NEWS & STORIES

Our mission is to Unite Kindness: Global Dignity Canada National Role Model and @1860 Winnipeg Arts founding member Tony Eetak met Sākihiwē Festival Director Alan Greyeyes during the Turtle Island Block Party on June 29, 2024. Photo: Jamie Bell
Our mission is to Unite Kindness: Global Dignity Canada National Role Model and @1860 Winnipeg Arts founding member Tony Eetak met Sākihiwē Festival Director Alan Greyeyes during the Turtle Island Block Party on June 29, 2024. Photo: Jamie Bell
We were thrilled to experience the vibrant cultural celebration of the Sākihiwē Festival's Turtle Island Block Party in Winnipeg.

Global Dignity: Learning from sākihiwē

Since our program started almost three years ago, we’ve been collaborating extensively with projects and partners across the circumpolar world. And we’ve loved every minute of it! But all those activities have been a lot for our small group to handle. We’ve been so busy these past six months that we have not been able to connect with as many of the local and regional programs and organizations as we wanted to. So this summer, we’re making it our mission to get off the screen and out around Winnipeg, to meet those special artists, entrepreneurs, food sector businesses and non-profit organizations that have inspired us.

This week, we got to attend the Turtle Island Block Party organized by the sākihiwē Festival. It was amazing!

This year' Sākihiwē Festival Turtle Island Block Party featured a vibrant Indigenous marketplace. Photo: Jamie Bell
This year’ Sākihiwē Festival Turtle Island Block Party featured a vibrant Indigenous marketplace. Photo: Jamie Bell

This vibrant cultural celebration and community event is one of the best experiences we’ve had yet. It was held June 29, 2024 in collaboration with the Ma Mawi Wi Chi Itata Centre and the City of Winnipeg at the Turtle Island Neighbourhood Centre. The weekend block party featured a dynamic lineup of performances from artists such as Silla, Nathaniel Sinclair, Ma Mawi’s Rising Sun Powwow Club and many others. It was hosted by Ashley Martel Lepine, and this free event included a concert, BBQ sponsored by FoodFare Winnipeg and the Zeid family.

From 1:00 pm to 8:00 pm, visitors explored the Indigenous Marketplace and enjoyed free printed photographs at The SnapFox Photo Booth. Hair braiding services were available from 2:30 pm to 6:30 pm. The event was overseen by the Sabe Peacewalkers, ensuring a safe and welcoming environment for all. The Turtle Island Block Party was a family-friendly occasion that brought everyone together in celebration of Indigenous culture and community spirit.

The talented youth and dancers with the Ma Mawi Wi Chi Itata Centre Rising Sun Powwow Club delivered an outstanding performance! Photo: Jamie Bell

Thank you so much for making us feel welcome!

Sākihiwē

Sākihiwē Festival, originally known as Aboriginal Music Week, was established in 2009 with the aim of providing a platform for Indigenous artists in Canada and beyond. Rooted in the Cree language, “Sākihiwē” means “to love,” embodying the festival’s mission to foster understanding and appreciation through the arts. The festival takes place in Winnipeg, Manitoba, showcasing a diverse array of music genres including hip-hop, folk, and traditional Indigenous music.

This year’s events drew hundreds

Beyond performances, Sākihiwē offers workshops, community celebrations, and opportunities for artists to engage with audiences, creating a space for cultural exchange, dignity and mutual respect. The festival celebrates incredible First Nations, Metis and Inuit artistic talent while also seeking to bridge gaps between communities, promoting reconciliation and inclusivity through the universal language of music.

The sākihiwē Festival is made possible with funding and partnerships with the Canada Council for the Arts, Manitoba Arts Council and Winnipeg Arts Council, the Spence Neighbourhood AssociationMa Mawi Wi Chi Itata Centre, and the City of Winnipeg. The sākihiwē summer series is made possible by partnerships with the Assiniboine Park Conservancy, Treaty One Nation, the Immigrant and Refugee Community Organization of Manitoba, the North Point Douglas Women’s Centre, the Central Community Incentives Program, the Winnipeg Art Gallery, and the Winnipeg James Armstrong Richardson International Airport.

Youth Take Centre Stage: Nathaniel Sinclair from Mathias Colomb Cree Nation in Northern Manitoba, loves singing round dance and pow wow music. At 2-years-old he learnt how to sing by watching YouTube videos. He was inspired by Northern Cree Drum Group singers. Photo: Tony Eetak
Youth Take Centre Stage: Nathaniel Sinclair from Mathias Colomb Cree Nation in Northern Manitoba, loves singing round dance and pow wow music. At 2-years-old he learnt how to sing by watching YouTube videos. He was inspired by Northern Cree Drum Group singers. Photo: Tony Eetak

We can’t wait to come back again next year!

About our summer programming

This summer’s Youth, Arts and Media Team summer activities are supported with funding from Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada. the Minneapolis College of Art and Design, the University of Minnesota Duluth, Manitoba Agriculture and the Sustainable Canadian Agricultural Partnership. We also thank the OpenAI Researcher Access Program, Agri-Food and Agriculture Canada and the Government of Canada’s Youth Employment Skills Program. Thank you for supporting this year’s program. Our mission is to #Unitekindness.

Our program focuses a lot on arts and food sector entrepreneurship, which means we LOVE to visit Indigenous artist run organizations and their marketplaces.
Exploring Indigenous Marketplaces: Our program focuses a lot on arts and food sector entrepreneurship, and this summer we’re heading out across the city to visit Indigenous artist run organizations and learn from their marketplaces. Thank you sākihiwē for organizing this incredible event! We can’t wait to come back for next year’s festival and performances!
Picture of Youth Arts and Media

Youth Arts and Media

The Youth Media Team supports participatory food security research, arts and organizational development. Through this program, funded by Agriculture Canada and the Government of Canada's Youth Employment Skills Strategy, Indigenous youth artists and early career communicators receive training and exposure to various forms of media and communication roles.

Our mission is to #UniteKindness