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2023 ISSP Research Projects

The Indigenous Summer Scholars Program contains a research and workshop component. During the research component, scholars are paired with a University of Winnipeg faculty or staff member as a supervisor. Scholars participate in their supervisors' research projects and receive training and mentorship on the skills required to operate in a research-intensive setting.

Below, in alphabetical order by title, are the 2023 research project descriptions submitted by the project supervisors. Learn about the projects here and about each scholar on the 2023 Indigenous Summer Scholars page.

Bison on the Red: Meeting the Call to Action?

Supervisor: Dr. Laura Forsythe
Scholar: Eucharia Ogoms

We will run eight weeks of canoe day camps for Métis youth along with several evening events that will include children, youth, and adults. These camps will connect Métis youth to the waterways that weave through their city and homeland while supporting several of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action.

The camps will incorporate cultural activities, paddling skills (calls 88, 90i), traditional skills, Michif language (calls 14i, iv), and teachings from elders (call 62 iii). This project is needed to provide Métis youth with the opportunity to learn about their culture and gain traditional skills and knowledge (call 66). The Métis community has been fractured for so long due to colonization and urbanization; creating these opportunities to connect and gather with one another is vital to our well-being both as individuals and as a nation.

In addition to learning traditional skills and forming new connections while strengthening existing relationships, participants will get to spend time outdoors and be physically active. A land-based camp within city limits provides the opportunity to familiarize community members with the outdoors while maintaining the accessibility necessary to engage with higher numbers of youth.

We plan to speak with the youth and their families about their experiences and survey the impact of the programming towards the TRC goals as listed above.

CO2 Effects on Fishes

Supervisor: Dr. Caleb Hasler, Biology
Scholar: Grace Wallace

My NSERC Discovery Grant focuses on the effects of elevated CO2 on freshwater fishes. CO2 in freshwater is akin to ocean acidification and represents a serious environmental threat to freshwater biodiversity. Interestingly, there is wide variation in how freshwater species respond to CO2; therefore, future CO2 levels may partly shape future fish communities. Recent work completed by my graduate student in the vivarium at UWinn has shown mRNA abundances of several genes change given behavioural phenotypes and CO2 exposure history. My plan for this project is to further explore some of the genes that changed and assess how they change as CO2 exposure persists. Vivarium-reared medaka (n = 192) will be exposed to either control or elevated CO2 (1500μatm) to mimic possible future levels of freshwater CO2 (mean CO2 in freshwater lakes is 1000μatm). Fish will be exposed for 6 weeks, and at the end each week, 16 fish will be removed and sampled. Eight fish will undergo a behavioural assay (shuttling test) and 8 fish will be euthanized and gills removed for mRNA abundance work. This work will analyze tissues for several genes of interest (ae1b, ca2, ca15, nhe3, and nka1a1b, we have working primer for these genes).

Creating Context for the Two-Spirit Archives

Supervisor: Brett Laugheed, Library
Scholar: Chelsea  Bannatyne 

Over the 12-week duration of the program, the ISSP scholar would be exposed to many facets of the work of an archivist, especially the work of a community-minded archivist.

The primary task would be to research and write a series of historical essays about Two-Spirit people, culture, tradition, and experiences that would serve to appropriately contextualize the records comprising the Two-Spirit Archives.  The need for these contextual aids was identified by members of the Two-Spirit Archives Advisory Council in order for users to be able to fully comprehend the layered meanings of the records’ content.  They are intended to provide the requisite societal context users need to fully understand Two-Spirit records, especially when these records are published online and more easily separated related records and from the context of the collection as a whole. 

Topics for these essays, as determined by the Advisory Council, include:

  • The importance of language and terminology in determining Two-Spirit identity;
  • Nation-specific histories (various First Nations, Metis, Inuit) of Two-Spirit people including the unique gifts historically offered by Two-Spirit members of Indigenous communities;
  • The recent resurgence and liberation of Two-Spirit people in society and culture, including gatherings, following centuries of genocidal tactics by church and state;
  • The impacts of colonization on Two-Spirit people;
  • Ceremonies and their role in the reclamation of the Two-Spirit identity; and
  • Conflicts and misogyny within the cis-gender gay community towards Two-Spirit and trans folks
Constructing Stories of Health and Homicide in Manitoba, 1900-2007

Supervisor: Dr. Alex Tepperman, Criminal Justice
Scholar: Alysa Baraniuk

This project is part of a larger undertaking by Dr. Tepperman and Dr. Kelly Gorkoff in which they seek to better understand the role of homicide as a public health issue in Manitoba by locating the social determinants that connect homicide victimization to other forms of preventable death. While macro-level research is critically important to understanding provincial trends in health and violent crime over decades, statistics only get at a certain form of truth. Equally important is the micro level, as that is where human beings’ motivations, perceptions, and interpretations reside. Certainly, homicide is an important political subject on the provincial and national level. Homicide is also a social act, however, and has characteristics we can only understand on the local or personal level. It is my hope that a young UW scholar will join me this summer in attempting to reconstruct the stories of the last century of homicides in Manitoba.

As a means of undertaking this qualitative study of long-term trends in Manitoban homicide, I am looking to online newspaper archives. Journalists tend to provide valuable detail in recounting violent crime and, by systematically sorting a century of homicide-related newspaper stories, I believe we will be able to acquire some insight into the contexts of Manitoba homicides and the meanings that both victim and victimizer imbue on these acts. This sort of social and cultural framing is especially important for homicide in an area where systemic inequalities grounded in the legacy of settler colonialism have led Indigenous people to take up a disproportionate stake in discussions of homicide, both as victims and as perpetrators. It is my hope that, in providing important narrative structure and context to the long history of homicide in Manitoba, this project will not only offer a more nuanced insight into the nature of killing in Manitoba, but will provide the necessary cultural and social grounding necessary to destabilize anti-Indigenous political and media narratives regarding homicide. Scholars such as Roger Lane and Jeffrey Adler have found huge success in similar research, having employed newspaper-based narrative synthesis to develop histories of violence in Chicago, Philadelphia, and New Orleans. Their monographs have not only showed the complex social dynamics at work in thousands of violent crimes between the Civil War and Civil Rights, but have forefronted the ways in which legacies of white supremacy frame and motivate much of the urban violence in the United States.

Exploring Mars and the Moon

Supervisor: Dr. Ed Cloutis, Geography
Scholar: Tegan  Ledoux

The University of Winnipeg is involved in a number of missions that are exploring the Moon and Mars. As part of our involvement in these missions, we perform two major tasks:

(1) measure spectroscopic properties of meteorites from the Moon and Mars, as well as Earth rocks and minerals. This information helps us analyze data from Moon and Mars missions to help us understand the geology of their surfaces. In the case of Mars, this information helps us search for signs of past or present life.

(2) conduct rover explorations of places on the Earth that have some geological similarities to the Moon and Mars. Conducting exploration of these sites is done in much the same way that rovers explore the surfaces of the Moon and Mars. Our field activities give valuable insights into how best to explore the surfaces of the Moon and Mars.

Student(s) engaged in this work will undertake a variety of tasks that include:

(1) measuring spectroscopic properties of Moon and Mars meteorites and terrestrial rocks and minerals (training will be provided).

(2) Participate in planned ~1-week long field campaigns as part of a larger research team at places in Canada that have relevant geology to the Moon and Mars. This may include places near Thunder Bay, ON, Quebec City, QC, Montreal, QC, Swan River, MB, and Gypsumville, MB. 

Indigenous Urban Planning, "Gifted" Historical Buildings, and the Settler Politics of Reconciliation

Supervisor: Dr. Julie Chamberlain, Urban and Inner-City Studies
Scholar: Sheldon  Valiquette

This research project looks at recent examples of historical buildings in urban centres that have been "gifted" to Indigenous representative groups and nations. The project asks what the hopes, constraints, and potential are for such gifts, considering that they are the result of Indigenous struggle, they involve buildings that are loaded with historical meaning, and the gifts are often framed as examples of "reconciliation." The project is a collaboration with my colleague Dr. Julie Tomiak at Carleton University; I will supervise the ISSP Scholar myself, but I have included Dr. Tomiak's contact info above, and she is aware of this proposal.

The project looks at two cases: the first is the 2017 transfer of the former American embassy building in Ottawa to joint ownership by the Assembly of First Nations, Métis National Council, and Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami. The former embassy will be an Indigenous Peoples Space for intergovernmental business and relationships, with a dedicated space (adjacent to 100 Wellington Street) for the Algonquin Anishinabeg nation on whose unceded territory it stands. Dr. Tomiak is focusing on this case from her location in Ottawa.

The second case, and my primary focus, is that of the former Hudson's Bay Company building in downtown Winnipeg, which was “gifted” by the HBC to the Southern Chiefs Organization in 2022. The Southern Chiefs Organization is planning Wehwehneh Bahgahkinahgohn (it is visible), which will transform the building into a space for social and economic reconciliation.

The study will analyze and compare the past, present, and aspirations for the two buildings. We are gathering and analyzing material from media accounts, planning documents, and public archives to trace the history of the buildings, the institutions they housed, the decisions and process of "gifting," and plans for the future.

The Impacts of Climate Change on Boreal Climate Cycling

Supervisor: Dr. Nora Casson
Scholars: Logan Asham

Our lab works to unravel relationships between water and nutrient cycling, to understand how patterns and processes vary across the landscape and how human activities impact the surface waters that drain forested ecosystems. We combine field work, laboratory studies and data synthesis to expand understanding of how human activities impact ecosystems, by diving deep into the mechanisms that underpin observed changes and also by looking broadly at controls on regional-scale patterns. The ISSP student will assist with building and deploying field equipment either within Winnipeg or at a forested site near Kenora and processing soil and water samples in the lab.

The ISSP student will develop their own research question in the general area of impacts of climate change on boreal climate cycling. In particular, they will examine relationships between watershed carbon sources and stream carbon export. They will undertake lab and field work to answer this question, which could involve lab incubations, field data collection at the IISD-Experimental Lakes Area and/or long-term data analysis.

Indigenous Project Development for the TOYBOX

Supervisor: Dr. Sheri-Lynn Skwarchuk, Education
Scholar: Autumn Edel

TOYBOX is a community grassroots education research project, where we are collectively learning about how to provide evidence-based and Indigenous ways of knowing tips to caregivers and their 2-to-8-year old children. We hope to provide literacy, numeracy and wellness activities in ways that can support Manitoba families. Research shows that children who start school/life without the social and educational skills of their peers have difficulty adjusting, and being successful in the good life. The TOYBOX is near the end of SSHRC PDG funding, and we are looking for other financial ways to support the project. This summer, students on the project will work to improve the knowledge mobilization aspects of the project by creating culturally sensitive social media materials in community, work in child care centres to increase the evidence validation that the tools are working with children who use them consistently. Finally, we have a list of strategy suggestions from various underrepresented communities that need to be formatted in strategy form, possibly with translation into an Indigenous language.

Additionally, the project supports Indigenization goals of the university; Articles 5 and 12 of the Calls to Action from Canada's Truth and Reconciliation Commission (2015) pertaining to the development of culturally appropriate parenting/caregiver programs and early childhood education programs; and Article 14.2 (education rights) and Article 24.2 (mental health support) included in the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People (2007). We feel we can provide an amazing summer work experience for a University of Winnipeg student with an Indigenous background. We will all be learning together to support the educational needs of young children in our province and beyond.

Language Learning and Language Practices in the Lives of Inuit leaders

Supervisor: Dr. Shelley Tulloch
Scholar: Dyana Lavallee

This research examines how language learning and language practices have shaped the trajectories of Inuit leaders. Our hypothesis is that opportunities to learn and use Inuktut at a high level, alongside English or French, is a shared characteristic of Inuit who have emerged as leaders over the past 50 years. The research is embedded in public discourses that suggest that Indigenous languages are a barrier to success and that students should focus on learning a national language, English or French, in order to find employment and fully participate in and benefit from Canadian society. Inuit visions of success include personal wellness, community connectedness, and traditional knowledge, as well as preparedness for post-secondary and employment (Qanatsiaq Anoee, 2015). Inuit in Canada have the right to control their education systems, but are increasingly deferring to English due to concerns about post-secondary preparation and employment. Anecdotally, in my reading of Inuit biographies, autobiographies, and autoethnographies published in the twenty years, it seems that many Inuit who emerged as leaders started out in Inuktut-language related professions: CBC broadcasters, Inuit language teachers, among others. In this project, we will conduct a systematic, thematic analysis of these biographies to identify the role of language learning and language practices in the leader’s life. This research may contribute to counter-hegemonic discourses supporting the value of Inuktut learning and use for all aspects of Inuit success, and unsettling the discourse that only English (or French) is relevant to success.

The Manitoba Food History Project

Supervisor: Dr. Janis Thiessen, History, UW Oral History Centre
Scholar: Jenny Foidart

The Manitoba Food History Project is driven by two research questions: How has food been produced, purchased, and consumed in Manitoba? And how have those processes changed over time?

We document and interpret the history of food production, retailing, and consumption in Manitoba. Outcomes of this SSHRC-funded project include oral histories, ArcGIS Story Maps, and a podcast series ("Preserves").

The Manitoba Food History Truck (in partnership with UW's Diversity Foods) travels the province, inviting Manitobans to cook local, historical, meaningful recipes aboard the truck while students and project members conduct oral history interviews with them. Additional oral history interviews are conducted off the truck, in food-related businesses. These oral histories contribute to our understanding of the business, labour, ethnic, Indigenous, and local histories of the province.

Manitoba Food History Project Website
Manitoba Food History Project Instagram
Manitoba Food History Project Twitter
Manitoba Food History Project Facebook

Morphometric Analysis of Teeth as an Indicator of Environmental Stress

Supervisor: Dr. Jean-Pierre Desforges
Scholar: Charley Church

The impacts of climate change are felt most dramatically in the Arctic where warming has occurred at a far greater rate than the global average. Arctic-adapted species like polar bears and ringed seals will be among the most severely impacted by changes to ice and snow regimes that they rely upon throughout the year for reproduction, predator avoidance, or hunting. Understanding the impacts of climate change on these long-lived apex predators requires long time series on relevant metrics for animal health and condition that we can track in tandem with environmental and climate data on temperature and sea-ice dynamics. Teeth growth layer groups (GLGs) have potential to be a useful biological tissue to allow such analysis. Seasonal GLGs are deposited in teeth every year and represent periods of active and limited growth. A previous study has found that the width of GLGs in ringed seal teeth correlated with ovulation rates and sea ice conditions going back to 1965. The current study aims to build on this previous study and expand the sample size of ringed seals and include polar bears as its main predator. Canine teeth from both species have already been sectioned and imaged. The summer scholar will be tasked with performing image analysis of teeth to derive width estimates for GLGs in all individuals. Once collected, the scholar will perform exploratory data analysis to investigate any potential links with collected animal meta-data (body condition, ovulation rates, etc.) and environmental data (sea ice dynamics, temperature, etc.)

Movement Interaction Resilience and Adaptation in the Late Antiquity of the Balkan Peninsula

Supervisor: Dr. Mirjana Roksandic, Anthropology
Scholar: Emily Fedora, Shannon Robson, and Jacee Turner

The Balkan Peninsula is a crucial area for understanding the peopling of Europe, from the initial movement of human ancestors into the continent, through the origin of Neanderthals and their spread from Europe into Central Asia, to the arrival of modern humans and the extinction of the Neanderthals during the last glacial period. The Central Balkans south of the Sava and Danube rivers and north of Greece played two important roles in the Pleistocene era as the crossroads between corridors of migration from the Levant, Anatolia and Caucasus regions to Europe, and one of the three southern peninsulas that provided refuge to humans, animals and plants during glaciations. In order to reconstruct environmental change on both the regional and large scales throughout Pleistocene and Holocene, we apply multi-proxy methodology. Examining movements of animals, presence of plants in the soil (phytoliths, pollen), stable C and N isotopes in soil and in animal remains coupled with an intensive program of chronometric dating allows us to refine the understanding of the conditions that predisposed human movements and interactions in the regions. Building a base for Strontium isotope to understand local/non-local provenance of animals and hominins in the region represents one of the important goals. As human fossils are extremely rare and valuable we use animal teeth from the Pleistocene context and human teeth from the Holocene context for Strontium. Students participate in both the fieldwork and the lab analysis and learn to collect, process, and analyze various data sets and to cross-validate them in building plausible scenarios of human and animal migrations and interactions with environment.

The Neural Correlates of Number Word Knowledge in Preschool Children

Supervisor: Stephanie Bugden, Psychology
Scholar: Cassidy Lamirande

Learning the meaning of number words is a crucial developmental milestone for mathematical success. It is a challenging and protracted developmental process that is typically achieved between four and five years of age (Le Corre & Carey, 2007; Wynn, 1992), but can be further delayed in children living in poverty (Gunderson, Spaepen, & Levine, 2015). Children who are delayed at acquiring number word knowledge are at greater risk for poor academic and life outcomes (Geary et al., 2018).

Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), we recently found age related changes in neural activity when processing the meaning of spoken number words in children who have already mastered the count-list (Bugden et al., 2021). However, fMRI is not an optimal tool for studying the functional brain in young children. The aim of the proposed project is to use functional near infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) to investigate the neural mechanisms that support learning the meaning of spoken number words in preschool-aged children. We will also test whether brain regions that support processing the meaning of number words varies in children at risk for learning difficulties. The results will inform theories of the origins of mathematics.

Practical Solutions to Long-term Drinking Water Advisories in Manitoba First Nations

Supervisor: Dr. Melanie O'Gorman
Scholar: Margaret Firlot

Canada’s drinking water is considered to be among the safest in the world (World Health Organization (WHO, 2009), yet many First Nations have inadequate water and sewage systems. Naturally access to water and wastewater services varies across communities. In some cases, a water treatment plant cannot be trusted to produce safe drinking water (McClearn, 2016). In others, the water treatment plant produces safe drinking water, but houses rely on trucked-in water or wells that may be contaminated (Fernando et al., 2016); Harden and Levalliant, 2008; Farenhorst et al., 2017). As of February 2023, there were 32 long-term DWAs in 28 First Nations (ISC, 2023).

There is a large academic literature citing the determinants of DWAs in First Nations across Canada. This literature comments on the frequency, length and determinants of DWAs both on and off-reserve. For example, McLeod et al. (2020b) compare determinants of DWAs on reserve vs. off-reserve for the province of Saskatchewan from 2012-2016. They find that First Nations in northern Saskatchewan were 5 times more likely to have a DWA relative to First Nations in southern Saskatchewan. While these studies find important correlates of DWAs, they do not necessarily point to solutions to lifting existing DWAs or avoiding future DWAs.

This project will compile recommendations from Manitoba First Nations for resolving the issue of inadequate water and sanitation infrastructure. First Nations have been dealing with inadequate funding for water/sanitation systems for decades. We will visit First Nations in Manitoba who have had long-term DWAs lifted, to learn about how the advisory was lifted, their suggestions for how it could have been lifted sooner (if applicable) and whether they feel their water/sanitation system is now safe for the long-term. We will also visit First Nations who are still under long-term DWAs. We will ask Chief and Council, members, Elders and water/sanitation operators about what is needed for lifting their DWA and what barriers they have faced. We will compile these responses and disseminate them widely. Our goal is practical – to disseminate this information to bring about reforms in the way the federal government deals with First Nations water systems.

The Role of Epigenetic Control of Germline Specific Genes in the Sea Lamprey Genome in Sex Determination and Differentiation

Supervisor:Dr. Sara Good
Scholar:Amy Pitzel

Substantial resources are invested annually to control invasive sea lamprey in the Great Lakes. Current control strategies have reduced sea lamprey populations by up to 90%, but they are expensive and have some non-target effects. Therefore, genetic control options are being explored, and research to support the development and evaluation of genetic technologies is needed. This includes basic research required to identify suitable candidate genes to serve as targets for modification that, when disrupted or enhanced, result in species-specific changes in sea lamprey that impair survival or fertility or distort population sex ratios.

In recent years, our understanding of the processes of sexual determination and differentiation in vertebrates has substantially changed and, like most things in biology, rendered apparent that the plasticity of genetic and environmental control over these processes is greater than previously appreciated.  By definition, sex determination is the process by which a bipotential gonad is directed towards becoming a testis or ovary, while sexual differentiation is the suite of downstream events that lead to the eventual production of haploid gametes capable of reproduction as well as the acquisition of other phenotypic traits associated with sexual dimorphism. Lampreys are one of the few vertebrate species (birds being another one) that undergo the unusual process of programmed genome rearrangement (PGR), in which either portions of chromosomes (chromosomal diminution) or entire chromosomes (chromosomal elimination) are removed during embryonic development, thereby reducing the genomic content of descendent cells by up to 90%. Studies have shown that PGR in sea lamprey, which occurs ~3 days post-fertilization (dpf), entails the removal of both repetitive and single-copy sequences, and the targeted 12 chromosomal regions are bundled into transcriptionally inactive heterochromatin and jettisoned from all but the primordial germ cells. The genes on these 12 chromosomes that are jettisoned from somatic cells are called germline specific region (GSR), because the genes on them are only expressed in germ cells (i.e. sperm and ovaries). However, the role of the GSR has remained a mysterious.

My laboratory group recently employed a transcriptomics approach and determined that the GSR of the sea lamprey genome is likely involved in the crucial processes of sex differentiation and testicular development, and might be involved in sex determination. We found that germline specific genes are most highly expressed in prospective males and in males undergoing spermatogonial differentiation, while all but a few GSGs had low overall expression in females. Assuming females harbor the same GSR as males, our data suggests that the factors controlling epigenetic modification of the GSR are likely pivotal for sex determination and differentiation. 

This student project has one primary objective, which is to be perform a DNA methylation analysis of candidate genes that are putatively associated with sex determination in sea lamprey.

We will perform bisulfite conversion of DNA followed by PCR targeting CpG islands in the promoters of differentially expressed genes followed by cloning and sequencing.  Treating DNA with bisulfite leads to the deamination of cytosine into uracil, and the converted residues (C -> U) will be read as thymine, as determined by PCR-amplification and subsequent Sanger sequencing analysis. However, 5mC residues are resistant to conversion and will remain as cytosine. Thus, by comparing Sanger sequencing reads from an untreated DNA sample to a bisulfite treated sample, will allow us to identify sites that were present as methylated cytosines in the original sample. Although this method can be used genome wide, it is better employed in a candidate gene approach as we propose. To perform the method, two aliquots of DNA per sample are used: one of them is treated with bisulfite and the other sample is not. Both samples are then used to perform PCR-amplification of the promoter region(s) of interest (up to 10 GOI’s) followed by sequencing. Primers are designed around the CpG islands that were identified in Objective 2. DNA-methylation analysis requires special approaches to primer. The resulting PCR products will be cloned and sequenced at The Center for Applied Genetics (Toronto) from treated and untreated aliquots from each individual and differences in DNA methylation in the original samples inferred.


The Six Seasons of the Asiniskaw Īthiniwak

This project has two supervisor-scholar pairs for ISSP 2023:

Supervisor: Dr. Mavis Reimer
Scholar: Sarah Piche

Supervisor: Dr. Doris Wolf
Scholar: Tiara Anderson

The Six Seasons of the Asiniskaw Īthiniwak project is a SSHRC Partnership project with the goal of supporting the ongoing work of reclaiming Indigenous languages, histories, and knowledges among the asiniskaw īthiniwak (Rocky Cree) of northern Manitoba. This work takes place in the context of the calls to action by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (2015) for, among many other things, the revitalization of Indigenous cultures, the “relearning of Canada’s national history,” and reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people. At the heart of the project is the creation of a cycle of six historical picture books set in the proto-contact period that tell stories about the people thriving on their land and teach readers about asiniskaw īthiniwak language, history, and culture. Project members also work on creating a teachers’ guide and a picture book app to accompany each of the six books. This project is steeped in collaboration, as it brings together researchers, Knowledge Keepers, and members of Cree communities in northern Manitoba.

Six Seasons Project website

Winnipeg Heart of the City Summer Creative Arts Performance Series 2023

Supervisor: Di Brandt, English
Scholar: Rachelle Dunsford

This will be an intercultural multi-disciplinary research/creation/curatorial/ presentation project, involving the University of Winnipeg (through the Team Leader, Dr. Di Brandt and the Indigenous student contracted through this ISSP grant); outgoing Indigenous Winnipeg Poet Laureate Duncan Mercredi; Ross House Museum; and the Manitoba Indigenous Cultural Centre (MICEC). We are applying for a Manitoba Arts Council Community Arts Grant to fund the rest of the project (pending; up to $15,000, deadline May 15; announcement date early to mid-July). We may seek other funding as well, as needed.

This project has been in planning for two years. Di Brandt's home, Ross House Museum and MICEC are all located close to Joe Zuken Park, North Point Douglas, which has an outdoor wired amphitheatre that is underutilized for public performance.  This will be where the performance events take place. Many of Duncan Mercredi's poems are set in Winnipeg's downtown and North End.  Many of the people he writes about in this neighbourhood are too poor or shy to attend his literary readings elsewhere.  So, we want to bring the poems here!

Di Brandt, Winnipeg's inaugural Poet Laureate, was delighted to discover the rich cultural offerings, history and cultural possibilities of North Point Douglas, when she moved here a few years ago.  She has founded and hosted numerous innovative professional creative arts presentation series in several cities and various universities and cultural communities in her 40 year literary and academic career.