Debwendon is pleased to announce that the Brokenhead Wetland Interpretive Trail officially opened on June 22, 2016. A moving opening ceremony was held that brought together all the stakeholders involved in the project including the Manitoba government, Brokenhead Ojibway Nation (BON), the Winnipeg Foundation (managing the Eugene Reimer Environment Fund), Native Orchid Conservation Inc.(NOCI), the Manitoba Model Forest, and Eastside Aboriginal Sustainable Development. The ceremony was opened with a song by the Spirit Sands Drummers and a prayer by Brokenhead Ojibway Nation elder, Billy Ballantyne. Several dignitaries greeted the approximately 200 onlookers, including Selkirk MLA, Alan Lagimodiere, Debbie Fiebelkorn, Mayor of Rural Municipality of St. Clements, Claudette Commanda, Executive Director of First National Confederacy of Cultural Education Centres, and Rolling River First Nation Chief Morris J. Swan Shannacappo. Chief Jim Bear, of Brokenhead presented Carl Smith, Chair of Debwendon with a plaque and a beautiful hand-made vest in recognition of his work on the Brokenhead Wetlands. Debwendon board members also spoke including Doris Ames who honoured Eugene Reimer, a long-time member of NOCI and Debwendon who left a legacy endowment fund for the maintenance of the trail that enabled the Manitoba government to put forward the funding for the capital cost of the trail and boardwalk. After the ceremony many enjoyed walking the trail and boardwalk to see the beautiful wetland habitats and blooming wildflowers including orchids. Afterwards those in attendance were invited by BON to a lunch (soup, bannock and a celebratory cake) at the Private Tom Chief Memorial Hall in Scanterbury.
Photo Credits: Will Milne Photography