In the fall of 2020, The Brandon Riverbank received funding from Westoba Inspire to start construction on the All Nations Sharing Circle located on the Riverbank grounds south of the picnic shelters near the Assiniboine River. In consultation with Indigenous leaders, construction began in May 2021, and was completed in July 2021.
This area provides a safe space to share knowledge, and experiences, and is an opportunity for the Riverbank and the City of Brandon to continue its ongoing efforts on reconciliation.
In 2022, permanent signage was added to the All Nations Sharing Circle depicting the Seven Sacred Teachings, providing a self-guided learning opportunity for visitors. The Seven Sacred Teachings, also known as the Teachings of the Seven Grandfathers, is a set of teachings on human conduct towards others.
The All Nations Sharing Circle continues to serve an important role in Brandon’s annual Truth and Reconciliation event as the site for indigenous teachings such as cooking and wellbeing the traditional way as well as space for Indigenous elders to share their residential school experiences and their stories of healing.
Recently, The Brandon Riverbank hosted a ‘Doors Open Brandon’ event at the All Nations Sharing Circle focused on the Seven Sacred Teachings, as well as a bannock making demo. With over 20 people in attendance, Brandon’s Indigenous Tourism Coordinator, Dezarae Bodner conveyed the significance of each of the Seven Sacred Teachings and their relevance to contemporary life. Indigenous Elder, Tim Bone joined the gathering, sharing poignant anecdotes from his life’s journey and reflecting on the symbolism of bannock. The bannock was made from Bodnar’s family recipe and cooked over an open fire giving it a lovely smokey flavour and made the event especially memorable for everyone.
“Thank you Westoba for providing us with such a special and unique space to hold this portion of our event this weekend,” said Bodnar. “Many of us were happy to be present at this event with a sweet breeze blowing on us, beside the trees, river and fire and surrounded by the meaningful signage of our Seven Sacred Teachings – Maarsii.”
The All Nations Sharing Circle is open to the public to use and can be reserved free of charge through the Brandon Riverbank, including access to the fire pit.
ABOUT WESTOBA INSPIRE
Created in 2017, Westoba Inspire is the result of Westoba’s Community Investment Fund in partnership with the Brandon Area Community Foundation. In 2023, in celebration of our 60th anniversary, Westoba gave away a total of $60,000 to community infrastructure projects. To be eligible for funding, applicants must be a non-profit charitable organization, support community infrastructure projects that are started locally or have a clear local impact; are inclusive and bring people together; are long-term or multi-functional; and promote staying, taking part, and engaging in an enriched community.