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Indigenous Initiatives

Land Acknowledgment

Winnipeg Folk Fest takes place at Birds Hill Provincial Park, Manitoba, Canada on Treaty 1 territory and the homeland of the Métis people.

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

Knowledge Keeper Sherry Copenace

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 Committee, 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.

2019 Winnipeg Folk Fest

Opening Blessing
Main Stage
Thursday, July 11 at 5:45 PM

Welcoming Ceremony
Folk School Tent
Friday, July 12 at 10:30 AM

Round Dance
Folk School Tent
Friday, July 12 at 11:00 AM

Gichitwaawin Nagamon
(Honour Songs)
presented by Digital Drum and APTN
With Bebe Buckskin, Samantha Crain & William Prince
Spruce Hollow
Saturday, July 13 at 4:15 PM

Hoop Dancing for All Ages
With Shanley Spence
Chickadee Bigtop
Friday, July 12 at 12:30 PM
Saturday, July 13 at 12:15 PM

Folk School
Sunday, July 14 at 1:00 PM

Grant Anderson, Métis storyteller
Reading Tent in the Family Area
Friday, July 12, Saturday, July 13 and Sunday, July 14
From 12:30 PM to 1:30 PM

Hand-Made Village Artisans

Fat Daug-Hand Carved Antler Jewelry
by Candace Lipischak
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New Earth Frequency
by Aimee McGillis
Website | Instagram | Facebook

VOILÀ par Andréanne
by Andréanne Dandeneau
Website | Instagram | Facebook


Prairie Outdoor Exhibition

by KC Adams
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Juncture: The Flower People & Music
by Nicole LeClair


Art & Animation Program

The Folk Fest Sundial
by Amanda Kindzierski

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

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