Urban Walks Series

Learning from the Land in the City

We have completed all our scheduled walks.

Check out the blog to learn more about the speakers and the ideas that were shared!



Learning from the Land, in the City

Learning from the Land, in the City is a series of  seasonal walks exploring the ecology of Winnipeg’s urban landscape. Each walk will explore a different theme through field walks in the urban environment that bring together experts from the worlds of design, ecology, community development and more. Speakers will share diverse ways of knowing about the land, weaving a holistic picture of the urban environment and our relationship with it.

This walk happened on Saturday, April 27, 2019. Read more about the walk and guest speakers here.

Summer / Urban Forests and Habitats

This walk happened on Saturday August 19, 2019. Read more about the walk and guest speakers here.


Due to volunteer availability and other important community events like the Climate Strikes, the fall walk will be postponed.

Winter / Energy and the Cosmic Whole

This walk happened on Feb 29 2020 at The Forks. More about the walk and the guest speakers coming soon.


The purpose of this series of walks is to explore how our city functions as a connected social and ecological system. We know that the health of people and the land are intimately connected, but what does this look like in an urban setting? How does urbanization and colonization change ecosystems and impact communities? How can we design cities to work in harmony with natural systems and be more socially and ecologically resilient?

Project Organizers


Matt Carreau

Urbanist, Designer

Matt is passionate about cities, design and 'whole systems thinking'. He initiated this project to start a dialogue about the need for more holistic ways of thinking about cities and problems rooted in the wisdom of ecology. Matt loves organizing learning events that bring interdisciplinary groups together to generate creative ideas. He was the lead organizer for Jane's Walk in Winnipeg from 2011 to 2016.


Marika Olynyk

Environmental Educator

Marika works in the areas of ecology, environmental education, and public engagement. She is excited to contribute to this project as she strives to facilitate meaningful opportunities for people to connect with the natural world and explore their role within it.

Project Supporters and Sponsors

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Latest Walk:

Winter / Energy + the Cosmic Whole

Date: Saturday, February 29, 2020

In this third instalment in our year-long journey exploring the connection between urban and ecological systems, we gathered at the Forks for an evening stroll with an incredible lineup of speakers.

Following the elemental theme of past events (Spring-Water, Summer-Earth, Fall… well, that one never happened, but it would have been Air) this walk  explored Fire in myriad forms: from the fire we gather around to keep warm, to the cosmic fires (the stars) in the sky that inspire storytelling; from the energy we use to heat our city, to the thermodynamics of hibernation and energy conservation in animals and insects during the long winter months.

As always with Learning from the Land, In the City, everything is connected!

Our speakers were Elders Barb and Clarence Nepinak, Cary Hamel from the Nature Conservancy of Canada, Allen Sutherland, John Wyndels, and Dave Pancoe from the Forks.

We ended the evening with bannock and tea around a fire at Oodena Circle. Thank you to everyone who attended.

* 'Snowbank' photo by Steve McCullough



Barbara and Clarence Nepinak


Barbara and Clarence Nepinak are members of Pine Creek First Nation who reside in Winnipeg. Retired from federal public service, they continue to be active on various Boards and committees and have received numerous awards recognizing their positive contributions to cultural awareness, education, and support of Indigenous organizations. These include the Recognition Award for “Honouring Women of Distinction” awarded to Barbara by the Interprovincial Association of Native Employment in Manitoba, as well as the Grandmothers Award for Keeping the Fires Burning with Ka ni kanichihk. Together Barbara and Clarence are recipients of the Knowledge Keepers Award from the Circle of Educators and the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Award for being Cultural Ambassadors. They are founders and coordinators of the Summer Bear Dance Troupe and they partner with Seven Oaks School Division for a Heritage Language Program. They have 2 daughters and 4 granddaughters.


Dave Pancoe

Manager, Special Projects, The Forks

Speaker bio will appear here shortly.


Cary Hamel

Director of Conservation, Nature Conservancy of Canada, Manitoba Region

Cary has more that 15 years' experience with field surveys, research and integrating knowledge for on-the-ground conservation action. He leads a team of land protection, stewardship and science professionals and recently became a Conservation Coaches Network coach, and he sits on the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife Species in Canada Vascular Plants Species Subcommittee. He has also served as president of the Friends of Birds Hill Park, on the Manitoba Breeding Bird Atlas steering committee and on the Manitoba Endangered Species and Ecosystem Advisory Committee. Cary lives among the farms and fields of southern Manitoba.


John Wyndels

Senior policy analyst at Province of Manitoba Disabilities Issues Office 

Photo by Lindsay Reid.


Allen Sutherland, Waabiskhi Mazinishin Mishtadim (White Spotted Horse)

Lodge Keeper, Facilitator, Trainer

An Anishinaabek member of Skownan First Nation (Treaty 2 Territory) and of the Bizhiw doodem (Lynx Clan).,

Allen had the opportunity of working within governments, and grassroots community work for over 30 years. Allen provides facilitation and training under his own company of WHITE SPOTTED HORSE, Inc, where he is a sought-after resources person on the First Nation history and cultures of the Anishinaabe of Canada. He is a Registered Professional Trainer (RPT), Professional Certified Heritage Interpreter and a Certified Master Practitioner of Time Line Therapy. Allen’s strong Anishinaabek roots run deep and always present, leaving him in the unique position of being a conduit between many diverse cultures. The ultimate goal of learning the Indigenous Cultural Historical perspective is to build a greater understanding and respect of the ‘Indigenous World View’. It’s about reconciliation and relationship building.

Allen is a member of the Speakers Bureau of the Treaty Relationships Commission of Manitoba and is employed as Keeper of Circles and Life Long Learning Lodge Keeper for the Government of First Nations Treaty 2 Territory. He resides in Winnipeg, Manitoba, of Treaty One Territory.

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