmater offers critical legal and political commentary and analysis on legislation, Aboriginal rights, Canadian politics, First Nations politics and social issues such as murdered and missing Indigenous women, poverty, economics, identity and culture. Palmater’s writing tackles myths and stereotypes about Indigenous peoples head-on, discusses Indigenous nationhood and nation building, examines treaty rights and provides an accessible, critical analysis of laws and government policies being imposed on Indigenous peoples.

Fiercely anti-racist and anti-colonial, this book is intended to help rebuild the connections between Indigenous citizens and their home communities, local governments and Indigenous Nations for the benefit of future generations.

“Pamela Palmater is one of the strong voices of a new generation of Native activists and intellectuals. Her essays on Indigenous Nationhood are intelligent, thoughtful, and well informed. And they take no prisoners.”

— Thomas King, author of An Inconvenient Indian

“Palmater’s blogs provide a glimpse of the deep complexities we face as indigenous peoples living in a colonial Canada. Her words are the articulation of this generation’s frustration with Canadian colonial policy.”

— Derek Nepinak, Grand Chief, Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs


BIO: Dr. Pamela D. Palmater is a Mi’kmaw citizen and member of the Eel River Bar First Nation in northern New Brunswick. She has been a practicing lawyer for 16 years and is currently an Associate Professor and the Chair in Indigenous Governance at Ryerson University. She comes from a large family of 8 sisters and three brothers.

She has 4 university degrees, including a BA from St. Thomas in Native Studies, and an LLB from UNB where she won the Faskin Campbell Godfrey prize in natural resources and environmental law. She went on to complete her Masters and Doctorate in Law from Dalhousie University Law School specializing in First Nation law. Pam has been studying, volunteering and working in First Nation issues for over 25 years on a wide range of social, political and legal issues, like poverty, housing, child and family services, treaty rights, education and legislation impacting First Nations.

She came in second in the Assembly of First Nations election for National Chief in 2012 and was one of the spokespeople, organizers and public educators for the Idle No More movement in 2012-13. She has been recognized with many awards and honours for her social justice advocacy on behalf of First Nations generally, and Indigenous women and children specifically, and most recently for her work related to murdered and missing Indigenous women.

Some of these awards include 2012 YWCA Woman of Distinction Award in Social Justice, the 2012 Women’s Courage Award in Social Justice, Bertha Wilson Honour Society 2012 and Canadian Lawyer Magazine’s 2013 Top 5 Most Influential Lawyer in the Human Rights category, Canada’s Top Visionary Women Leaders 2014, and most recently, the 2015 UNB Alumni Award of Distinction. Pam’s area of expertise is in Indigenous law, politics, and governance.

She has numerous publications including her book, Beyond Blood: Rethinking Indigenous Identity, legal academic journal publications, magazine articles and invited news editorials. Her political blog, Indigenous Nationhood has been reposted and reprinted in numerous formats and will soon become a book. She is a well-known speaker, presenter and educator on Indigenous issues both across Canada and internationally, having spoken in Samoa, Hawaii, Peru, Switzerland and England. She is frequently called as an expert before Parliamentary and United Nations committees dealing with laws and policies impacting Indigenous peoples.


July 7 – Oct 9    WANDA LUNA – KREEH

Artist talk and Reception Sat July 18 from 2-4pm!!


Kreeh (moon woman) is a story and response about raising questions regarding the devastating consequences of globalization on our world’s indigenous groups. How will we survive the growing reach of global capitalism? Is it possible for us to maintain self sufficiency?  What will become of our stories? Our language? And what the world looks when we disappear?

The concept for Kreeh stems from an ongoing investigation of self , my mixed heritage, facilitate a dialog between Chilean-Indigenous from diverse and contending backgrounds beginning with my own and create a platform for representing and redefining Mestizo ( Chilean-Indigenous) identity. This current exhibit is calling attention to the Ona (Selk’nam) nation, a group now considered extinct. The Kreeh exhibit  will use my unique work to look at this little-known group in Chile, while raising issues of loss of identity, globalization, and modernization that affect all of us. Through Kreeh I will transform messages of personal identity into pieces of artistic work


Wanda Luna Biography

I am an interdisciplinary indigenous artist from Chile now living in Winnipeg Manitoba. A primary focus in my work continues to be the human body and identity using the cello as a central feature.  As an immigrant to Canada I have been a participant and observer to how identity is attached to place, and my interest is in the results achieved by removing people/objects from specific spaces. I have as child by force and by choice, been up-rooted or removed from one region/country to another. This transitory lifestyle is the focus of my art practice. I choose the cello because it is the closest sound to that of the human voice and the form of the instrument is similar to that of the female body. An artistic representation and self portrait.

In my recent work I am addressing the question of Chilean indigenous cultural identity. The mestizo heritage with a special focus on the  Ona nation. In the process, a new synthesis is emerging in my own individual practice of painting, drawing, sculpture, printmaking, video, photography, digital imagery, text, performance art and installation works.

All cultures are complex but the one into which you are born is the one you come to understand most profoundly. It is with this influence that finds its way into my work as an artist, and I believe it is expressed almost instinctively. This inevitable conflict of two cultures within my “artistic being” has entered my work since coming to Canada permanently. My Spaniard roots and Indigenous heritage. The colonizer and the colonized. The end result appears to be a new synthesis of my artistic outlook and competence as I move into new approaches to the production of my work.

CBC Article from Wanda Luna’s previous show at Neechi Commons in Oct 2013

For further info contact:  Wanda Luna – Estudio Luna/La Sala De Los Sueños Inc


Sept 16, 630 – 930pm  EDGAR HEAP OF BIRDS


Neechi Niche is thrilled to host world renowned artist Edgar Heap Of Birds at Neechi Commons brought to you by Steve Heinrichs, Director of the Indigenous Relations Program of the Mennonite Church Canada.

Edgar Heap of Birds will be doing a presentation, artist talk and slide show on his work past and present and his process.

The Bison Berry Restaurant in the Commons will be open for dinner.

Join our Facebook Event Page

The artworks of HOCK E AYE VI EDGAR HEAP OF BIRDS include multi-disciplinary forms of public art messages, large scale drawings, Neuf Series acrylic paintings, prints, works in glass and monumental porcelain enamel on steel outdoor sculpture.        

Heap of Birds received his Master of Fine Arts from Tyler School of Art, Temple University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (1979), Bachelor of Fine Arts from The University of Kansas, Lawrence, Kansas (1976) and undertaken graduate studies at The Royal College of Art, London, England and awarded an Honorary Doctor of Fine Arts Degree from the Massachusetts College of Art and Design, Boston, Mass. (2008).

Works have been exhibited at The Museum of Modern Art, Whitney Museum of American Art, National Museum of the American Indian, Smithsonian Institution, New York, New York, The National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, Australia, Documenta, Kassal, Germany, Orchard Gallery, Derry, Northern Ireland, University Art Museum, Berkeley, California, Association for Visual Arts Museum, Cape Town, South Africa, Lewallen Contemporary Art, Santa Fe, New Mexico, Hong Kong Art Center, China, Bandung Institute of Technology, Bandung, Indonesia, Grand Palais, Paris, France and the Venice Biennale, Italy.

Has been a visiting lecturer in London, England, Western Samoa, Chiang Mai and Bangkok, Thailand, Johannesburg, South Africa, Barcelona, Spain, Belfast, Northern Ireland, Norrkoping, Sweden, Hararre, Zimbabwe, Verona, Italy, Adelaide, Australia and India.

Taught as Visiting Professor at Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut, Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, Rhode Island and Michaelis School of Art, University of Cape Town, South Africa. At the University of Oklahoma since 1988, Professor Heap of Birds teaches in Native American Studies. His seminars explore issues of the contemporary artist on local, national and international levels.

He has received grants and awards from The National Endowment for the Arts, Rockefeller Foundation, Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation, Lila Wallace Foundation, Bonfil Stanton Foundation, The Pew Charitable Trust and the Andy Warhol Foundation. June 2005, Heap of Birds completed the fifty-foot outdoor sculpture titled Wheel. The circular porcelain enamel on steel work commissioned by The Denver Art Museum, inspired by the traditional Medicine Wheel of the Big Horn Mountains of Wyoming.

Heap of Birds’ artwork was chosen by the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian as their entry towards the competition for the United States Pavilion at the 52nd Venice Biennale. Representing the Smithsonian with a major collateral public art project and blown glass works in Venice, June 2007 titled: “Most Serene Republics”. In 2012, Heap of Birds was one of fifty artists honored by United States Artists with an individual fellowship award of $50,000 and named USA Ford Fellow in the Visual Arts category.


To see more of Edgar Heap of Birds work, please visit his website


July 7 – Oct 9    WANDA LUNA – KREEH

Artist talk and Reception Sat July 18 from 2-4pm!!


Kreeh (moon woman) is a story and response about raising questions regarding the devastating consequences of globalization on our world’s indigenous groups. How will we survive the growing reach of global capitalism? Is it possible for us to maintain self sufficiency?  What will become of our stories? Our language? And what the world looks when we disappear?

The concept for Kreeh stems from an ongoing investigation of self , my mixed heritage, facilitate a dialog between Chilean-Indigenous from diverse and contending backgrounds beginning with my own and create a platform for representing and redefining Mestizo ( Chilean-Indigenous) identity. This current exhibit is calling attention to the Ona (Selk’nam) nation, a group now considered extinct. The Kreeh exhibit  will use my unique work to look at this little-known group in Chile, while raising issues of loss of identity, globalization, and modernization that affect all of us. Through Kreeh I will transform messages of personal identity into pieces of artistic work


Wanda Luna Biography

I am an interdisciplinary indigenous artist from Chile now living in Winnipeg Manitoba. A primary focus in my work continues to be the human body and identity using the cello as a central feature.  As an immigrant to Canada I have been a participant and observer to how identity is attached to place, and my interest is in the results achieved by removing people/objects from specific spaces. I have as child by force and by choice, been up-rooted or removed from one region/country to another. This transitory lifestyle is the focus of my art practice. I choose the cello because it is the closest sound to that of the human voice and the form of the instrument is similar to that of the female body. An artistic representation and self portrait.

In my recent work I am addressing the question of Chilean indigenous cultural identity. The mestizo heritage with a special focus on the  Ona nation. In the process, a new synthesis is emerging in my own individual practice of painting, drawing, sculpture, printmaking, video, photography, digital imagery, text, performance art and installation works.

All cultures are complex but the one into which you are born is the one you come to understand most profoundly. It is with this influence that finds its way into my work as an artist, and I believe it is expressed almost instinctively. This inevitable conflict of two cultures within my “artistic being” has entered my work since coming to Canada permanently. My Spaniard roots and Indigenous heritage. The colonizer and the colonized. The end result appears to be a new synthesis of my artistic outlook and competence as I move into new approaches to the production of my work.

CBC Article from Wanda Luna’s previous show at Neechi Commons in Oct 2013

For further info contact:  Wanda Luna – Estudio Luna/La Sala De Los Sueños Inc


May 29 – 6-8pm reception

The Aboriginal Program for College Enrichment & Training (APCET)



Exhibit to run until May 9, 2015

EXHIBITION EXPLORES IMAGE IDENTITY FROM AN INDIGENOUS PERSPECTIVE May 29, 2015 Winnipeg, MB — Works and words by the students of The Aboriginal Program for College Enrichment & Training (APCET) and facilitated by Indigenous mestiza artist Wanda Luna send a powerful message on the evolution of Aboriginal self-determination in Canada. Presented by Neechi Niche , the exhibition Faces: Masks by Aboriginal Artists will be on view at Neechi Commons from May 29 to June 9 , 2015.

This deeply reflective exhibition will showcase the challenges and detrimental characterizations of Aboriginal life developed through colonization and assimilation, the Indigenous students represent identity as a changing and complex state, rather than one that is essential, singular and “frozen” in the past. Within these masks, which describe contemporary existence, references to traditions, family, and community, appear as a source of strength and grounding.


For further info contact:  Wanda Luna – Estudio Luna/La Sala De Los Sueños Inc  (204) 293.5910


May 21st, 630-830pm Artist Talk with Linus Woods

 Facebook Event


Linus Woods is a Dakota/Ojibway Indian artist from the Long Plain First Nation in Southern Manitoba.

While he has taken a few art and Native studies courses at Brandon University, and has studied with artists such as Jane Ash Poitras, he is largely self-taught. Linus sees his paintings as expressions and extensions of his spiritual journey. His art: acrylic, oil and collage on canvas are subtle works featuring pastel pallets and geometric shapes, and often including collaged images.

Linus Woods is a winner of a the Peace Hills Trust Company Art Competition and his work is in the Peace Hills Trust Collection and in a number of other collections including Winnipeg Children’s Hospital, Long Plain First Nation, Curtis Joony Productions, Brandon University and Mae Moore.

Linus will have his show up un til Mid June of 2015


Wednesday May 27, 7pm-9pm  NORTH END LOVE SONGS


Enjoy this article and video created by CBC. An ode to the North End by K. Vermette


Katherena Vermette

Join us for the wrap up of On The Same Page for Governor General Award Winnipeg Poet Katherena Vermette’s North End Love Songs.


Reading’s and an open mic night for all to enjoy!!  This is a call to all artists to bring your guitars, your poetry, your five minute rants!! It’s bound to be a fun, vibrant and inspiring night!!

Sign up for time slots at the beginning of the evening Wednesday May 27@ 7pm!!!

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Please visit Kate’s webpage!


May 9,  2-4pm  – Chantal Fiola  – Book Launch



Launch of Rekindling the Sacred Fire: Métis Ancestry and Anishinaabe Spirituality (University of Manitoba Press).

Please visit our Facebook Event Page

Why don’t more Métis people go to traditional ceremonies? How does going to ceremonies impact Métis identity? In Rekindling the Sacred Fire, Chantal Fiola investigates the relationship between Red River Métis ancestry, Anishinaabe spirituality, and identity, bringing into focus the ongoing historical impacts of colonization upon Métis relationships with spirituality on the Canadian prairies. Using a methodology rooted in Anishinaabe knowledge and principles along with select Euro-Canadian research practices and tools, Fiola’s work is a model for indigenized research.

Fiola’s interviews of people with Métis ancestry, or an historic familial connection to the Red River Métis, who participate in Anishinaabe ceremonies, shares stories about family history, self-identification, and their relationships with Aboriginal and Euro-Canadian cultures and spiritualities. This study seeks to understand the historical suppression of Anishinaabe spirituality among the Métis and its more recent reconnection that breaks down the colonial divisions between their cultures.


Chantal Fiola is Métis Anishinaabe-Kwe from the Red River region of Manitoba. She teaches Native Studies at the University of Manitoba.


April 26 – Sunday from 11-3pm COTE Students Art Sale


 Join The FaceBook Event Page Here!!

Aboriginal Student Co-operative Project is pleased to invite you to an exclusive event at Neechi Commons just before Mother’s Day where Omazinibii’geg, a collective of young & talented artists, will sell their products.

Please come on down to Neechi Commons and welcome the Students from Children of the Earth High school as they embark on their 2nd Co-op Art Sale. The students are learning to own operate and run their own co-op in a real setting. The art work they will be selling is produced by other students from COTE so it is a complete student run operation!!

These are our communities future business leaders, entrepreneurs, and artists who are learning to be self sufficient and make a difference. They would greatly welcome a visit from you and appreciate your business.

Many thanks to our community partners: Neechi Commons, Winnipeg School Division, Children Of The Earth, Cooperative Promotion Board.



March 23   – April 19 –     PERCEPTION by KC Adams

Perception Kim

Hear KC on Q link here

KC on CBC link here

Artist Statement

I was tired of reading negative and disparaging remarks directed at Indigenous people of Winnipeg in the press and on social media, so I created a body of work that forces the viewer to look again and documents another perspective.

My photos series, called ‘Perception’, is an attempt to combat the stereotypes some have of First Nations, Inuit and Metis people and to illustrate that just like you can’t judge a book by its cover, you can’t judge a person based on their race.

I have always known that there were so many Indigenous people in Winnipeg who were leaders in the community or Indigenous people living average lives. However, their stories never made it into the newspapers or on social media. Then, during the 2014 civic election campaign, with some of the stories and comments that came forward, I realized how alive racism is in Winnipeg, and how many negative stereotypes of First Nations people are accepted as fact. I decided to ask models to pose for me and offered them a chance to label themselves.

In the first photo, I asked models to think of a time when they experienced racism or discrimination, and to think about how they felt at that time. In the second photo, I asked them to think of something positive — maybe the first time they kissed their partner, or a really special time in their lives. The second photo becomes the actual representation of the person. — KC Adams

About the Campaign

The Perception Series, as displayed by Urban Shaman Contemporary Aboriginal Art in Winnipeg’s Downtown, is the first installment of an annual public engagement series by the gallery using the work of emerging and established Indigenous artists. Its purpose is to use art displayed outside our gallery walls, in dynamic and innovative ways, to stimulate various types of discussions in the broader community. The series will stake a claim for Indigenous art in our community and amplify their stories. Each year will feature new artists and art to discuss our relations and our community.

Certainly art can’t solve everything, but it creates important discussions and help move us forward together. We hope you agree.

Community support for the project to-date was made possible by generous contributions from local businesses, foundations, supporters and our friends. To continue this type of work we will need your support. Your donation can be made for future projects via and our soon-to-be launched Indiegogo campaign. You can make this idea have a long future. It will also show the community’s approval for more dialogue.

From late March to the end of April, 2015, the first installment of this series, featuring KC Adams’ Perception, will see 130 large format posters displayed around Winnipeg’s downtown, ads in malls, over 20 Winnipeg transit shelter ads, various video screens, a number of large billboards as well as projections on buildings on Winnipeg on some nights. There are smaller posters and handbills too. Many businesses and supporters have even taken their own initiatives and are planning their own unique ways of getting Perception out into the community.


The University of Manitoba , MTS, The Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce, The University of Winnipeg, The University of Winnipeg’s Student Association, Magellan Aerospace, The Winnipeg Foundation, Wawanesa Insurance, Peerless Garments, Mikuska Group, Tripwire Media Group, Johnston Group, Manitoba Hydro, national Leasing, North West Company, Assiniboine Credit Union, Winnipeg Arts Council, Manitoba Arts Council, The Canada Council for the Arts, Art Support Manitoba Downtown Winnipeg Biz, Our Friends, Volunteers, community and All Our Relations.


March 22, Sunday from 2-6pm SAVE THE DATE

Story Time with Katherena Vermette

The Seven Teachings of the Anishinabe


HOSTED BY David Alexander Robertson Come celebrate the launch of Katherena’s book series for children, The Seven Teachings Stories. Join Katherena and special guests for storytelling, singing, refreshments, and book signing.

The Seven Teachings of the Anishinabe—love, wisdom, humility, courage, respect, honesty, and truth—are revealed in these seven stories for children. Set in an urban landscape with Indigenous children as the central characters, these stories about home and family will look familiar to all young readers. The heartfelt stories serve as cultural bridges to non-Indigenous people wishing to familiarize themselves and their children with contemporary Indigenous culture.

This event will serve as the launch of the first four titles in the series:

The Just Right Gift: A Story of Love,

Singing Sisters: A Story of Humility,

The First Day: A Story of Courage,

and Muskaday’s Quest(ion): A Story of Respect.

The remaining three titles (Amik Loves School: A Story of WisdomSabe’s Stories: A Story of Honesty, and What Is Truth, Betsy?: A Story of Truth) will be published in spring 2015.

KATHERENA VERMETTE is a Métis writer of poetry and fiction, whose work has appeared in several literary magazines and anthologies, most recently, Manitowapow – Aboriginal Writing from the Land of Water (Highwater 2012), and upcoming in cv2 and Canada and Beyond: A Journal of Canadian Literary and Cultural Studies. She has won numerous awards and accolades, including the 2013 Governor General’s Literary Award for Poetry, as well as  including grants from the Canada Council for the Arts, Manitoba Arts Council and Winnipeg Arts Council. She is an active member and performer with the Aboriginal Writers Collective of Manitoba, and editor of their last collection xxx ndn (2011).


Through My Own Eyes: A Visual Narrative of Life in the North End

Brought to you by The Winnipeg Boldness Project

boldness through my own eyes 001

In September 2014, The Winnipeg Boldness Project, along with residents from the North End of Winnipeg, began a new section of our research that we are ready to share with the community and further seek interaction.

This photovoice project is a powerful opportunity to share stories, experiences, and visions through photography and allows us to profile the North End community in a positive light. Cameras are distributed to community members for a predetermined amount of time, during which they will take photos of their community and surroundings. In short, this is the practice of storytelling through photography.

Each photograph taken is accompanied by a written caption or story as provided by the photographer, which results in a very impactful and visual narrative. All the photographers involved in the project were provided training on how to use a camera and throughout a two-week period created beautiful stories through photographs and a vision of their personal experience of living in Point Douglas.

The end result is an interactive mapping installation, where the photos will be plotted on a map of Point Douglas, their statements attached, and the viewer will be encouraged to add their response, either to the photos or to a new point they add to the map.

What is beautiful about photography as a means for people to share stories is that photographs can reach out and touch our hearts, said Gladys Rowe, research manager for The Winnipeg Boldness Project. With this exhibit we have the opportunity to listen with more than our ears. We can view the community through the eyes of the photographer feel the strong impact of their stories.

For more information please contact 204-790-BOLD (2653), 1-844-BOLDNESS (265-3637), or

boldness through my own eyes 002


March 8, Sunday 2-5pm Connecting a Culture

book launch with Megan Dudeck

Connecting a Culture is a series of profiles about inspiring Aboriginal people in Manitoba. These role models have overcome obstacles both small and large from poverty, abuse, and homelessness. Despite these road blocks, they faced their challenges and persevered. Their inspiring stories are what make them role models.  Profiles include: Robert Falcon Ouellette, Michael Redhead Champagne, Jacqueline Bercier, Sonya Ballantyne, Sheila North Wilson, Ashley Richard, and Jeremie and Janelle Wookey.

Check out the Facebook Page

Guest Speakers to be announced


Megan Dudeck is a Cree-Scotish Métis born in Winnipeg, Manitoba. She is a graduate from the University of New Brunswick where she studied Sociology and Multimedia while playing for the school’s women’s volleyball team. After graduating in 2013, Megan attended Red River College majoring in video and radio production.

Dudeck has worked as a student for various Aboriginal organizations such as the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network, the Northern Association of Community Councils, and Parks Canada.

It was while working for Parks Canada that Megan discovered her passion for her Aboriginal culture. For four years, she worked as an interpreter at The Forks and Lower Fort Garry historic sites telling the stories of the first people. Megan immersed herself in to her culture: making pemmican, tanning hides, and sewing moccasins. Lower Fort Garry is where Megan also participated in her first sweat lodge, and received her spirit name ‘Red Sky Woman.’

Megan realized, through working with these organizations, a call for role models in the Aboriginal community. Connecting a Culture is Megan’s way of showcasing these role models in hopes of inspiring Aboriginal youth.


Saturday Jan 10, 1-4pm



Saturday, January 10, 2015, 1-4 pm
Location: Neechi Commons
Free! No need to register – just show up!

Breanna Little will teach the practice of Huichol beaded medallions. The Huichol people are from central Mexico and are known for their psychedelic coloured folk art. Traditionally, they used materials such as clay, stone and vegetable dyes. Even though they now use materials brought by the Europeans, like beads and chemical dyes, they continue to use traditional motifs and designs within their work.

Breanna Little is Oji-Cree from Garden Hill, Manitoba. Little started beading and leatherwork a few years ago, and since then she has been teaching herself a variety of techniques. She has a growing interest in exploring Indigenous crafts from North and South America, with a particular interest in beading. Little brings traditional practices into her contemporary life through craft, cooking and healing techniques and shares these practices with the youth she works with. She currently is working as Drop-in Program Coordinator at the Ndinawe Youth Resource Centre.

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Dec 6 INDIANS DON’T CRY with George Kenny

IDC Kenny

Please join us for an afternoon reading with George Kenny on Saturday Dec 6 at 2-4.
Facebook event click here.George Kenny is an Anishinaabe poet and playwright who learned traditional ways from his parents before being sent to residential school in 1958. When Kenny published his first book, 1977’s Indians Don’t Cry, he joined the ranks of Indigenous writers such as Maria Campbell, Basil Johnston, and Rita Joe whose work melded art and political action. Hailed as a landmark in the history of Indigenous literature in Canada, this new edition is expected to inspire a new generation of Anishinaabe writers with poems and stories that depict the challenges of Indigenous people confronting and finding ways to live within urban settler society.Indians Don’t Cry: Gaawin Mawisiiwag Anishinaabeg is the second book in the First Voices, First Texts series, which publishes lost or underappreciated texts by Indigenous artists. This new bilingual edition includes a translation of Kenny’s poems and stories into Anishinaabemowin by Patricia M. Ningewance and an afterword by literary scholar Renate Eigenbrod.Reviews
“Indians Don’t Cry is a powerful text of cultural survivance and it is perhaps more relevant today than it was when it was first published. Readers interested in Aboriginal history and culture will gravitate toward this remarkable story.”
– Warren Cariou, Director, Centre for Creative Writing and Oral Culture, University of Manitoba“Indians Don’t Cry ultimately reflects the thoughts and feelings of George Kenny, a man who has lived both on a reserve and in an urban setting — a man possessed some would say — but a man who, more than many, accurately reflects the alienation, frustration, hopes and dreams of urban natives in this small but important book.”
– Nick Ternette, City Magazine (1987)About the Authors
George Kenny is from Lac Seul First Nation in northwestern Ontario. He is currently completing a masters degree in Environmental Studies so that he can continue to write about the culture of Anishinaabe people of Lac Seul and the English River, the source of his creativity.Renate Eigenbrod (1944-2014) taught Native Studies at the University of Manitoba and was the author of Travelling Knowledges: Positioning the Im/Migrant Reader of Aboriginal Literatures in Canada.Patricia M. Ningewance is an Anishinaabe translator from Lac Seul First Nation. She has more than thirty years’ experience in language teaching, translation and media work.


Sunday Dec 7 from 10AM – 2pm

Children of the Earth abORIGINAL student co-op Arts show and sale

The Manitoba Cooperative Association, SEED, Neechi Niche and Children Of The Earth High School presents.   


It’s the first ever arts and crafts sale and show created by the students of COTE.

A student co-op is a collective enterprise led by the students for the students. This co-op youth initiative aims to empower COTE students who want to learn how to start a business, and helps student artists learn how to market and sell their arts and crafts.

Come on out and support the business leaders and artists of tomorrow.

Visit the Facebook page and come on out!!!


November 27 – Mary Jane McCallum  Reading  7pm

Featuring a discussion and reading from Indigenous Women, Work, and History.

iwwh MJM

About the Book
When dealing with Indigenous women’s history we are conditioned to think about women as private-sphere figures, circumscribed by the home, the reserve, and the community. Moreover, in many ways Indigenous men and women have been cast in static, pre-modern, and one-dimensional identities, and their twentieth century experiences reduced to a singular story of decline and loss. In Indigenous Women, Work, and History, historian Mary Jane Logan McCallum rejects both of these long-standing conventions by presenting case studies of Indigenous domestic servants, hairdressers, community health representatives, and nurses working in “modern Native ways” between 1940 and 1980.

By placing the history of these modern workers within a broader historical context of Aboriginal education and health, federal labour programs, post-war Aboriginal economic and political developments, and Aboriginal professional organizations, McCallum challenges us to think about Indigenous women’s history in entirely new ways.

Mary Jane Logan McCallum is an Associate Professor in the Department of History at University of Winnipeg.


Oct 25, 2014 Northern Writers Volume 5 Book Launch and Readings from 2-4pm

NorthenWriters             thisnthat

Northern Writers: Volume 5 has something to suit every taste with a rich smorgasbord of writing styles and genres all reflecting the wealth of diversity found in the North.

Contributions to this anthology include a legend embedded in a story of a boat ride with his grandfather by Ferrin Towers; a numismatist’s view of Manitoba’s trade tokens by historian, Scott M. Hopkins; a children’s story about York Boat Days by Corrine Clyne; memories of the S.S. Keenora by celebrated story-teller, Clarence Thordarson; reflective stories for youth by young adult author, Dana L. Coates and children’s book author, Brenda Fontaine; an essay on Aboriginal Poverty by university student, David Kelvin McKay; poems by local writers, Doug Senio and Marcel C. Menow; a blog post about his new life in Africa by Josiah Meyer; poems and song lyrics by Dorene Meyer and Paul Meyer; children’s stories from teachers Erin Hopkins and Samuel Parmar; memories of Holland during World War II by former northern outpost nurse, Suzanna Abels-Meyer; and memories of her childhood in Tootinawaziibeeng First Nations by Deborah Ironside.

With Author Clarence Thordarson

From flying cats to talking fish and sneaky ravens, the stories in This ‘n’ That are sure to delight both young and old. And history comes alive as the author recounts daring rescues in the north country by such legendary bush pilots as Garf Monkman and Harry Olafson. Written with humor and generosity, Clarence Thordarson recounts family adventures and community events with a simplicity and warmth which will endear his readers for generations to come.


Dec 2015 – The Strength of Her – time TBC



A group of seven young women have been the focus of a two year project to develop hidden talents and break down barriers to success for aboriginal women.

The project, dubbed, “Building Leaders in Women of Tomorrow,” has spent two years working with the young women to address issues like poverty and violence as well as provide training and mentorship.

The training involves expression through everything from art and culture to community involvement.

“It’s about identifying the obstacles and the barriers that young aboriginal women face in our community,” said program director Jana Gauthier. “And really, just overcoming those barriers and issues and rising up in empowerment.”

The project, funded by Status of Women Canada, is in the last few months of its first round.

To see the CBC interview please follow this link.

To read the Winnipeg Free Press Article click here.


Oct 1 – Nov 12 – Flash Fest with  John Paskievich and

Michael YellowWing Kannon

Artist Talk / Reception – Saturday Oct 11, 2-4pm

John Paskievich is an Award winning Winnipeg documentary photographer and filmmaker whose work has focused on a diverse range of humanity that includes Roma in Slovakia, Ukrainians in their newly independent homeland, Euro-Indians If Only I Were an Indian, a photographer of babies who dreams of being an actor and people who cope with the challenges of stuttering and Director of the Genie Award-winning short film Ted Baryluk’s Grocery and most recently the award Winnipeg Special Ed. An accomplished stills photographer as well as filmmaker, John’s photographs have been exhibited at prestigious galleries and museums across Canada.


The photographs on display at Neechi Commons were taken in the mid 1980’s as part of a federal government sponsored visual and oral documentation of Inuit carvers and print makers. The work that Paskievich did in the various Inuit communities is to be published by the University of Manitoba Press which also produced his last book, North End.

FLASH FEST Winnipeg’s Annual Photo Fest. October 1 – 31

FLASH is Winnipeg’s First Annual Photographic Festival, founded in 2014. Each October the city will witness photographs appear on walls in cafes, shops and galleries; giving a venue for artists of all levels. The Flash Photographic Festival will educate, demonstrate, and illuminate.

Michael-Yellowwing Kannon is a grandfather, veteran, writer, speaker, propagandist, and photographer from the Brokenhead Ojibway Nation. At 9 years old he was adopted by the Kannons in Middle Tennessee as part of the 60’s Scoop Legacy. Numerous experiences of life led him back to the Indigenous community.


In working with community he is coming to understand more the meaning of that Yellowwing and Wolf Clan. That vision and love of community is presented here as spiritual portrait of a people coming into their own again as Ancestors.

“Come Grandchildren, let me show you the beauty of your Ancestors”


Friday Sept 26 from 6-8

CODE Book Readings with the 2014 Finalists at Neechi Commons

w/ Authors Bev Sellars and Monique Gray Smith and Thomas King

And special guest hosts Rosanna Deechild and Duncan Mercredi



Unique initiative spreads the joy of reading to Aboriginal youth with engaging books

In the lead up to International Literacy Day, CODE is proud to announce the 2014 finalists for its Burt Award for First Nations, Métis and Inuit Literature.

This year’s shortlisted titles, selected by a jury composed of Canadian writers administered by the Canada Council for the Arts, are (in alphabetical order):

  • The Girl Who Grew A Galaxy by Cherie Dimaline (published by Theytus Books)
  • The Inconvenient Indian: A Curious Account of Native People in North America by Thomas King (published by Doubleday Canada)
  • They Called Me Number One by Bev Sellars (published by Talonbooks)
  • Tilly, a Story of Hope and Resilience by Monique Gray Smith (published by Sono Nis Press)


Bev Sellars is chief of the Xat’sull (Soda Creek) First Nation in Williams Lake, British Columbia. She returned to the First Nations community of Soda Creek after an extended period of “visiting other territories.” While she was away, she earned a degree in history from the University of Victoria and a law degree from the University of British Columbia, and she served as adviser for the B.C. Treaty Commission. She was first elected chief in 1987 and has spoken out on behalf of her community on racism and residential schools and on the environmental and social threats of mineral resource exploitation in her region. Her first book, They Called Me Number One, spent 52 weeks on the BC best seller list while winning the 2014 George Ryga Award for Social Awareness in Literature and being shortlisted for the 2014 Hubert Evans Non-Fiction Prize (B.C. Book Prizes) along the way.


Monique Gray Smith is a mixed-heritage woman of Cree, Lakota and Scottish ancestry and a proud mom of young twins. Under the umbrella of her own business, Little Drum Consulting, Monique is an accomplished consultant, writer and international speaker. She is well known for her warmth, spirit of generosity and focus on resilience. Monique has been sober and involved in her healing journey for over 20 years. She and her family are blessed to live on Coast Salish territory in Victoria, B.C.

Thomas King is one of Canada’s premier Native public intellectuals. For the past five decades, he has worked as an activist for Native causes, as an administrator in Native programs, and has taught Native literature and history at universities in the U.S. and Canada. King was the first Aboriginal person to deliver the prestigious Massey Lectures, and is also the bestselling, award-winning author of five novels and two collections of short stories.

The winners of the second edition of this annual Award will be announced on September 27, 2014 at a Gala hosted by Shelagh Rogers and Wab Kinew at the Manitoba Theatre for Young People in Winnipeg.

“We’re excited to continue the work we started in the inaugural year of the Award to spread the joy of reading across the country with the excellent and engaging books for young people in this year’s shortlist,” said CODE Executive Director Scott Walter.

Established by CODE – a Canadian charitable organization that has been advancing literacy and learning for 55 years – in collaboration with William (Bill) Burt and the Literary Prizes Foundation, theBurt Award for First Nations, Métis and Inuit Literature aims to provide engaging and culturally-relevant books for young people across Canada by recognizing excellence in English-language literary works for Young Adults by First Nations, Métis and Inuit authors.

The Award is the result of a close collaboration with the Assembly of First Nations, the Métis National Council, Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, the National Association of Friendship Centres, the Association of Canadian Publishers, the Canada Council for the Arts, GoodMinds and Frontier College.

CODE’s Burt Award is a global readership initiative and is also currently established in Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Tanzania and the Caribbean.

A First Prize of $12,000, a Second Prize of $8,000 and a Third Prize of $5,000 will be awarded to the authors of the winning titles. In addition, publishers of the winning titles will be awarded a guaranteed purchase of a minimum of 2,500 copies, which will ensure that First Nations, Métis and Inuit youth across Canada will have access to the books through their community’s schools, libraries, or Friendship Centres.


Thursday July 3 130pm –  Walking Beyond

Commemorative  Bead- in Quilt Dedication Ceremony


Indigenous Achievement, University of Manitoba, and Neechi Niche, will formally unveil the Commemorative Bead-In Quilt.  The ceremony will take place on Thursday, July 3, 2014, from 1:30 pm to 2:00 pm at Neechi Commons.  Everyone is welcome to attend.

The Commemorative Quilt is a result from a community Bead-in held at Neechi Commons on March 15, 2014, to support Walking with Our Sisters: A Commemorative Art Installation for Missing & Murdered Indigenous Women of Canada and the United States.  Over 50 participants joined the full-day Bead-In where they beaded individual square patches.  The completed beaded patches were later turned into a quilt to honour and remember missing and murdered Indigenous girls and women.  


Please join us for the Quilt Dedication Ceremony on Thursday July 3, 2014 at 130 -2pm.

beading group

The dedication ceremony will be followed by a reception for the Beader’s and the Ndinawe youth



Youth Exhibition -community reception

Dates: June 26 – July 31, 2014

Community Reception from 2:00 – 4:00pm  Thursday, July 3, 2014

Location: Neechi Niche, Neechi Commons

ndinawe 2

WALKING BEYOND, a youth exhibition at Neechi Niche, responds to the travelling commemorative art installation Walking With Our Sisters. A community reception for the artists will follow the Walking With Our Sisters’ inspired Blanket Dedication Ceremony, which ison Thursday, July 3 from 1:30 to 2:00 pm.

Walking With Our Sisters is a travelling commemorative art installation comprised of 1,600+ moccasin vamps (tops) created and donated to draw attention to the over 600+ Native women in Canada that have been reported missing or have been murdered in the last 20 years. These unfinished moccasins represent the unfinished lives of the women whose lives were cut short. Together the installation represents all these women; paying respect to their lives and existence on this earth. They are sisters, mothers, aunties, daughters, cousins, grandmothers, wives and partners. They have been cared for, they have been loved, they are missing and they are not forgotten.

WALKING BEYOND was day of free arts-based workshops and ceremony that engaged youth in active violence prevention while honouring and reclaiming youth leadership. The workshops featured five local artists: musician, Wanda Wilson; visual artist, Becky Thiessen; filmmaker, Jody Lee Pacey; poet, Katherena Vermette; and dancer, Josh Letander from the Aboriginal School of Dance. The participants viewed the commemorative installation at Urban Shaman and then were invited to respond to the installation collectively at Graffiti Gallery.

Following the workshops, Indigenous artist Scott Benesiinaabandan collaborated with youth to create resistance with repetition, ten wheat-pasted 4’x4’ boards based off the pieces generated from the WALKING BEYOND workshops.

ndinawe 1

Meegwetch to our amazing artists Scott Benesiinaabandan, Josh Letander, Jody Lee Pacey, Becky Thiessen, Katherena Vermette, and Wanda Wilson. This project could not have been possible without the generous donations and with that, thank you: the City of Winnipeg, Aboriginal Youth Strategy; Richard and Adele Beamish; Marie Hamm; Greg Psooy; Pete Chudley; Mona Lisa Restaurante; the Graffiti Gallery; Video Pool; the Winnipeg Film Group; Art City; Urban Shaman; and Walking With Our Sisters Committee.

Our Community members supported this project through with their time and positivity, Meegwetch.


ndinawe board 3





Curator Cliff Eyland considers Adams to be among Canada’s most important young artists: “KC Adams uses herself and her aboriginal friends as subjects. Ever the fashionista, she creates glamorous and sexy photographs that give her subjects darker complexions, just like Vogue and W magazines do, but with the intention of imparting to them a more ‘aboriginal’ look.”


  • The main focus in KC Adams’ work has been investigating the relationship between nature (the living) and technology (progress). It is through the cyborg, a concept referenced in Donna Harroway’s socialist-feminist driven Cyborg Manifesto that Adams explores this theme. According to Harroway, a cyborg is “a cybernetic organism, a hybrid of machine and organism, a creature of social reality [lived social relations] as well as a creature of fiction. Adams questions the idea of mixed race in Cyborg Hybrids.
  • Cyborg Hybrids is a digitally altered photo series that attempts to challenge our views towards mixed race classifications by using humorous text and imagery from two cultures. The subjects are Euro-Aboriginal artists who are forward thinkers and plugged in with technology. Adams presents them wearing white chokers and beaded slogans on white t-shirts illustrating common stereotypes, such as “PENNY HOOKER”, or “FIGHTING SIOUX.” The photos are air-brushed glamour shots, reflecting contemporary glamour magazines, while simultaneously mocking 19th century stereotypes of Aboriginal people. The models are futuristic and almost androgynous looking, a visual interpretation of Harroway’s cyborgs, who exist in a technological world free of traditional western stereotypes towards race and gender. They hold defiant or proud expressions on their faces, daring viewers to culturally locate them as anything other than cyborg hybrids. These artists do not allow the slogans on their t-shirts to define them, and their captured strength exposes the absurdity of common stereotypes.

KC’s Bio

Born in 1971, the Winnipeg-based artist KC Adams graduated from Concordia University with a BFA and works in medium that includes: sculpture, installation, drawing, painting, photography, ceramics, printmaking and kinetic art. She maintains her own website at showcasing her work and digital art projects. KC Adams has had several solo exhibitions, most recently Legacy at the Parramatta Artists Studios, Parramatta, NSW. She has also been featured in numerous group exhibitions, Circuit City at My Winnipeg at la maison rouge in Paris, France, Cyborg Living Space II, The Language of Intercession at the OBORO Gallery in Montreal and Cyborg Hybrids at the PHOTOQUAI: Biennale des images du monde in Paris, France.

She has participated in residencies at the Banff Centre, the Confederation Art Centre in Charlottetown, National Museum of the American Indian in New York and Canada Council’s International residency in Parramatta, NSW. She has received several grants and awards from Winnipeg Arts Council, Manitoba Arts Council and Canada Council for the Arts. Twenty pieces from the Cyborg Hybrid series is in the permanent collection of the National Art Gallery in Ottawa, ten Circuit City prints to the Indian and Inuit Art Centre in Ottawa and Birch Bark Ltd. is in the collection of the Canadian Consulate in Sydney, NSW.


Bead Club Suspended until Oct!!

Every Sunday from 2-4pm in Neechi Commons. FREE to All

In the spring of 2012 the University of Manitoba began a Beading Circle to support Walking With Our Sisters (WWOS).  Since finishing the work for the WWOS exhibit we have expanded the Bead Circle to include community members and anyone who is interested in beading.

We meet every Sunday at 2.00 pm to 4.00 pm at Neechi Commons on Main Street.  We are small group of dedicated individuals and range in beading skills – from newbies to advanced!

To join the beading circle is free.  However, we do have limited beading supplies – e.g. different colour beads, thread, scissors, leather (for vamps only) – but if you have your own supplies please bring them.  If you have projects you’d like to start or complete, or are completely new and need to know what you need to buy to even start, this is the Beading Circle for you!

Hope to see you there! a time to bead, chat and drink tea


Thursday Aug 28, 2014, A PLACE TO HANG YOUR STORIES

12pm opening prayer, 630pm artist talk and art build

with artist Dawn Marie Marchand

 Neechi Commons Art Talk

Join us on Thursday Aug 28th at 630pm, for an artist talk and art build with Artist Dawn Marie Marchand.

Cree-Metis artist Dawn Marie Marchand hopes her work can give some insight into the inter-generational suffering caused by Indian Residential Schools.

Her unique art project uses over 500 paper bricks to represent the cheap materials the schools were built with.

The exhibit was originally on display at Edmonton’s city hall during the Truth and Reconciliation Commission national event, March 27 to 30, of 2014.

Marchand was given the idea last fall when an Indian residential school survivor suggested an art project for survivors and their family members to be unveiled at the final TRC event.

It was inspired by the Walking With Our Sisters project, which brings together over 1700 pairs of moccasin tops, made by people from all over North America to memorialize the unfinished lives of missing and murdered aboriginal women.

For months, Marchand used social media, reaching outto survivors and those affected, asking them to create art with their stories on 13″ x 9”  paper bricks using various mediums, such as paint, crayons, beads or charcoal.

Communities stepped up with their own workshops: finished bricks were mailed to Marchand and added to the art installation.  Before setting up in Edmonton, Marchand made sure to smudge each piece.

At the exhibit, people can walk around the 10-by-10 foot tent exterior to view the bricks. Stepping inside, there is a tiny, wooden school desk that shows how young the children were when they first entered residential school. Marchand has also left room for visitors to leave their masterpieces.


Thursday August 14 @ 730pm

CREE STORIES: An evening with Neal McLeod, Duncan Mercredi, and Rosanna Deerchild

cree stories

Please join us for an evening of readings by some of Canada’s best-loved Aboriginal writers for a celebration of the Cree imagination in story, drama, and poetry.


NEAL McLEOD is an acclaimed poet, theorist, painter, curator, filmmaker, and professor of Native Studies at Trent… University. He was raised on the James Smith Cree Nation in Saskatchewan.

DUNCAN MERCREDI is a celebrated Cree poet and storyteller from Grand Rapids, Manitoba, who has brilliantly documented life in the bush and life on the streets of Winnipeg.

ROSANNA DEERCHILD is a Cree poet, broadcaster, and journalist from South Indian Lake, Manitoba. Her first book, This is a Small Northern Town, was widely praised and anthologized.

This event is part of the University of Manitoba Summer Institute in Cree Language and Literature, which is sponsored by the following U of M units: Summer Session, the Centre for Creative Writing and Oral Culture, the Department of Linguistics, the Department of Native Studies, and the Department of English, Film and Theatre.

For more info, contact: Or check out our web site at:


Thursday August 7 from 6-8 PM

Book Launch and Readings –

Children of Air India by Renee Sarojini Saklikar

and The Life in Rhymes of an Angsty Teenager by Lindsey Olver


Join our Facebook Event Page

children of air india is a series of elegiac sequences exploring the nature of individual loss, situated within public trauma. The work is animated by a proposition: that violence, both personal and collective, produces continuing sonar, an echolocation that finds us, even when we choose to be unaware or indifferent. This collection breaks new ground in its approach to the saga that is Canada/Air India, an event and its aftermath that is both over-reported and under-represented in our national psyche.

329 deaths. 82 Children. Canada’s worst mass murder. The accused acquitted. What does it mean to be Canadian and lose someone in Air India Flight 182? Why does 9/11 resonate more strongly with Canadians than June 23, 1985? The poems in this book search out answers in the “everything/ness and nothing/ness” of an act and its aftermath, revealing a voice that re-defines and re-visions. Air India never happened. Air India always happens.


Renée Sarojini Saklikar is the winner of the 2014 Canadian Authors Association Award for Poetry. Renée was born in Poona/Pune, India and has lived in Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, Northern Ontario, Quebec, Saskatchewan and British Columbia. She writes thecanadaproject, a life-long poem chronicle. Her work has appeared in literary journals and newspapers, including The Vancouver Review, The Georgia Straight, Geist, SubTerrain, Poetry is Dead, CV2, and Arc Poetry Magazine and in the recent anthologies, Alive at the Center, contemporary poems from the pacific northwest, and Force Field, 77 Women Poets of British Columbia. The first completed series from thecanadaproject, a book length sequence of elegies, children of air india, un/authorized exhibits and interjections (Nightwood Editions, 2013) about Canada and the bombing of Air India Flight 182 is now available from Harbour Publishing.

Lindsey Olver

Lindsey Olver is an 18 year old self-published Metis writer from Winnipeg. This is her first book and she has written 90+ poems to date since she was just 14. She believes that we all have to start somewhere, and that this collection is just the beginning of her story.

The Life in Rhymes of an Angsty Teenager is a personal collection of poetry, with the exception of a couple song lyrics and a short story, based on my life experiences thus far. Prepare to delve deep into the less than magical (though sometimes dreamlike) mindset, thoughts, feelings, and world of a usually (but not always) regular, run-of-the-mill teenaged girl: me.


Sunday, June 22 @ 11:00 AM – 2:00 PM

Winnipeg Public Library FREE Library Card Event

Neechi Commons, 2nd Floor, 865 Main Street, Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada


Brunch Time bonus! Our friends from Winnipeg Public Library will be around Neechi Commons from 11am – 2pm to sign people up for free Library cards on the spot and provide story times for the kids.  They’re looking for some big “Inspiring Ideas” for the future of your public library, so stop by Neechi Niche and share your thoughts for a chance to win an iPad mini!

Find us at North End cultural hot spot Neechi Commons (we’ll be upstairs by Neechi Niche). Share your thoughts about what you want from your public library.  Mobile library services? More family programs? Programs with writers? Whatever your ideas, we want to hear them.  Bonus?  Get signed up for your free Winnipeg Public Library card on the spot and bring the kids to enjoy story times featuring great books by Aboriginal authors.



May 22, 2014 The Winter We Danced – Book Launch


Join editors and contributors at the Winnipeg Launch of #TWWD The Winter We Danced: Voices of the Past, the Future, and the Idle No More Movement!
Brought to you by ARP Books (
Neechi Commons, 865 Main St., Winnipeg, MB
May 22, 2014 from  7-9pm
Join the facebook event page!!

The Winter We Danced is a vivid collection of writing, poetry, lyrics, art and images from the many diverse voices that make up the past, present, and future of the Idle No More movement. Calling for pathways into healthy, just, equitable and sustainable communities while drawing on a wide-ranging body of narratives, journalism, editorials and creative pieces, this collection consolidates some of the most powerful, creative and insightful moments from the winter we danced and gestures towards next steps in an on-going movement for justice and Indigenous self-determination.
More information about the book can be found here: from the sale of this book will be donated to the Native Youth Sexual Health Network.


Join us as we celebrate the life of Dr. Renate Eigenbrod on May 31, 3pm at Neechi Commons

Renate Eigenbrod

Beloved Professor of Aboriginal Literatures, scholar, and head of the University of Manitoba Department of Native Studies, Dr. Renate Eigenbrod passed away on Thursday, May 8, 2014.

At the request of Renate’s family we will be holding a life celebration for her at Neechi Commons.

Renate was a huge advocate and supporter of Neechi Commons, a dear friend who encouraged and promoted this endeavor in any and every way she could. She was always around becoming a part of the bricks and mortar of the building. A true essence of the space with a warm hello to all, eyes shining and laughter ringing out across the mezzanine. She will be deeply missed by all of us at Neechi. She was a dear friend and we shall miss her weekly visits and the exuberance that enamoured us all.

Dr. Renate Eigenbrod taught Canadian Aboriginal Literatures, with research interests in theories of decolonization in relation to Aboriginal literatures in Canada and Indigenous literatures globally. She was presently working on the role of Aboriginal literatures within the larger societal discourses of genocide on the one hand and of reconciliation and redress on the other. Her work in Indigenous scholarship and activism clearly thrilled her.

In addition to the published literature created by a new generation of Aboriginal writers, she was also interested in lesser known, community-based literary activities. She was a member of the Manitoba Aboriginal Justice and Equality Coalition.

Dr. Eigenbrod explained the emphasis in her research and scholarship on writing and story as powerful tools in social change: story is both “non-threatening [for the audience] and empowering” for the aspiring writer, for other Aboriginal youth — and beyond. It allows the writer “to make sense of things in their own way,” she said. Everyone who had the opportunity to meet her knew that she worked tirelessly to make those voices heard.

Renate was an enthusiastic supporter of Aboriginal peoples and cultures, and an advocate of historic justice and human dignity. She was the most inspiring kind of person in academia and in life, and this is why we celebrate her. Chi Miigwetch



Leah Decter and Jaimie Isaac 

Sewing Action to take place on April 27/2013 from 12-4pm


Jaimie Isaac and Leah Decter each engage in decolonizing artistic practices, dialogue and theory. They are Indigenous and settler, a curator and an artist, researchers with related but distinct interests and collaborators. In this talk they will discuss decolonizing methodologies through different exhibitions and projects: Indigenous and non-Indigenous, local, national and international.

Jaimie Isaac is an artist, curator and art administrator of Indigenous and British heritage. She is completing a Master of Arts at the University of British Columbia, with a focus on the agency and interdisciplinary art and curatorial projects around reconciliation, Indigenous identity and (mis)representation, resistance discourse, decolonization and Indigenity.

Leah Decter is aWinnipeg-based inter-media artist and scholar whose work has been screened and exhibited in Canada and internationally. Her art and research practices engage Canada’s colonial histories and legacies, and initiatives of decolonization through a critical settler lens. Leah holds an MFA from Berlin-based Transart Institute and is currently undertaking a PhD in Cultural Studies at Queen’s University.

From Decter’s statement:
‘trade value’ is an ongoing body of work that builds on my practice of tampering with iconic elements of Canadian visual culture, in this case enlisting the Hudson Bay Company (HBC) point blanket. Redeploying the complex social history and contemporary associations of HBC point blankets through manipulation and relational activation each piece in ‘trade value’ confronts particular aspects of Canada’s settler colonial past and present with a view towards the future. I approach this work through a critical analysis of my position as a settler in relation to colonial realities and decolonizing movements.

From Isaac’s statement:
The (official denial) project privileges uncensored, cross cultural, intergenerational dialogue and critical exchange between diverse groups across Canada on the issues of colonialism, reconciliation, denial and truth, as it relates to all Canadians. As Indigenous and non-Indigenous collaborators, we work together to challenge colonial knowledge and utilize participatory methods that provokes inclusive dialogue.

A sewing action, reception and Artist’s talk will follow APRIL 27,  12-4pm


Sunshine House Photography Show – March 12 – April 4

Info session with JD and The Sunshine band live performance March 29 @ 130 PM on the second floor of neechi Commons!!

Sunshine House

JD and the Sunshine band have been working with the clientele of Sunshine House to put together music and music videos. This photography  show focuses on the people behind the scenes in glorious black and white. All of this in preparation for a Sunshine House fundraiser.

We will schedule an info session for the next upcoming weeks and let you know when.

Mark your calendars! The date for JD and the Sunshine Band’s cd release/fundraiser is Wednesday, April 9th. Tix will be available soon and info about how to get ’em will be posted on FB and on our website Stay tuned!

Sunshine House is a harm reduction-oriented drop-in centre serving street-involved and homeless people, many of them affected by addictions, HIV, and HCV.

Sunshine House began in late 1999 with broad consultation between affected communities and several agencies including the Manitoba Aboriginal AIDS Task Force (MAATF) AIDS Shelter Coalition, Village Clinic, St. Matthews Maryland Anglican Church, Addictions Foundation of Manitoba, Street Outreach Collective and Kali Shiva AIDS Services.


Chris Friesen, photographer:

Born in ’87, I was raised in rural Manitoba, in the village of Rosenort. After high school I moved to downtown Winnipeg where I continue to live.  I Studied Photography in 2008-2009 at Prairie View School and continue to document life around me as I see it. I’ve been blessed with opportunities to use photography as a tool for connecting with people I otherwise may not have, which I believe is its ultimate use. It’s a means to an end. Those moments frozen in time hold a mirror to those involved -photographer included- and a window to those that wish to look.

Facebook for Sunshine House


REBBECA BELMORE – TRACE workshops NOW until MARCH 30 2014


Join Rebecca Belmore’s facebook page for her CMHR project TRACE. This way you can keep up with her happenings and discover when and where she is working as well as when you can come by and help her out!!


March 25 AYO! Cree language Hour at 4pm


AYO! Present Cree Language Hour Tomorrow Tuesday March 25/14 from 4-5pm at Neechi Commons One hour of exploring the Cree language. Shout out to Sue Caribou for being willing to share what she knows. Young ppl, community members and lang…uage speakers are invited to revitalize the language (next Tuesday will be Anishinabe Language followed by Cree and so on)

MARCH 21 , 1130Am – 130pm  kimiwan ‘zine collection Launch


kimiwan does ywg

kimiwan is a quarterly publication that showcases words + art from emerging + established indigenous, first nations, métis, and inuit writers + artists. They are based in saskatoon, saskatchewan, treaty six territory. our name means rain in nehiyawewin (plains cree).

We are heading to Winnipeg

The kimiwan ‘zine crew will be in Winnipeg from March 21-23, 2014 and we hope you will spread the word.

On Friday March 21, 2014 we will be having a pop-up shop at Neechi Niche (inside Neechi Commons) at 865 Main Street from 11:30 AM to 1:30 PM.  On Saturday March 22, 2014 we are launching Issue Sixxx at Union Sound Hall. The event is hosted by Wab Kinew and will feature Big Freedia (the Queen of Bounce), and Winnipeg artists Namowan, Queerview and Clash ‘N Cooks. Doors open at 10:00 PM and the show starts right away, so come early.

We are happy to announce that our cover artist for Issue Sixxx is Kent Monkman, who will be receiving an Indspire Award in recognition of his contributions to the arts. Congratulations to Kent!

Our sixth issue titled “samikēwin” (touch) is a collaboration with the Native Youth Sexual Health Network (NYSHN)  an organization by and for Indigenous youth that works across issues of sexual and reproductive health, rights and justice throughout the United States and Canada. For more information about NYSHN please visit:

For those of you who will not be able to attend our events in Winnipeg you can always purchase ‘zines on our website We now offer subscriptions, so you will never miss out on another issue again.

Tickets for the Issue Sixxx launch featuring Big Freedia are available:


In person:
TUB-398 Portage Ave
Music Trader-97 Osborne St
-Joi, Leah, Jarita & Melody

This issue is in partnership with the Native Youth Sexual Health Network (NYSHN), an organization by and for Indigenous youth that works across issues of sexual and reproductive health, rights and justice throughout the United States and Canada.

for more info email

March 15 Walking With Our Sisters – Bead In


UofM, Red River College, and Neechi Niche are hosting a Bead-In gathering to support Walking with Our  Sisters: A Commemorative Art Installation for Missing & Murdered Indigenous Women of Canada and the United States

When:  Saturday, March 15  9am-5pm @ Neechi Commons, 865 Main St. (at Euclid)  – 2nd Floor, Tansi Restaurant

Tea, coffee and bannock will be offered through out the Bead-In.

Everyone is welcome!

Beading supplies will be available.

Facebook Group


March 11 AYO! Cree language Hour at 4pm

Cree Hour

AYO! Present Cree Language Hour Tomorrow Tuesday March 11/14 from 4-5pm at Neechi Commons One hour of exploring the Cree language. Shout out to Sue Caribou for being willing to share what she knows. Young ppl, community members and lang…uage speakers are invited to revitalize the language (next Tuesday will be Anishinabe Language followed by Cree and so on)

March 4  at 4pm  AYO Language Hour!!


BIINDIIGEN! (Come in!)

Tuesday March 4th @ 4pm – AYO! Language Hour has our 3rd (Niswi) Anishinabe Language Hour! You are invited to Neechi Niche in Neechi Commons for the 3rd Aboriginal Youth Opportunities Language hour – An invitation to revitalize language!!

We continue to have Agnes Catcheway in attendance. All young people and community members are invited to participate! It is free to attend, we only ask that you bring tobacco and a couple dollars for the instructor.

Facebook page can be found here.

(Future instructors & helpers needed, especially CREE SPEAKERS – plz msg the FB page or email )


March 8, 2014 Winnipeg Art Build for Dawn Marie Marchand


MARCH 8, 2014 at Neechi Commons

From 2-6pm

In Fall 2013, I was approached by a community member who knew that the upcoming Truth and Reconciliation Commission was coming to Edmonton at the end of March. She had witnessed the power of the Walking With Our Sisters Exhibit to bring community awareness to an issue, give people a voice who haven’t always been heard and in some cases bring healing. She wondered if such a project could happen for Residential School Survivors and their intergenerational descendants who are st…ill affected even if they did not attend themselves. This project came out of this talk. It is currently untitled until I get confirmation from someone about the name.
The concept is simple: I need paper bricks. I will collage these bricks onto either stage walls or canvas walls. Much of the final installation will be left up to the venue of the installation. I will be working with local Indigenous Artists in the final construction but for now I need bricks. There is also an agreement with Blue Quills First Nation University to create a permanent public art feature using parts of this installation.
Who can submit? Any person who is affected by Indian Residential Schools, this includes survivors, descendants of survivors, spouses of survivors. This is an open call. I will work with however many bricks that I receive. I need 391 bricks to do one 10 x 10’ wall and would like to fill 4 walls. So ideally I need 1564 bricks. Unfortunately, I will not be able to return your bricks to you. They will become a permanent part of this installation. There is no limit to the amount of bricks you want to send in.
Content: Draw, paint, quilt or collage anything you want to show about Indian Residential School and how it affects your life.
Requirements: 1 3 x 9” piece of paper or flattened material. We have to be able to secure it to the wall so one side must be flat. 2 Please put your name, address and Nation on the back. Please also sign on the back confirming that you know your work will be part of an installation and will not be returned to you. There may also be photography of the installed work. I will not be photographing every piece but if you would like to post photographs on our page you are welcome to.
Recommendations: I would like to see a good portion on brown paper, like a lunch bag, brown bag, butcher paper, cardboard box but please feel free to use whatever paper or material you have available to you.
If you are collaging, please double check your adhesive is holding everything together. We don’t want to lose pieces.

Supplies provided by the Organizers.


Artist Talk – Feb 8, 2014 at 2:00PM

AWAKENED SPIRIT – Lisa Delorme Meiler

Exhibition Runs January 14 – March 2, 2014

Artist statement. “Painting for me is a transformational process that inspires me to create and express thoughts, moments and moods that evolve into abstract visual forms of storytelling.”

Awakened Spirit

Lisa Delorme Meiler’s painting exhibit is up!!! She was interviewed in the ACU online newsletter check it out!!!!


Métis artist, Lisa Delorme Meiler is a born and raised prairie girl. Lisa has always had a love for the arts, throughout her life she has been surrounded by all things artistic. Her love of the arts cultivated by a family filled with artistic talent from musicians, songwriters, photographers, authors, woodworkers and artists. Growing up in a nurturing and creative environment she was encouraged to express herself artistically, through art.

Her strongest influences and what shaped her as a painter are her artistic family and her life experiences. She was born to a family of artisans of all kinds; her great grand father was an author and writer, her grandfather a woodworker and lover of nature, her grandmother an artist, writer and musician, her mother a singer, songwriter and artist, her father a singer, musician and t stop there, the majority of her aunts, uncles, cousins and siblings possess artistic abilities from music, photography to painting.

Over the years Lisa’s creative voice has evolved. After many years of not creating art, she picked up a paintbrush and began to paint once again. Moving to the countryside has given her a quiet perspective on life, allowing her to lose herself in the beauty of nature and the world around her. She discovered the joy of painting with acrylics on canvas. The pigment and fluid nature of acrylic and the texture of the canvas ignited her passion for painting and her artistic side. She found her voice, once thought lost, through painting. Painting allows her to create and express thoughts, moments, moods and memories and transform them into an abstract form a visual storytelling. Drawing from nature and life experiences, she is able to translate this into a vivid an expressive use of pigment paint and light into a visual window of and infinite moment in time.

Lisa views painting as an art, a visual expression where there are no rights or wrongs. Her art resonates differently with each person, all having different perspectives and viewpoints of what they see in her art. Her work prompts an emotional response and opens the door to our own imagination, connecting us to her paintings before us. Her work is something of beauty, capturing scenes surreal through an abstract depiction, through the use of light and texture. Her paintings like dawn and dusk transform in the light from night to day. Her painting are a great escape into a stream of thought.

Her hope is that her paintings ignite a love of art, and that persons feel an emotional response, a connection, and most of all that you enjoy the work  infinitely…


Tuesday Feb 4th @ 2pm – AYO! Language Hour

You’re invited!!

On Tuesday February 4th from 2-3pm you are invited to Neechi Niche in Neechi Commons for the first ever Aboriginal Youth Opportunities Language hour!! The Special Guest at this event will be Agnes Catcheway, a fluent Anishinabe language instructor who helped to launch the AYO! movement in 2010.

Please bring an offering of tobacco for the instructor- admission is by donation (proceeds going to Agnes and AYO!


Jan 30, 2014 from 1pm-4pm


In honour of the Village we once had!!  Jan 30, 2014 at 1pm in Neechi Commons Parking Lot. For more info please visit the Facebook page.


During the event there will be Free Lunch and Giveaway, Chili, Bannock, Popcorn, Hot Chocolate, clothing, jackets, boots, live entertainment.

Come and celebrate with Althea the Bannock Lady and Friends!!

Got Bannock is a grass roots organization that runs on good will, and the personal energy and dedication of Althea Guiboche. Every Thursday afternoon for the past year, Althea sets up her tables outdoors on the west side of Main Street at Dufferin, and serves a hot healthy meal to 100-150 people who need it. Some are homeless, others live in rentals that leave them without a budget for food. 100% of donations are returned directly to the community with love.

Donations are always welcome!


January-March,2014 REBECCA BELMORE – TRACE

for the Canadian Museum of Human Rights


One of Canada’s most celebrated contemporary artists, Rebecca Belmore, will create a large and prominent work of original work for the Canadian Museum of Human Rights, President and CEO Stuart Murray announced from the mezzanine of Neechi Commons.

As part of the artist’s concept, the public will help create thousands of hand pressed clay ‘beads’ during workshops designed to include children, families, and people from diverse backgrounds. The finished piece will be displayed on an enormous 74 square meter wall in the Indigenous Perspectives Gallery of Canada’s new national museum, whichs open in September 2014.

Neechi Niche in Neechi Commons is very proud to have played host for the media announcement and to welcome Rebecca Belmore into our midst. Rebecca will have her studio and headquarters on the main floor of Neechi Commons for the next two months. Here she will invite everyone to participate and create hand pressed beads for her massive installation. The first workshop will begin Jan 25/14 from 10am -4pm.

This is an incredible opportunity for Neechi Niche and Neechi Commons to be involved and host the creation of such an incredibly important piece of work by Rebecca Belmore. The fact that it is for the Canadian Museum of Human Rights is even more fitting, since the North End has always been the ground zero for issues regarding human rights. Whether they be the basic necessities of affordable housing, access to fresh healthy foods, or a chance to freely express oneself in a gesture of creativity and inspiration without fear.

So please drop by Neechi and welcome Rebecca to the neighborhood, and help her create her great work of art. Then when it is complete and hanging in the CMHR you will be able to see your contribution. And feel that great sense of community through creation. Miigwetch

Click the following links to follow the press on Rebecca’s Show.


Jan 21 7pm-9pm Walking With Our Sisters

3rd Winnipeg Community Meeting Hosted by Neechi Commons


Walking With Our Sisters is a commemorative art installation to honour the lives of missing and murdered Indigenous Women of Canada and the United States; to acknowledge the grief and torment families of these women continue to suffer; and, to raise awareness of this issue and create opportunity for broad community-based dialogue on the issue.

Walking With Our Sisters is being fueled by hundreds and thousands of people who have chosen to become involved. Collectively we are creating one unified voice to honour these women, their families and call for attention to be paid to this issue. There is power in numbers, and there is power in art.

To keep informed of the upcoming Winnipeg Events and Community meetings, please visit the Walking With Our Sisters Facebook page.

For the past couple of months people have been gathering in Winnipeg  holding community meetings in support of this installation. We’re are working towards finding volunteers, creating other like-minded events that will coincide with the installation, and creating a community of respectful support. All are welcome to the community meetings so please come and join us.


Jan 16,17,18, 2014 Manitoba Indigenous Writer’s Festival

An article in the Manitoban about the Manitoba Indigenous Writer’s Festival . Read it here!!


Join us for three evenings of the finest emerging and established writers as they wow you with their words!!

Join the FACEBOOK event page to keep updated on happenings.

Join the Manitoba Indigenous Writer’s Group on Facebook


Jan 15 4pm-6pm Traditional Food Art Postcards


The Produce postcard show features works created by the kids of Norquay Community Centre and the Turtle Island Neighborhood Centre. The cards will be on display in the Produce Section of Neechi Commons. We will also be launching a series of 10 traditional food postcards produced by OUR FOOD OUR HEALTH OUR CULTURE (Food matters Manitoba). The cards will be available for FREE and feature the work of our North End youth, as well as stories, recipes, and information about the foods depicted. Collect all 10 and mail to family and friends to share the knowledge of our traditional foods!!.


Nov 27 – Jan 7,2014  – NORTH END DREAMS – Inner City Youth Alive


Inner City Youth Alive invited the children and youth between the ages 5-25, from Winnipeg’s North End to create a piece of art that expresses their dreams. The artists were asked to use art as a means of self-expression to show the world what their dream future would look like, regardless of the challenges they face today. The call for art was open to accepting any type of artistic medium whether it be drawing, painting, sculpture, poem or craft as long as the piece expresses their hopes, visions, and dreams.

Fifty-six works were created and submitted and Neechi Niche is so pleased to bring this explosion of creativity to the community. The children didn’t hold back and their work is an incredible sampling of the varied dreams that the kids in our community share full of vibrancy and life. Some dream of owning a farm, some of being a shoe designer, others a soccer player or to become an astronaut, still others dream of seeing their departed parents again if only for a moment. This art installation encapsulates all the joy, sadness,  heartfelt messages and dreams of our communities’ children. The original art call was created and put forth by Laurie Kozak of Inner City Youth Alive. The art work will appear at a banquet on Friday Oct 11, and then will be brought to Neechi Commons.

For more information please contact Laurie Kozak : (204) 582-8779 ext 207 Location – 865 Main Street in Neechi Commons


Oct 24 – Nov 26 – Mujeres De La Tierra / Woman of the Earth – Indigenous Women of the Americas – By Wanda Luna

Opening reception and artist talk Thursday Oct 24 at 7pm 2nd floor mezzanine in Neechi Commons


Luna often investigates the role of storytelling in the connections between culture and the human body. In this connection Luna is also interested in exploring the bonds between indigenous nations. Piquing and interest in Chilean mythology, stories of Chilean medicine and heritage and their interconnectedness and similarities to other indigenous nations and creation mythologys from first nations across Canada and the role of women in these nations.

Wanda Luna is an interdisciplinary artist, curator, write, and community activist who draws on multiple inspirations to create a wide variety of artistic productions. Born in Chile, Luna moved to Canada, and currently resides in Winnipeg. Working primarily in paint and ink Luna is looking to expand her practice into installation. Wanda Luna is also the driving force behind the non-profit organization The Dream Room Project.


Thursday, Nov 28, 2013, 5 pm – 7 pm –Theodore Fontaine –

BROKEN CIRCLE – Book Reading and Signing

FREE EVENT Theodore Fontaine lost his family and freedom just after his seventh birthday, when his parents were forced to leave him at an Indian residential school by order of the Roman Catholic Church and the Government of Canada. Twelve years later, he left school frozen at the emotional age of seven. He was confused, angry and conflicted, on a path of self-destruction. At age 29, he emerged from this blackness. By age 32, he had graduated from the Civil Engineering Program at the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology and begun a journey of self-exploration and healing. In this powerful and poignant memoir, Theodore examines the impact of his psychological, emotional and sexual abuse, the loss of his language and culture, and, most important, the loss of his family and community. He goes beyond details of the abuses of Native children to relate a unique understanding of why most residential school survivors have post-traumatic stress disorders and why succeeding generations of First Nations children suffer from this dark chapter in history. Told as remembrances described with insights that have evolved through his healing, his story resonates with his resolve to help himself and other residential school survivors and to share his enduring belief that one can pick up the shattered pieces and use them for good.

Theodore (Ted) Fontaine is a member of the Sagkeeng First Nation in Manitoba. He attended the Fort Alexander Indian Residential School from 1948 until 1958 and the Assiniboia Indian Residential School from 1958 to 1960. He is a regular speaker and media commentator on Indian residential schools and sees himself as not only a survivor, but a victor. Theodore led a mineral exploration crew in the Northwest Territories for a global mining corporation, was chief of the Sagkeeng First Nation from 1979 to 1981, and has worked for the federal Secretary of State Department and the Northwest Territories Region of Indian and Northern Affairs Canada. He was executive director of the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs and served as a strategic advisor to the chiefs on Indian residential school issues. He was instrumental in negotiating and finalizing the national employment equity settlement with national corporations and the Canadian Human Rights Commission. Theodore is currently a director on the board of Peace Hills Trust, a national financial institution serving Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal businesses across Canada, and is an end-of-life volunteer with the Manitoba Hospice and Palliative Care Association. He previously served on multiple boards and faculties including the Indigenous Leadership Development Institute, the Manitoba Museum, the Banff Centre of Management, and the Victorian Order of Nurses (VON). Ted lives with his wife, Morgan, in Winnipeg, Manitoba. …………………………………………………………………………………………….

Nov 17 2013, Sunday, 2 pm: book launch with CHERIE DIMALINE, The Girl Who Grew A Galaxy

Join us Sunday Nov 17, 2pm at Neechi Commons for a reading and book launch with award winning author Cherie Dimaline. As she launches her new novel, THE GIRL WHO GREW A GALAXY. (Click here to see or download the book cover poster: Cherie Demaline GIRL poster ).

The event will be hosted by one of the most prolific Aboriginal authors in Canada, Lee Maracle! With readings from special guest Governor General Award winning Poet Katherena Vermette.

The Girl Who Grew A Galaxy written by celebrated Ojibway and Metis Author Cherie Dimaline, weaves together a story of struggle, hope, and magic. As the main character Ruby Bloom, experiences a series of traumatic childhood events, planets start to grow around her head. The book mixes contemporary INdigenous experience with fantasy and magic and will resonate long after you put it down. Lee Maracle is an award winning poet, novelist, performance storyteller, scriptwriter, actor, and keeper/myth maker. She has given hundreds of speeches on political, historical, and feminist sociological topics and has been described as a walking history book, an international expert on Canadian First Nations culture and history. Katherena Vermette recently won the 2013 Governor General’s Award for English Language Poetry for her book NORTH END LOVE SONGS! She is a Metis writer who works as a literary educator and has a work of children’s literature slated for publication in 2014. …………………………………………………………………………………………….

Sept 19 – Oct 21, 2013  — THE REDRess PROJECT – by Jamie Black


The REDress Project is a visual art installation based on an aesthetic   response to the more than 600 reported cases of missing and murdered Aboriginal women in Canada. Through the collection and public display of empty red dresses, the installation seeks to draw attention to, and create space for dialogue around, the gendered and racialized nature of violent crimes against Aboriginal women. Following the installation in Neechi Commons, Jaime will be taking and presenting her REDress PROJECT in London, England. The project is also scheduled to appear in the newly built Canadian Museum of Human Rights upon the buildings completion.

Jaime Black Bio Jaime Black is an emerging, metis multidisciplinary artist based in Winnipeg. She studied English Literature at the University of Manitoba and has an Education degree from The Ontario Institute of Studies in Education. She has taught in Opaskwayak Cree Nation in the Pas, Manitoba, has worked developing art curriculum for the Urban Shaman: Contemporary Aboriginal Art, and has long been involved in the Aboriginal writers and artists communities in Winnipeg.

Following the installation of the Redress Project at Neechi Commons, the installation appeared in London, England and will also be in the Canadian Museum of Human Rights in 2014.


Oct 17, 2013, Indigenous Writer’s Collective Poetry Jam with Special Guest Joseph Boyden

6 pm – 9:30 pm


Neechi Niche is thrilled to welcome the Indigenous Writer’s Collective of Manitoba with special guest JOSEPH BOYDEN. The evening will be hosted by Niigaanwewidam James Sinclair. ONE NIGHT JAM AND POETRY SLAM With roots that go back to the late 1980’s Manitoba’s irrepressible Indigenous Writer’s Collective continues to be subversive and irreverent. They are two parts tickle your funny bone, one part kick you in the groin and all parts that make you think.

JOSPEH BOYDEN is a Canadian novelist and short story writer. His first novel THREE DAY ROAD won the Amazon/ Books in Canada First Novel Award, the Roger’s Writer’s Trust Fiction Prize and was nominated for the Governor General’s Award. His second novel THROUGH BLACK SPRUCE won the 2008 Scotiabank Giller Prize. He is set to release his new novel The Orenda this fall.


Oct 6 – Sunday Book Chat –Celebrating the Anniversary Edition – SPIRIT OF THE WHITE BISON w/ host David McLeod, Author Beatrice Mosionier and Author David Alexander Robertson 1pm-3pm 2nd Floor Mezzanine of Neechi Commons Free Event A book chat followed by a book signing and a special preview of the upcoming TALES FROM BIG SPIRIT graphic novel series. SPIRIT OF THE WHITE BISON 30th Anniversary Edition

The great plains of North America was once home to large herds of bison. The Aboriginal peoples who lived there revered the Bison and relied on them for food, clothing, and shelter. Into one of these great herds, Little White Buffalo was born in the 19th century. In this heartfelt story, she retells her life a life that coincides with the devastation of the bison, destroyed by hunters and the coming of the railway. David McLeod is a member of the Pine Creek First Nation. He is a published author and member of the Indigenous Writer’s Collective. He is actively involved within the Aboriginal Community and works at Native Communications Inc. a province hWide radio network. Beatrice Mosionier, born in St. Boniface, Manitoba, is one of Canada’s foremost Metis Authors. Her bestselling In Search Of April Raintree, first published in 1983, is a Canadian Classic. David Alexander Robertson is a Swampy Cree writer and graphic novelist. He weaves his message of education youth about indigenous history and contemporary issues into his writing and speaking engagements.


Sept 28  8pm – Bannock and the Big Screen

Presented by Neechi Niche and The Winnipeg Film Group during Nuit Blanche

Resize Bannock

Screening in the Neechi Commons parking lot at 865 Main Street – Please bring lawn chairs or blankets to sit on. – (Inside if rain.) Neechi Commons and the Winnipeg Film Group are proud to present a sundown screening of short films and music videos created by First Nation and Metis filmmakers for Nuit Blanche Winnipeg! For the first time ever, we will be projecting films on the exterior of the Neechi Commons building right in the heart of the Main Street strip. Several filmmakers will be in attendance, bannock and refreshments will be available.

Films and the Filmmakers – curated by Distribution Director Monica Lowe of the WFG

WAB KINEW`s Good Boy – feat Lorenzo and Little hawk – music video created by the youth of NDINAWE Patrick Ross – by Ervin Chartrand Nikamowin/Song – 11 mins – Kevin Lee Burton OK, Now What by Jeff Bruyere – 2 mins I`m Metis – by Christian Goulet R Seymore Goes North by Rhayne Vermette – 3.5 mins Kwoni by Caroline Monnet – 2.5 mins Two Scoops by Jackie Traverse – 3 mins IKWE by Caroline Monnet  – 5 mins 504938C (6 mins) by Ervin Chartrand Journey My Heart by Reil Munro Zwei Indianer Aus Winnipeg by Darryl Nepinak – 2.5 mins Good Morning Native America (5 mins) Darryl Nepinak Maiden Indian – The Ephemerals – 3.5 mins Drezden`s NIghtStand – by Joe E. Ironstand music video Empty by Jackie Traverse – 5 mins


CSI Summer Enrichment – Girls & Boys Club  Aug 6, 2013 Students from David Livingstone & Norquay Schools

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Jackie Traverse Exhibit & Reception: July 2013

Neechi Niche Arts Store and Gallery was very pleased to host an Artist Reception focussed on brilliant and provocative, contemporary Aboriginal art by Jackie Traverse (who also did the Three Sisters wall art in our produce courtyard). The reception, at Neechi Commons, 865 Main St., Winnipeg, on July 19 included a very engaging and witty verbal presentation by Jackie.20130719 JackieT #2 20130719 JackieT #1120130719 JackieT #4 20130719 JackieT #8 Among other things, her art show challenges the viewer to reflect on positive human values by portraying contradictions to those values; some of the tough perceptions that she has encountered. This special art exhibit will continue to be displayed in and adjacent to our restaurant on the 2nd floor up to August 1, 2013. 20130719 JackieT #520130719 JackieT #7 20130719 JackieT #12 20130719 JackieT #1620130719 JackieT #13

20130719 JackieT #1 Lydia

 JACKIE TRAVERSE – EVER SICK – 3 Collections of Work EVER SICK is used as slang in the Native community. We say it endearingly to one another when teasing, and to make a person stop and check their behaviour. EVER SICK can be used in jest, in fun and sometimes in a meaner tone. The first collection of work is my CHILDHOOD MEMORIES. The series is based on how I perceived things as a child. The way my mom used trickery to get me to listen, as well as showing the era I was growing up in the 70’s. It encapsulates my childhood moments through observational humour skewed through the exaggerations of a child’s mind. Many images are based on my family and stories that were told. When I was a little girl they used to call me Munjeeshtegon. I always thought that it was my Indian 20130712 Jacquie T #1 name. Then I found out it meant big head. There was the time I was told that children’s aid had come to the house and taken all my kittens to foster homes. Or one night when I was four, I woke up in the middle of the night and saw my uncle pull red snakes out of his nose. I never liked him after that. In reality he had broken his nose and was pulling the cotton batting out. The second series is SEVEN. It illustrates the seven teachings (honesty, humility, truth, wisdom, love, respect and courage) and the continued relevance of these notions in the scope of contemporary life. Employing the Woodland School esthetic in a bawdy, frequently funny take on modern urban realities, including bad sex, domestic discord and love gone wrong. It all started with a conversation I had with my cousin who has never been lucky in love. She always seemed to attract losers. She was in the middle of telling me about her latest boyfriend whom she recently met at a bar here in Winnipeg when she stopped to tell me about a dream she had. In the dream she saw two eagles flying in the sky; in a circle a small eagle was in the center and a larger eagle was on the outside. SJT - Seven LoveShe was in awe of how beautiful these eagles were, when all of a sudden the big eagle swooped down and scratched her eyeballs out carrying them away. My cousin continued to tell me about her boyfriend, who didn’t sound any good to me. I thought about, how the eagle represents love in the teachings. It was obvious she was looking for love in all the wrong places. The last series is BABY GAT. It is 16 paintings of children and babies in gangs.JT - BabyGat Here I am talking about the next generation of children in gangs, how our children being brought up in a gang culture will reproduce and breed future gang members. Children live what they see and if these are the guiding forces in their lives then we can expect them to live out that gang land mentality. I am really happy to be showing these three series of work at Neechi Commons. I was born and raised in the North End and I lived on Main St a few times with my mom and grandmother. Sometimes living at the Occidental and another time directly across the street from the new Neechi Commons building. It feels good to bring the work to the North End .This work is rich in North End humour, this work is for the people, for the single mom, the marginalized person on the street. If I can make these people smile and reminisce then I feel the work is good.   JACKIE TRAVERSE BIO Jackie Traverse is Anishinabe from Lake St Martin she is the mother of three daughters. Jackie is a graduate from the School of art at the University of Manitoba in 2009. Jackie’s work reflects her life experiences, she likes to use humour in her work. Jackie is well known in the aboriginal community for her Traditional woodlands work (image SEVEN Series LOVE)


2 thoughts on “NEWSworthy

  1. Frances says:

    WOW!!! This is the first time I’ve heard of artist Jackie Traverse. I’m pretty sure I’ve seen her around our ‘lovely’ city sometime/someplace or another. I find her art work incredibly interesting, humorous and can relate to some. I wished I’d heard/read about the July show before today.

  2. Cindy Drysdale says:

    Congrats, Neechi Commons on such an AMAZING ‘meeting/shopping’ place! I saw an excerpt of NC on the news this morning and noticed the beautiful artwork of 2 sea turtles (pink-ish color) that mesmerizes me! What is the cost of that particular piece? I live out-of-town, but will most certainly be venturing into your beautiful place when I’m next in Winnipeg. I used to work at Eagle Wing Early Education Centre in the area and wish your new store was up and running at that time. I did visit your other location on occasion for your delicious bannock! Thank you very much!!!

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