Winnipeg names river trails ‘Nestaweya’ in honour of The Forks Indigenous history


The 10,000-year-old meeting grounds known as The Forks in Winnipeg is also using MMIWG2S awareness to bring Indigeneity to the city.

Skaters and trail-goers in the city have new paths to enjoy now that the area has opened its new Nestawaya Trail system where the Assiniboine and Red River meet.

The fur-trading hub turned tourism centre’s Cree name Nestaweya means three points and represents Cree, Ojibway, and Dakota people coming together.

“People have been coming here to marry, to trade, and to meet,” Niigaan Sinclair, Indigenous curator for The Forks, tells APTN News. “So the Nestaweya River Trail is one part of that history.”

The Forks has incorporated a lot of Indigenous culture to its existence, with various art installations, monuments, and ceremonies.

A new warming hut commemorating Missing, Murdered, Indigenous Women, Girls, and Two-Spirit People has recently been erected.

The Rainbow Butterfly warming hut was a collective project between MMIWG2S family members and Indigenous architects,

“It really was a grass-roots level collective,” said Angela Lavallee who fostered the idea for an MMIWG2S art piece.

The red and orange hut which reflects rainbow colours in a certain light is meant to depict what a butterfly looks like under a microscope.

Visitors can scan a QR code, which brings them to the 231 MMIWG2S Calls to Justice page.

Rachelle Lemieux is a Métis architect who helped design the hut. She hopes it will spark change for the MMIWG2S cause.

“This is a conversation that needs to be talked about around the dinner table and in schools,” she said.

Visitors can find the hut at the skating circle at The Forks and can enjoy the river trails as long as the weather permits.

Correction: Nestaweya in the original story was misspelled. We apologize for the error. 

Video Journalist / Thunder Bay

Michelle is a video journalist from rural Manitoba with a Creative Communications Degree from Red River College. Before APTN, Michelle worked as an editor-in-chief for The Projector online publication.