It started with the dream of a free recreational toboggan run in the centre of Dauphin with accessibility for all. Co-op Community Spaces saw the value of this project and approved funding of $115,000 in 2021. Since then, the committee worked tirelessly to secure even more funding and the project has evolved into a sustainable, engaging and accessible indigenous tribute park — a place to gather, learn and share it's rich history and customs that will leave a lasting impression on anyone that visits.
A sod-turning ceremony was held to celebrate this important step in our community's journey on the path to reconciliation. Maamawi (means "together") Park plans were unveiled and the beginning of construction of Phase 1, the Co-op Family Toboggan Run will be underway soon.
"Today marks an important day in the history of Dauphin" said Jarri Thompson, Program Coordinator with Dauphin Friendship Centre. "A simple snowhill has snowballed into an amazing outdoor space where families can come together for generations to come. Reconciliation will mean something different for each and every person. No matter what it looks like — it has to start somewhere. This effort will be different. Through language, art, and signage we will be able to see a reflection of our indigenous heritage and culture and values accepted into this beautiful city."
"This project is unique, as it is the first time that all indigenous groups have come together to build a spot that everyone will benefit from" said Lindsey Kyle, Assistant General Manager, Dauphin Recreation Services. Committee members, Scott Lynxleg, First Nations Treaty 2 Territory, Megan Sutherland, Northwest Metis Council, and Jarri Thompson, Dauphin Friendship Centre have come together to help plan what can be done to honour our indigenous populations and share their cultures, traditions and customs. "They have helped bring ideas to light — what's important and how we can celebrate the partnerships — how we can celebrate Mother Earth and the rich history and customs of these lands." said Stacey Penner, Project Co-Lead.
"Dauphin Co-op is humbled and proud to be a small part of bringing this project to a reality. Together we are improving the places where we meet, play learn and share. It brings to life and demonstrates our Co-op's vision to enrich the life of our communities. This is a perfect example of that. It reflects our brand promises of locally invested, community minded, lifetime membership benefits and care for the environment. Thank you to the committee for your commitment and the extraordinary work you are doing. That's the beautiful thing about local residents building their communities — they understand the needs of their communities. Building engagement and relationships with the stakeholders to grow this project into a four-season indigenous tribute park is so important and continues our community's journey of reconciliation." said Lorne Eiffert, General Manager, Dauphin Co-op.
Stacey Penner saw the significance of bringing her family and some of her Kindergarten students to the sod-turning event. Elder John Houle shared the importance of involving younger generations. "These kids are going to see what Dauphin is trying to do to get this park up and going" said John before saying a blessing for this project and the people involved. He welcomed the Elders to come and watch over the site and thanked everyone for the work they are doing to create this beautiful space and the Dauphin Recreations Services staff for the work they will be doing to maintain the park for generations. "Our grandfather, the sun is here and our grandfather the moon, will be here."