A blessing for Giizhigooweyaabikwe Park


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Point Douglas city councillor Vivian Santos, Leslie Spillett and local community leaders held a land blessing ceremony on May 11 for the redevelopment of Giizhigooweyaabikwe Park, located at 242 Lizzie St.

Giizhigooweyaabikwe, or ‘Painted Sky Woman’, is Spillett’s spirit name in Anishinaabeemowin. Spillett was a co-founder of Ka Ni Kanichihk, which offers support to Indigenous women and families, in 2001, was principal founder and leader of the Mother of Red Nations Women’s Council of Manitoba, which began the Sisters in Spirt campaign to raise awareness and demand action regarding Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls and Two-spirited in Canada. She also helped found the Manitoba Aboriginal Youth Achievement Awards and Keeping the Fires Burning.

Giizhigooweyaabikwe Park, formerly known as Lizzie Park, was renamed in honour of Spillett in 2018. Redevelopment of the park this summer will include construction of a new outdoor water fountain/bottle-filling station, a new basketball half-court, installation of a new seating area, new fencing, updated lighting and a new asphalt path. Total cost of the project is $384,000, funded by the Point Douglas Land Dedication Fund and the Canada Community-Building Fund.

Supplied photo

Coun. Vivian Santos looks on as Leslie Spillett speaks at a blessing ceremony for Giizhigooweaabikwe Park.

Supplied photo

A plaque honours Spillett at the park, which is located at 242 Lizzie St.

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