We gratefully acknowledge financial support from:
TDFEF was our first supporter. The first implementation steps toward Tall Grass Prairie restoration and procurement of local, ecotype seed was generously supported by TD Friends of the Environment. Thank you, TD Friends of the Environment, for supporting us in our land stewardship and in engaging our community in land-based learning. Miigwech!
2019 and 2020: Camp and Summer Program Grant
With the support of the Winnipeg Foundation's Camp and Summer Programming Grant, we are able to partner for two summers with SOSD's BEEP and Indigenous Language Summer Camp to host summer opportunities at Ozhaawashkwaa Animikii-Bineshi Aki Onji Kinimaagae' Inun. Summer campers were brought to the Aki Centre to engage in outdoor learning and exploration, gardening with vegetables and Indigenous plants, land-based art, and cooking. Additionally, Wayfinders' Summer School were supported over 2 summers to host science, geography, and phys ed. credit courses using a land-based design based at the Aki Centre. Miigwech!
2019-2021: Reconciliation Grant
With the generous support of The Winnipeg Foundation Reconciliation Grant, we act to deepen awareness around our shared history and reconciliation as we share and care for 49-acres in our school division. In the spirit of reshaping our connection to the land and to each other, we facilitate relationship building to the land and each other through ecological and cultural ways. With the generous support of The Winnipeg Foundation, we have been able to restore 35-acres to Indigenous Tall Grass Prairie, create Indigenous plant teaching gardens and ceremonial spaces, and are growing and sharing healthy foods. We are able to work with Elders, Knowledge Keepers and Indigenous leaders to shape the ways we connect with each other and the land. These funds have allowed us to create the foundation for the vision we have for this Centre, and take the needed first steps on this meaningful journey.
We are committed to coming together in new and healthy ways as we respond to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's Calls to Action and the United Nations' Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Miigwech, Winnipeg Foundation, for seeing and honouring our vision and our work!
2022: Organizational Development Grant
This grant supports the Centre's staff and advisory committee after the recent development and reflection Mission, Vision, Values statements and as we entre into facilitated strategic planning sessions. The Centre, being at a 5 year reflection point, can reflect on our shared experiences of where we have been and where we are now to set priorities, and goals in the direction of where we are going.
The Conservation Trust, a Manitoba Climate and Green Plan Initiative, is delivered by the Manitoba Habitat Heritage Corporation. The Conservation Trust came into existence in 2018 as part of Manitoba's Climate and Green Plan to fund activities that create, conserve, or enhance natural infrastructure for the benefit of Manitobans. The Conservation Trust is held by the Winnipeg Foundation and revenue from the Trust is granted to eligible organizations by Manitoba Habitat Heritage Corporation (MHHC). MHHC issues calls for proposals that invite grant applications from Manitoba-based not-for-profit organizations for projects that benefit watersheds, habitat and wildlife, connecting people and nature, advancing innovation and conservation planning, and enhancing soil health on Manitoba's working landscapes. Ultimately, recipients of Conservation Trust revenues will deliver a broad range of ecological goods and services outcomes to Manitobans. The activities funded by the Conservation Trust will conserve biodiversity, increase production of harvestable wildlife, mitigate floods and droughts, improve water quality by decreasing nutrients and other pollutants entering waterways, improve climate change mitigation through carbon sequestration and reduction of other greenhouse gases, improve soil health and decrease soil erosion. Projects will also provide other values to Manitobans, such as improving recreational opportunities.
Our Conservation Trust partnerships:
2019-2021: Habitat and Wildlife Category. Project Title: Seven Oaks School Division Learning and Service Centre Prairie Restoration Project
During 2019-2021, The Conservation Trust supported stewardship of the land surrounding Ozhaawashkwaa Animikii-Bineshi Aki Onji Kinimaagae' Inun by enabling the seeding of 54 Indigenous tall grass prairie plant species across 35 acres, the naturalization of a 3,200 sq. m. stormwater retention pond, and the management of a 2 hectare remnant prairie via prescribed burn which each foster SOSD's land-based learning experiences which build ecological, cultural, and historic understanding. Miigwech!
2021-2022: Indigenous Tallgrass Prairie Enhancement and Conservation through Community-based Stewardship
Seven Oaks School Division's "Indigenous Tall Grass Prairie Enhancement and Conservation through Community-Based Stewardship" project will enhance tall grass prairie establishment and increase diversity across 30-acres and will conserve a 5-acre remnant prairie. Interpretive signage will be designed to improve self-guided orientation and learning on site and to enrich experiential land-based learning opportunities. Miigwech!
2022-2024: Interpretive Signage and Oral Storytelling Project at Ozhaawashkwaa Animikii-Bineshi Aki Onji Kinimaagae' Inun
Our project will enhance visitor connection to this landscape by installing wayfinding, interpretive and storytelling panels. Our stories and themes are guided by local Indigenous voices and perspectives and weave a combination of written, graphic, and oral storytelling (QR code) components. These panels provoke visitor connections with the land, the stewardship taking place, and reconciliatory actions. This project will enhance in-person programs and extend beyond, connecting with neighbours and the broader community.
2020-2021: Greenhouse Project
Financial support for the student built Passive Solar Greenhouse Project has been generously provided by Cargill. With this support, the students in CVE Building Trades were able to gain meaningful experience to complement their classroom learning and training. This offered them needed hands-on experiences prior to and in addition to their internships in the community setting. Miigwech!
Cargill’s purpose is to nourish the world in a safe, responsible and sustainable way.
Cargill’s businesses, facilities, and employee-led groups support civic and non-profit organizations in local communities across Canada to advance programs that make a difference. Cargill invests in, engages with and respects cultures while promoting sustainable and responsible economic development to improve living standards and promote thriving communities.
2022: EIWD Enhancement Protection Program
The EIWD generously provided funding to support the enhancement of the Prairie Restoration, Remnant Prairie, and Wetland. This support enables us to maintain and increase species diversity as well as manage invasive weeds across the naturalized areas of our stewardship area. We are grateful for this support and recognition that this care is critical at early stages of any restoration.
2023: EIWD Enhancement Protection Program
The EIWD generously provided funding to support continued enhancement of the Prairie Restoration, Remnant Prairies and Wetland, as well as supported the planting of trees to enhance an eco-buffer planted by students in previous years. Our sincere gratitude for their financial support, moral support, and willingness to support land stewardship.
2023-24: Health and Healing through Land-based Learning at Ozhaawashkwaa Animikii-Bineshi Aki Onji Kinimaagae in Seven Oaks School Division
This generous contribution supports heath and well-becoming by placing students at the centre, nurturing a sense of connection and belonging through land-based learning.
We gratefully acknowledge in-kind support from:
From day one of the Centre's construction, CVE Building Trades program instructor Jason Camphius and program students have generously provided support to the Centre. Their projects have included designing and building the Centre's bookshelves, Firewood Storage Shed, Interior Firewood Storage Boxes, and addressing repair issues on a monthly basis. Their major undertaking in 2020 was building the Passive Solar Greenhouse, adding interior raised beds, a patio block walkway, and grading the exterior post construction. There is always a running list of projects for students to undertake which literally build this place, and keep it running smoothly. We are forever grateful for their creativity, problem-solving skills, resourcefulness in recycling materials and living lightly on the Earth, and thoroughness in getting the job done well.
West Kildonan Collegiate Woodworking Teacher, Mike Bilyk, and program students have integrated their woodwork learning with our Centre's projects since the beginning. This program created the 7 Sacred Teachings picnic tables, bird nest box prototypes, and CNC plant sign prototypes as well as finished plant signs. We are grateful for their contributions, as they always enhance the ways we learn here at the Centre.
Shawn Compton of Novid has generously provided consultation, maintenance, and project enhancement support related to our composting management with the Novi-Comp, in-vessel composting unit. We are continually improving the quality of our compost, duration of time to cure compost, and mechanical efficiencies with support from supporters, like Shawn. Many thanks for your quick responses and service calls, often in frigid temperatures! Miigwech!
2020: In- Kind support for a 338 Tree/Shrub Eco-Buffer
East Interlake Watershed District has generously provided consultation, recommendations, resources, and Eco-Buffer design support to our Land Stewardship efforts, namely by increasing species diversity through the careful choice of Indigenous trees and Shrubs. Their knowledge sharing is invaluable to our learning, growth, and successful restoration of Indigenous Tall Grass Prairie plants on this landscape, as well as the ways we learn from them.
All Seven Oaks School Division Learners, Educators, and Families
Many students and educators, as a part of their Land-based learning experiences, contribute to the stewardship of this Land. They collect food wastes to create compost, they tend to it, and apply it to their gardens. They plant seeds to grow vegetables, herbs, and Indigenous plants for the benefit of the Land and each other, for learners to engage with both at the Centre and at schools in SOSD. They water, weed, and mulch. They come to know Indigenous plants and how to harvest their seeds so that we can preserve these plants, protect them, and enhance the biodiversity that was lost on these Lands. They propagate, plant, and harvest Indigenous medicines for this school community to share. They learn from the land and understand their responsibility to each other and to the Earth, often bringing their families here to share what they are learning. We acknowledge the myriad of ways learners contribute. This place is for you, and we are grateful that you are so generous in your interactions. Miigwech!
Prairie Naturals Gardening Group (PNGG)
PNGG is dedicated to learning to include native plants in their gardens for beauty, aesthetics and nature conservation. Members have engaged in learning with Ozhaawashkwaa Animikii-Bineshi Aki Onji Kinimaagae' Inun via webinar in 2021, and generously volunteered many hours to the Centre by supporting the harvesting of Indigenous forbs (flowers) and grass seeds. These seeds are Indigenous to this local region, eco-type, and are an important part of maintaining our 35-acre tall grass prairie restoration, as well as part of growing and distributing Indigenous plants to schools in SOSD, and to our broader community. Miigwech!
East Kildonan Gardening Group
East Kildonan Gardening Group encourages the cultivation of trees, shrubs, flowers, plants and vegetables and provides gardening information to the community. Members visited Ozhaawashkwaa Animikii-Bineshi Aki Onji Kinimaagae' Inun in 2020 to learn about this land and Centre, and walk the land to come to know this place and our actions. Members returned later that year to support the harvesting of Indigenous grass seeds from an area that would be converted into and Eco-Buffer, mixed Indigenous tree/shrub shelterbelt. These members helped Centre staff during the Covid-19 pandemic when we experienced lower engagement pandemic. They came as a large group, and made a 1 hour harvesting effort out of what would have been 10 hours of labour for our small staff. In addition, members donated vegetable and flower seeds, trees, shrubs, wild strawberries, wild roses, and countless generous actions that lift and feed the spirit of this space. Miigwech!