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Workshop Series

Connecting and Learning

A series of workshops on land-based, nature-based, ecological and outdoor education.

Next workshop: December 1 2022



Creating Connections

Urban Ecology Winnipeg is about the interactions between people, communities and the urban environment in our city.


By examining our city as part of connected social, ecological, and cultural processes, we can address interconnected systems rather than isolated issues. Urban ecology is about more than just about nature in the city—it's about cities within ecosystems and cities as ecosystems.

We seek to help people build holistic thought and action by creating opportunities for people to come together to explore our city's systems. By examining cities as part of connected social, cultural and ecological processes, advocates, activists, educators, designers, and others can develop more holistic solutions to problems

Who's behind this project?

This project is initiated by settlers living on the traditional lands of the Anishinaabeg, Cree, Oji-Cree, Dakota, and Dene peoples, and in the homeland of the Métis Nation. We recognize the need to listen and learn from examples of community and ecological resilience, including respectfully learning about ways that Indigenous world-views can inform and lead approaches to repairing relationships with the land.

 We are grateful to be supported by the Centre for Indigenous Environmental Resources who have provided guidance around inclusion of Indigenous perspectives and project support in other vital ways. We are also grateful to the many individuals who have taken time to meet with us to share their knowledge, offer feedback, guidance and direction. An advisory circle is being created to help shape this project moving forward, if you are interested in getting involved, get in touch.

The Learning from the Land, in the City series of walks explored 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?







Connecting and Learning workshops aim to be a collaborative space for educators of all kinds to share ideas, opportunities and challenges about land-based, nature-based, and environmental learning.

This workshop will feature a welcome, two 45 - minute sessions, followed by a group discussion and networking time (and hot chocolate)

Session: Inclusion in Experiential Environmental Education
Presenters: Laura Sims (Ph.D) & Marie-Élaine Desmarais, Université de St. Boniface

  • Explore diversity and inclusion with Laura and Marie-Élaine. Starting with an outdoor walk, we will identify what might be considered obstacles (physical, cultural, linguistic, socio-economic) to leading a diverse group in experiential environmental education, and then explore what can be done to help overcome these perceived obstacles.


Session: First Nations Games
Presenter: Norbert Mercredi, B.Ed., B. Phys. Ed. Manitoba First Nations Education Resource Centre (MFNERC)

  • Get outside and get your blood pumping. Norbert Mercredi has 35 years of experience in teaching physical education, and currently works as Land-Based Physical Education Facilitator. He will lead us in some winter-season First Nation Games - inniwew matawaywina - games that are deeply important to First Nations language and a way to connect with leading a Good Way of Life - mino pimatisiwin.

This workshop will start indoors, in the Richardson Interpretive Centre Main Theatre. Sessions will be mostly outdoors, with adaptations in case of extreme weather. Networking time after the sessions will be indoors. Prepare for being outdoors in snow and cold temperatures during the workshop (eg wear your winter boots!)


FortWhyte Alive welcomes wearing masks in indoor spaces.

 Connecting and Learning Workshop:

Inclusive Exploration +
Indigenous Recreation


December 1 2022, 2-5pm - At Fort Whyte Alive - Free!

Partners and Speakers

Connecting and Learning Workshop Series

Inclusive Exploration and
Indigenous Recreation

Introduction to Land-Based Learning

Nicki Ferland is a Two-Spirit Red River Métis Sundancer from Lorette, Manitoba. She has a background in Indigenous and anti-racist education, and is completing her Master of Education in Indigenous land-based education at the University of Saskatchewan. Nicki facilitates land-based programming for students and youth at the University of Manitoba.

Norbert Mercredi

Laura Sims & Marie-Élaine Desmarais

Access in the City Workshop Panelists

Kathryn McKenzie is a gardener and educator at MacDonald Youth Services where she works to combine culturally appropriate Land-Based Education with Manitoba curriculum on a student-by-student basis. In the past, she has been a community organizer for her inner city neighbourhood by helping with community gardens and access to green spaces, has managed a small farm, headed up the education program at FortWhyte Farms, worked in the trades, and studied Biology, Education and Horticulture. She is also certified through the Outdoor Council of Canada as a Field Leader.

Josep Seras Gubert is a multidisciplinary project manager focused on environmental education and sustainable design currently working with Green Action Centre. He is an innovative and visionary team player with 25 years of experience ranging from product design to creativity in education and the eco-movement. Josep has a special interest in educating kids in their exploration of the natural cycles around them and their role in preserving Mother Nature. Having worked with organizations such as Evergreen Brickworks and Earthbound Kids, he has a deep seated belief that through education and innovation we can work together to make a better world.

Bela Ferreira is currently an Outdoor Education Learning Support Teacher in Seven Oaks School Division. She has a Masters in Education, with a focus on Outdoor Education and Land-based learning. She is especially interested in engaging children outdoors, connecting them to Land first, through story, inquiry, play and wonder, allowing children to develop a relationship with more-than-human nature before focusing on asking them to help fix it. She believes returning to place over and over, dedicating time to appreciating all the beauty around us and being a witness to children's awe and learning is how we can move forward on this journey towards Reconciliation with the Land and People


Learning from the Land, in the City
Supporters and Sponsors

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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

Ecologist, 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.

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