May 29 – June 1, 2002
The Alliance Meets Manitoba’s Singing Sands Park
The end of May found thirty Alliance members gathered in Winnipeg to begin a journey of discovery through southern Manitoba. Enthusiastically led by Charlie Thomsen and Ted McLachlan, the group visited St. Michael’s Ukrainian Orthodox Church and Neubergthal (a Mennonite street village) both Canadian National Historic Sites.
Through blowing topsoil, mile after mile of undulating prairie, and for some a drive down memory lane’, the group arrived at Boissevain, just north of the International Peace Gardens in the geographic centre of North America. We were greeted by James Ritchie, overseer of the community archives and native heritage centre.
The following day a series of papers generally focused on the conference’s theme, Landscapes of Peace and Commemoration. In the late afternoon, Mr. Ritchie returned to delight us with tales of the local native peoples and in particular the story of the Turtle and the Serpent, a compelling creation story. A visit to see a medicine wheel firsthand brought the story full circle. I don’t think any of us will ever view a rock the same way again!
The journey back to Winnipeg included a hike through the sand dunes, a Tim Horton’s coffee break and a ditch rescue of a couple from Indiana (you know who you are!). En route we were captivated by an unplanned but exciting display of Canada’s Snowbirds acrobatic air show. Blake Roberts ended the formal program with a history of Lower Fort Garry and the challenges of maintaining a 19th C. fort complex.
The meeting concluded with a memorable barbecue at Ted McLachlan’s lovely abode above the Red River where toasts were given and promises made to re-convene in the shadow of Washington, D.C. next spring for more “leisure learning”.
Many thanks are due Messrs. Thomsen, McLachlan and Jankowski, for making this one of the truly great Alliance meetings.
Bill Clendaniel, Mount Auburn: Past and Future Trends.
Anne Hoover, Multiple Layers of Meaning: Hiroshima Peace Park.
Jocelyn Chorney, Student Internship: Virginia Garden Club.
John McLeod, An Overview of Places for Peace in Canada.
John McLeod, What is the Verb for what we do about Peace?
James Ritchie, Aboriginals and the Turtle Mountains.
Charlie Thomsen, The International Peace Garden.
Nancy Volkman, Changing Meanings in an Urban Landscape: Belton.
Ron Williams, Memorials of the First World War: Canadian Cities.
John Zvonar, Where Poppies Grow: Protecting One Memory.