Indigenous Initiatives

Land Acknowledgement

Winnipeg Folk Fest takes place at Birds Hill Provincial Park, Manitoba, Canada on Treaty 1 territory and the National Homeland of the Red River Métis.

The Winnipeg Folk Festival respects the Treaties that were made on this territory. In a spirit of reconciliation, we work with an Indigenous Advisory Circle and Indigenous partners to further develop relationships and opportunities to share Indigenous culture at and through our Festival and year-round activities.

Festival Welcome

Knowledge Keeper

Sherry Copenace

Born and raised in the Ojibway community of Onigaming in Northwestern Ontario, Sherry Copenace is proud of being Anishinaabe and all that she has learned from her greatest teacher, her grandmother Shawon. Her experience in social work has led her to work with young women, teaching Anishinaabe traditions and ceremonies, including Indigenous childbirth practices that bring “birth back to the community.”

She is currently employed at the University of Manitoba as part of their Master of Social Work based in Indigenous Knowledges Program. Sherry speaks her original Ojibway language and has a great love for the Land, Waters and Peoples.


Our mission at the Winnipeg Folk Festival is to create experiences of discovery and learning through the celebration of people and music. We present world-class creative and artistic talent from Manitoba and around the world.

We are committed to facilitating the sharing of Indigenous voices and culture with Manitobans, creating opportunities for enjoyment, engagement, education and understanding through the celebration of Indigenous art, song, ceremony and storytelling.

Guiding Principles

  • To work with members of the Indigenous community as part of our Indigenous Advisory Circle, to create an ongoing dialogue regarding programming and the sharing of Indigenous culture as it relates to the Winnipeg Folk Festival.
  • To program Indigenous artists whose voices and perspectives are heard as part of the folk music and storytelling traditions at the Festival.
  • To open our Festival and welcome all attendees to our Festival with a blessing from a Knowledge Keeper from the Indigenous community.
  • To welcome artists from all over the world to our Festival with a traditional welcoming ceremony including prayer, song and a tribute to the land we are on.
  • To bring projects from Indigenous visual artists to our Prairie Outdoor Exhibition to create interactive artistic experiences.
  • To present Indigenous artisans in our Hand-Made Village where Festival attendees can interact with the artisans and purchase their hand-crafted works.

2022 Winnipeg Folk Fest

Lineup Artists

Hand-Made Village Artisans

Indigenous Canada - University of Alberta

As part of our ongoing commitment to education in the area of diversity, equity and inclusion the Winnipeg Folk Festival staff completed the 12-week Indigenous Canada course provided by the University of Alberta. This online course includes lessons on the fur trade, land claims, legal systems, political conflicts, Indigenous political activism, contemporary Indigenous life and art. Indigenous Canada is a free online course that anyone can sign up for at any time through Coursera.

Do you have any comments or suggestions on how we can improve our Indigenous Initiatives?

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