News / Winnipeg

Traditional Trails: Indigenous-led group rides begin at The Forks

Sunday's group ride will learn about Treaty One signed at Upper Fort Garry and explore river trails to find a "connection to the land."

University of Winnipeg student Justin L’Ariveé planned the trail rides as part of the city-funded YouthUnited@Winnipeg work and study pilot, meant to enable students to further the process of reconciliation in their communities.

Braeden Jones/ Metro

University of Winnipeg student Justin L’Ariveé planned the trail rides as part of the city-funded YouthUnited@Winnipeg work and study pilot, meant to enable students to further the process of reconciliation in their communities.

A guided group ride of Winnipeg bike trails near The Forks this weekend promises a tour of Treaty One land “through an Indigenous lens.”

Justin L’Ariveé, who runs the Local Motion outpost of the W.R.E.N.C.H community bike shop at The Forks, organized what will be the first in a series of ‘Traditional Trails’ rides taking place over the summer—with the first taking place Sunday at noon.

He said whether people realize it or not while riding the trails, doing so offers a “connection to the land.”

“It’s important to learn the traditions and ways of thinking about the land of the original people who were there,” L’Ariveé explained.

Most events and announcements in Winnipeg begin with an acknowledgment of the ancestral land they take place on, but L’Ariveé said few people “know about how important Treaty One is.”

So after the tour departs from The Forks train cars and hits the river trails, it will return to Upper Fort Garry park for a discussion on the treaty with Allen Sutherland, the area’s Treaty Realation Commision of Manitoba-appointed Treaty One Project Officer.

The trail tour will be guided by local professional Indigenous mountain biker Adrian Alphonso, a friend of L’Ariveé, who uses his sport as a way “to connect with the land and get in touch with nature.”

“He goes medicine picking with it, and he does trail-building, which is where you actually build ramps and stuff… in a way it’s actually like revitalizing an Indigenous tradition of building trails, something we’ve been doing for thousands of years,” L’Ariveé said.

In addition to helping others understand that connection, Alphonso will give tips on safe trail riding technique.

Future Traditonal Trails rides include a July 19th REDress Ride with Jamie Black, who started the REDress prject in 2011 in honour of missing and murdered Indigenous women, A Metis Ride exploring the history of the Red River Rebellion in St. Boniface on July 30.

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