Neechi Commons is a community business
complex, located at 865 Main Street, that includes a full-range neighbourhood supermarket; produce courtyard, restaurant,bakery, catering services, specialty foods,Aboriginal books, arts, crafts, music and clothing, and a seasonal farmers market.
Neechi Commons was deliberately developed in this part of the city to foster neighbourhood revitalization and to provide economic opportunities for Aboriginal youth and other area residents. In part this means that Neechi Commons is providing a direct alternative to street gangs.The Aboriginal Arts Centre serves as both a retail outlet and as a gallery for First Nations, Métis and Inuit artists, artisans, authors, illustrators, singers and musicians.
Periodically neighbourhood schools and community centres showcase their students’ artwork and participate in workshops,performances and presentations at the Commons. On-going artistic and literary events at the Commons are very popular.
DID YOU KNOW:
Neechi Foods Co-Op Ltd. is Winnipeg’s largest commercial employer of First Nations and Métis people. As a Worker Coop, employees have the opportunity to become business owners and entrepreneurs; an opportunity that most of them otherwise would never get.
Neechi promotes healthy foods and lifestyles.The complex showcases geo-thermal heating and cooling and has received
Green Globes certification.Neechi began operations on Dufferin Avenue in 1990.
‘Neechi’ means friend/sister/brother in Cree and Ojibwa.
The Moncur Gallery opened in 1986,showcasing a wide variety of artifacts of which most are from the private collection of Bill Moncur, an avid local amateur
archeologist. Specializing in the history of the Aboriginal people who first came to the area 11,000 years ago, this collection took a lifetime to gather and shows the great esteem that Bill had for the history of his hometown
and the area. The Gallery acts as a centre for information on artifacts found in the area by interested persons.
There are more than one thousand artifacts, including projectile points, ceremonial and food preparation items, from the time when the first people of the region lived among the Turtle Mountains.
The Council Stones sit in the Moncur Gallery as one of the center pieces of the entire collection. They represent some the many religious or spiritual artifacts that were collected and preserved by Bill Moncur. The Council Stones cannot be photographed due to their significant and special meaning to the Indigenous peoples of the area.
The stones were given to Bill Moncur in 1944 by a local First Nations Chieftain, Sitting Eagle. Bill and Sitting Eagle had formed a friendship previous to the gifting of the stones so that Sitting Eagle knew of Bill’s dedication to learning about and preserving artifacts. All seven of the stones were gradually given to Bill over an extended period during which Sitting Eagle never fully explained his reasons for giving them to Bill instead of leaving them with his own people. Unfortunately Sitting Eagle passed away before he could tell Bill the true significance of the stones and how they were used or regarded specifically by his people, however Bill was given to understand that they held a great importance and needed to be preserved for future generations that could learn from them.
Education is the primary goal of the Gallery. The Gallery has developed an education kit on the very early history of the area.
Pisew Falls Provincial Park in Manitoba is located at the approximate midpoint between the small community of Wabowden and the much larger industrial and service centre of Thompson. The name “Pisew” is translated from the
local Cree language meaning “Lynx”. It was so named because the sound of the hissing water bears a resemblance to the sound of this wild northern feline.
At Pisew Falls the Grass River drops 13 metres, making it the second tallest falls in Manitoba, changes directions and thunders down through a rocky gorge. Its creation is due to the intensive geological activity in the area hundreds of thousands of years ago, when violent tectonic effects caused the creation of first a fault, and then an upheaval of the southern side of the fault-line. This has left a rift in the landscape with a waterfall
cascading over and through it. Because of the continuous flow of water over the falls, the localized area has developed its own microclimate. A wide variety of mosses, lichens, and fungi can be found in the immediate area around the base of the falls. There are also a variety of ferns whose origins date back to before the last Ice Age.
A short boardwalk along the top of the falls leads to three observation platforms. For a closer look at the water, follow the .5 kilometre walking trail to a recently-constructed and impressively-engineered Rotary suspension bridge that spans the Grass River below the falls. Pisew Falls are easily accessed by road, just off Highway 6 about 70 kilometres southeast of Thompson.