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March 15, 2021

Mayor Bowman Announces Honourary Street Name in Recognition of the Winnipeg Art Gallery’s Qaumajuq

Released: 03:07 p.m.

Winnipeg, MB – Today, Mayor Bowman announced an honourary street renaming of Colony Street between St. Mary Avenue and Portage Avenue as “Paashchipew Way”, in honour of the Winnipeg Art Gallery’s Qaumajuq.

“The opening of Qaumajuq is an incredible milestone for our community,” said Mayor Brian Bowman. “Qaumajuq will house the world’s largest public collection of modern and contemporary Inuit Art and will act as a bridge with the north. I am pleased to designate this honourary street name after the name chosen by Respected Metis Elder & Michif Language Keeper, Verna DeMontigny.”

The honourary street name is being administered through a partnership with the Winnipeg Art Gallery’s Qaumajuq, The Circle and The University of Winnipeg, language keepers and Elders. The definition of “Paashchipew” received from Elders and knowledge keepers is:

“Natural flowing waters, like a creek or stream that overflows into other branches of natural flowing waters. Can symbolize cultural continuity, knowledge transmission and relationship building and our ancestors presence overflowing and moving beneath the surface for us. As it’s a buried creek that was named colony that the street is named after."

“The street name Colony Street was a constant reminder of colonization and its impact on the land and Metis and First Nations people: it needed to be changed,” said Elder Verna DeMontigny. “In the Michif language paashchipew names natural flowing waters, like a creek or stream. I choose this word as a recognition and a reminder of our ancestors' continual presence, their knowledge and wisdom overflowing in many directions, moving beneath the surface, guiding us now and future generations to come.”

“The WAG commends Mayor Bowman and the City of Winnipeg for promoting Indigenous language by giving an honourary name to Colony Street where it meets the WAG and Qaumajuq, the Inuit art centre,” said Dr. Stephen Borys, Director & CEO, Winnipeg Art Gallery. “It is very meaningful to be celebrating the Michif name—Paashchipew—symbolizing cultural continuity, knowledge transmission, and relationship building, in the days leading up to the opening of Qaumajuq, which will be a hub for these pursuits. We are grateful to Elder Verna Demontigny and the language keepers for coming up with such a fitting name, to the members of the WAG Indigenous Advisory Circle and the community who championed this initiative for several years, and to Mayor Bowman and the City for their incredible support and leadership.”

The honourary name “Paashchipew Way” will be in place for a period not exceeding five years commencing today with the installation of the honourary street signs.

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