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You wouldn't be here if you weren't curious.*

Hi! I'm Elena! Welcome to my travel blog Creativelena.com.
For me, it is all about “life-seeing instead of sightseeing”: Join me as I create, eat & live my way around the world. Curious?

*Check out my book, “The Creative Traveler’s Handbook”, for learning more about what we mean by creative travel. Travelling means the world to me, makes me fit for everday life and sometimes, I trust, also calmer on the inside. Read this blog with a smile, share what you love and remember to check back regularly: After all, when was the last time you did something for the first time?

Winnipeg wins my heart: First Nation, Arts & Culture Travel in the Manitoba capital.

Thank you, Sasha. For crossing paths way back in New Zealand. And for being my friend from near Winnipeg all these years, ultimately marking it as one goal I definitely felt I needed to reach as part of my Trans-Canada travel adventures. Little did I know beforehand, that Winnipeg proved to be such an exciting destination for a first-time arts & culture traveller like myself. All the more I feel like I now have to share with you! Or did you know about a week-long winter festival called “Le Festival du Voyageur” – The Traveller’s Festival? (Must come back for that, at some stage). That the headquarters of the world’s first-ever Aboriginal Peoples Television Network, a founding member of the “World Indigenous Television Broadcasters Network“, are located in Winnipeg? That the town is home to one the most exciting museums all across Canada, namely the Canadian Museum for Human Rights?

Don’t miss. Certainly don’t miss the latter one on any of your upcoming trips to Canada. It really is THAT special.

 

Let me start by telling you where to head when first coming to town: The historic epicentre of Winnipeg roots out from a place rightly named “The Forks” …

… where a surprisingly varied historic, natural & cultural tour with dear Karrie, of Parks Canada, “forks out” into many different areas: Thanks to her, who is part European, part Aboriginal Canadian descent called “Métis”, I learn more about the ancient ways of settlement, trading, and living of her people by the confluence of the Red & Assiniboine Rivers of Winnipeg. A great first tour into the local area history of the town. Check this out.

The Forks is a historic, green & meeting site right inside of Downtown Winnipeg, where local Aboriginal people are said to have lived for at least 6.000 years, if not much longer.

The Forks is a historic meeting site right inside of Downtown Winnipeg, where local Aboriginal people are said to have lived for at least 6.000 years, if not much longer.

 

My local guide Karrie, who is roughly my age, and I bond immediately ...

In a special place filled with so much great spirit as this one, local guide Karrie and I bond immediately …

 

... with Karrie explaining all there is to know about the local area settlement history, and the uprising of the first Métis nations led by the "Father of Manitoba", Louis Rial ...

… with Karrie explaining all there is to know about the local area settlement history, and the uprising of the first Métis nations led by the “Father of Manitoba”, Louis Riel …

 

... handing me lots of different shards, tools & evidence of settlement that were found in this area on our tour ...

… handing me lots of different shards, tools & evidence of settlement that were found in this area on our tour.

 

... today, The Forks has also cleverly integrated local area history in a playground for the local and visiting children alike ...

Today, The Forks has also cleverly integrated local area history in a playground for the local and visiting children alike …

 

... and has added a lively Food Market hall to one of its central attractions. Great place for a little lunch there, too!

… and has added a lively Food Market hall to one of its central attractions. Great place for a little lunch there, too!

 

Next up & to feed my continued interest for First Nation travel experiences, I make it to the "National News" at the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network of Canada, called APTN ...

Next up & to feed my continued interest for First Nation travel experiences, I make it to the “National News” at the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network of Canada, called APTN …

 

... whose ethos and continued effort in broadcasting all topics related to Aboriginal nations of Canada, are astounding ...

… whose ethos and continued effort in broadcasting all topics related to Aboriginal nations of Canada, are astounding …

 

... just love how the network sparked the rise of something called "Aboriginal Day Live" festival series, an event now regularly held all across Canada for the past 10 years ...

… just love how the network sparked the rise of something called “Aboriginal Day Live” festival series, an event now regularly held all across Canada for the past 10 years …

 

... congratulations, dear Jean La Rose & team !! So nice meeting you, and getting my ears around the first French Canadian conversation ever, too. :D

… congratulations, dear Jean La Rose & team !! So nice meeting you, and getting my ears around the first French Canadian conversation ever, too. 😀

 

If you happen to be in town on a Wednesday night, DO NOT MISS the Canadian Museum of Human Rights’ Mikinak-Keya Spirit Tour. It is one of the best museum tours I have ever taken …

… and that I say with pride and new-found awe, having visited some of the top modern museums in the world over the course of recent years, such as the Guggenheim museum in Bilbao or the Te Papa national museum in Wellington, New Zealand. The Canadian Museum of Human Rights is different, however, and quite unique in its approach. An astounding architectural masterpiece, it embodies the spirit of both modern construction art, as well as ancient symbols of culture and religion wherever the teachings of the First Nation peoples of Canada are concerned. The so-called “Mikinak-Keya Spirit Tour“, held every Wednesday evening at 7.30 p.m., gives a small group of visitors the unique chance to experience the museum almost on our own, listening to the songs and stories of First Nation elders and their (women) interpreters. Just beautiful. Let me take you on this tour …

... where just to reach the museum, pause and look at it, can literally sweep you off your feet.

… where just to reach the museum, pause and look at it, can literally sweep you off your feet. Love the curved surface at the front of the museum, which I liken to an “embrace” and others call a small dove, the international symbol for peace.

 

Inside, then, the welcome to all nations, cultures and religions continues ...

Inside, then, the welcome to all nations, cultures and religions continues …

 

... as we are taken on a storytelling tour ...

… as we are taken on a storytelling tour …

 

... of a kind, led by Carly & her colleague Julie, who tell us all there is to know about First Nation aboriginal teaching as far as their traditions as well as the symbols in the modern museum are concerned.

… of a kind, led by Carly & her colleague Julie, who tell us all there is to know about First Nation aboriginal teaching as far as their traditions as well as the symbols in the modern museum are concerned.

 

The ...

The Mikinak-Keya Spirit Tour …

… teaches me many new conclusions, and contexts, about First Nation belief systems and traditions, such as the “Seven Sacred Teachings” of Aboriginal elders. Let me share what I have learned that day with you here, as I believe there is some truth to be found in these teachings that appeal to all of us:

“In our culture, we have a lot of balance. The male & the female. There is grandfather sun and grandmother moon. Right now, we are in the ‘changing leaves fall moon’. A time to let dead things go, to get rid of what’s toxic to you …

The Wolf: It teaches us humility. Always when they meet, they bow to each other. No one is superior.
The Beaver: It teaches us wisdom. Knowing which gifts you have, and how to use them.
The Buffalo: It teaches us respect.
The Sabe, it teaches us honesty. The protector of trees. Be honest with others, but also with yourself.
The Turtle: It teaches us truth. Follow the teachings.
The Eagle: It teaches us love. The great messenger, because he flies the highest and is a messenger between us and the Great Spirit. Love yourself. Know yourself. Get to know who you are. Then share that love with others.
The Bear: It teaches us courage. The Momma bear would do everything for their cubs. Just like them, let us be courageous ..”

 

Around Downtown Winnipeg: Consider an O-Tour Bus Tour as well as heading out to FortWhyte Alive in order to continue your cultural travel motto in town.

Therese at O-Tour Bus company does the most amazing job at filling any knowledge gaps you might still have after spending 48 hours in the city of Winnipeg, as well as the “Great Province of Manitoba”. Taking us past the Assiniboine Zoo, we catch a glimpse of the town’s famous white buffalo, while real bisons (buffalos) are waiting within just a few metres distance at FortWhyte Alive, a nature / culture conservation area southwest of downtown Winnipeg. I very much enjoyed learning more through both attractions …

... cruising around with O Tour Winnipeg ...

… cruising around with O Tour Winnipeg …

 

... taking us past the Legislative Building court ...

… taking us past the Legislative Building court …

 

as well as the English Gardens of Winnipeg ...

as well as the English Gardens of Winnipeg …

 

... I get to spend my afternoon with this lovely lady, Kalyn at FortWhyte Alive ...

… I get to spend my afternoon with this lovely lady, Kalyn at FortWhyte Alive …

 

... who teaches me all there is to know about First Nation settlement in the area ...

… who teaches me all there is to know about First Nation settlement in the area …

 

... including how people lived, and roamed, with the great buffalo (bisons) ...

… including how people lived, and roamed, with the great buffalo (bisons) …

 

... and how, at a later stage, the first European settlers built their so-called sod houses to make it through the first fierce Canadian winters ...

… and how, at a later stage, the first European settlers built their so-called sod houses to make it through the first fierce Canadian winters …

 

... interesting to get my hands on such a varied, rich tapestry of cultures and origins in this part of Canada, if not the world!

… interesting to get my hands on such a varied, rich tapestry of cultures and origins in this part of Canada, if not the world!

 

If all these visits have left you hungry, head out to Neechi Commons, an Aboriginal grocery store, market & gift shop near downtown Winnipeg ...

If all these visits have left you hungry, head out to Neechi Commons, an Aboriginal grocery store, market & gift shop near downtown Winnipeg …

 

... thank you, Gillian & Mike, for taking me there and opening my eyes to yet another new concept of First Nation integration into the heart of modern-day Winnipeg culture!

… thank you, Gillian & Mike, for taking me there and opening my eyes to yet another new concept of First Nation integration into the heart of modern-day Winnipeg culture!

 

Heading out? Head to Spruce Woods Provincial Park for a very relaxing, fall hiking & camping adventure near Winnipeg …

… and I will say “near Winnipeg” in the Canadian fashion now, actually referring to a good distance of some 200 kilometres out of town. “That’s nothing”, my friend Sasha and I would laugh, me totally chiming in by the end of our one day one night road trip. But everything in terms of actual worth, if you wish to get a feel for original Prairie settlements yet again … sand dunes & river bends walking time it is, then!

Thank you, dear Sasha, for offering to take me out on this trip to Winnipeg. adding to my layer of understanding of "The Great Province of Manitoba" ...

Thank you, dear Sasha, for offering to take me out on this trip to Winnipeg. adding to my layer of understanding of “The Great Province of Manitoba” …

 

... as well as all its rather peculiar and fascinating landscapes, such as these massive sand dune deposits here left as the glacial ice retreated north, creating and shaping river valleys and springs along the Prairie way.

… as well as all its rather peculiar and fascinating landscapes, such as these massive sand dune deposits here left as the glacial ice retreated north, creating and shaping river valleys and springs along the Prairie way.

 

Camping and hiking time, yay! Feels just so Canadian. Loved it. Thanks again my friend !!

Camping and hiking time, yay! Feels just so Canadian. Loved it. Thanks again my friend !!

 

More travel photos & recommendations on what to see & do around Winnipeg can be found looking here:

<a href="https://flic.kr/s/aHskKwGadW" target="_blank">Click to View</a>

 

I have also produced a travel video that highlights some of my travel adventures in Western Canada, all the way from Vancouver to the vast open plains east of the Rocky Mountains. A fascinating, funky take on what has truly been a life-changing journey. Enjoy with sound & smile 🙂

 

Disclaimer: I have been supported on this trip to Manitoba by VIA Rail as well as Tourism Winnipeg. All opinions are my own.

Written by Elena

Elena writes about creative destinations, shares her personal travel stories and brings inspiring photography & interesting news updates home to you. Her mission is: "Continue to be amazed at this world, one creative travel experience at a time."

Ready for learning even more about creative travel?

Elena has recently published "The Creative Traveler's Handbook". Chock full of inspiratinal stories, travel tips and advice, it offers everything you need for planning and managing your next creative escape, addressing beginners and experienced travelers alike. Here's how to get your hands on it now!
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2 Comments

  1. Hermann Paschinger

    Das “Canadian Museum of Human Rights” ist wirklich ein seltenes Angebot! Das würde mich auch sehr interessieren!

    Reply
    • Elena

      Das ist es wirklich! 

      Nun wisst Ihr ja, dass Ihr bei Eurem nächsten Besuch in Kanada, einen Stopover in Winnipeg sowie dem “Canadian Museum of Human Rights” einlegen müsst …! 😉

      Reply

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