Honouring the Spirit of 1817 – Commemorating the Selkirk Treaty









Committee to Commemorate
the 200th Anniversary of The Selkirk Treaty


Winnipeg – June 7, 2017

It’s the first Treaty signed in Western Canada and it was signed before there even was a Canada. It marks the beginning of the relationship between First Nations and the Crown in Western Canada. It cemented the friendship between Lord Selkirk and Chief Peguis. It shaped not only Winnipeg and Manitoba but also the nation itself. Thomas Douglas, 5th Earl of Selkirk, and five Indigenous chiefs, led by Chief Peguis, put pen to paper 200 years ago on July 18, 1817 at Lord Selkirk’s Hudson’s Bay Company post – Fort Douglas – on what is now Waterfront Drive. It’s known as “The Selkirk Treaty” and it conforms to the spirit of the Royal Proclamation of 1763, which provided a constitutional framework for Indigenous land entitlement and has been referred to as ‘Canada’s Indian Magna Carta’. Although it made the Red River Settlement possible, and the original document is housed here in Winnipeg at the Hudson’s Bay Archives, very few of us even know about it.

That is about to change.

In today’s spirit of reconciliation, a committee of 35 volunteers representing over 20 Indigenous and settler organizations is “Honouring The Spirit of 1817 – Commemorating The Selkirk Treaty”. The committee is co-chaired by Bill Shead of Peguis First Nation and John Perrin of The Scottish Heritage Council of Manitoba. Our committee wants to raise public awareness and honour the visionary leadership and friendship of Chief Peguis and Lord Selkirk leading to the signing of the 1817 Treaty. And although it must be acknowledged the settler community failed to honour the full intent of the Treaty in the future, in agreeing to its terms Peguis and Selkirk promoted peace, order and a spirit of mutual assistance and cooperation that is at the foundation of Manitoba’s unique history.

To mark this 200th Anniversary the committee has planned numerous events revolving around a visit to Manitoba of the current Lord Selkirk of Douglas, who has accepted an invitation from First Nations and Scottish and other settler organizations represented by the committee. There will be an array of free public events running from Sunday July 16 through Saturday July 22 in Winnipeg, Selkirk, St. Boniface and at St. Peter’s Reserve and the Peguis and Brokenhead First Nations. Details about specific events will be released over the next few weeks.

In addition to Chief Peguis and Lord Selkirk, the Chiefs signing the Treaty were:

Le Sonnant.
La robe noire.
L’Homme Noir.
Le Premier.

For information please contact:

Bill Shead, Committee Co-Chair

John Perrin, Committee Co-Chair

Terry MacLeod, Chair, Marketing and Communications

The Committee to Commemorate the 200th Anniversary of the Selkirk Treaty

Represented Organizations:

Anglican Diocese of Rupert’s Land
Brokenhead Ojibway Nation
City of Winnipeg
City of Selkirk
Hudson’s Bay Company Archives
Kildonan Community Presbyterian Church
Manitoba Historical Society
Manitoba Living History Society
Manitoba Métis Federation
Manitoba Museum
Peguis First Nation
Polish Canadian Congress – Manitoba Branch
Province of Manitoba
Roman Catholic Archdiocese of St. Boniface
Seven Oaks House Museum
The Lord Selkirk Association of Rupert’s Land
The St. Andrew’s Society of Winnipeg
The Scottish Heritage Council of Manitoba
Union nationale métisse Saint-Joseph du Manitoba
Winnipeg Art Gallery
Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra

NOTE:  In the summer of 1817, AFTER signing the Treaty, Lord Selkirk designated land on the west side of the Red River for a ‘Protestant’ church and mission, what is now St. John’s Anglican Cathedral, and on the east side of the Red River, near The Forks, for a Roman Catholic church and mission, what is now St. Boniface RC Cathedral.  Both churches were established on land set aside by Treaty fifty-four years before Treaty One was signed at Lower Fort Garry in 1871.

Breaking Through – World Premiere


      World Premiere by Sarasvati Productions

#BreakingThrough #Winnipeg #mentalhealth

“After two years of work gathering stories, writing, receiving feedback, rewriting and testing the material we are extremely excited to share the culmination of our Mental Health is Everyone’s Health project with the world premiere of Breaking Through by Hope McIntyre and Cairn Moore.

“The stories of five individuals struggling with mental health issues interweave in this new play. The project saw writers McIntyre and Moore team up with Artists in Health Care, Red Threads Playback Theatre and the Selkirk Mental Health Centre as well as working with multiple community organizations and the public. The resulting play is an exploration of mental illness grounded in real experience.

“We have assembled a stellar artistic team under director Kevin Klassen, including (video/sound). The Winnipeg cast is Elena Anciro, Dorothy Carroll, Richie Diggs, Marsha Knight, Harry Nelken, Spenser Payne and Josh Ranville.”


             University of Winnipeg  –  400 Colony Street

                             May 23 – 27 @ 8pm

              May 24 @ 1pm             May 28 @ 2pm

TICKETS:  $15 (seniors and students); $20 (adults), call 204-586-2236

Or contact Judy Wasylycia-Leis by emailing judywl@mts.net

Doors Open Winnipeg

The Cathedral will be opening its doors for visitors Saturday May 28 and Sunday May 29 for ‘Doors Open Winnipeg’. Tours of the Cathedral and the Cemetery are at 10:30 am, 12:30 pm & 2:30 pm on Saturday and 1:00 and 3:00 pm on Sunday. If you have never taken the tour, this is a great opportunity to learn the history of St. John’s. To check out other venues, go to www.doorsopenwinnipeg.ca. There’s no charge for admission at any of the Doors Open sites.

Tom Denton and Hospitality House – Special Dean’s Forum, Sunday, 7 May at 9 a.m.

“A Christian Response to the Refugee Crisis: – a conversation with #TomDenton about the present crisis and the work of Hospitality House Refugee Ministry”.  Sunday, May 7, 9:00 a.m., Mr. Tom Denton, Executive Director, #HospitalityHouse, will be with us to bring us up to date on this critical ministry in which we share. There will be time for questions and conversation.  Please come and join us, and stay for worship after.  All welcome.

#HospitalityHouseRefugeeMinistry (#HHRM) is a non-profit organization, and has for many years been Winnipeg’s leading sponsor of #refugees. Thousands have been sponsored from appalling refugee circumstances, into new hope and productive lives in Canada.

They continue to flood into our city, and while caring families look after many, others must look to the support of Hospitality House to survive their first year here. Several parishes and individual donors have generously supported the work over the years, but the needs continue to be great, because the refugees keep arriving.  Hospitality House, the building, is owned by the Anglican Cathedral Parish of St. John, and is on Cathedral property, beside the Churchyard.  The only other staff person, Karin Gordon, is resident in the House, and does amazing work.  Jay Dyck is our member of the HHRM Board, and an enthusiastic volunteer and supporter.  Thanks, Jay, and also Vic Janzen, for your ongoing energy and commitment!

Requiescat in Pace: Sidney Webber 1923-2017

SIDNEY WEBBER On Thursday, April 13, 2017, Sidney Webber died at Fred Douglas Lodge.  Born July 19, 1923 at the Grace Hospital to parents, Sidney E. Webber and Rosetta Margaret Webber.  Sidney was an only child, spending most of his free time with his family. Sidney grew up in the North End of Winnipeg, residing on Inkster Blvd. as a child and later receiving the home of his parents. His cousin Nancy Webber resides in Victoria, BC. Sidney’s greatest memories as a child were when his Dad worked for CPR and would be given passes to the rail. Every summer his family would vacation to West Minister or English Bay so he could swim in the ocean. Sidney attended Luxton School for grades one to nine, advancing to St. John’s Tech for grade ten and carried on to business College to become an Accountant. He started work in 1942 as an Accountant for Dominion Bronz Company, where he worked for many years until retirement. Sidney loved to golf at the Kildonan Golf Course and was a member of Granada Speed Skating Club for five years and spending many hours in his garden.

Thank you to Fred Douglas Lodge staff at Evergreen as well as Rev. Paul Peters Derry for all your care and support. Funeral Service will be held on Tuesday, April 25 at 10:00 a.m. at St. John’s Cathedral Anglican Church, 135 Anderson Ave. with interment following at St. John’s Cathedral Cemetery.


As published in the Winnipeg Free Press on Apr 22, 2017

‘I Remember Mama’

Two North End residents and members of the Shoestring Players are taking part in a classic production to raise money for Hospitality House Refugee Ministry.

In May, the theatre group will be performing I Remember Mama, a play originally produced in 1944 by Richard Rogers and Oscar Hammerstein, at St. John’s Cathedral. The original production is a compilation of six short stories from Kathryn Forbes’ book Mama’s Bank Account, about a Norwegian immigrant family and their struggles coming to North America in the 1900s. The play has been adapted to be set in 1910 Winnipeg, a time when many immigrants arrived.

“Right at that time, Winnipeg was enjoying its great expansion and immigrants were pouring in from Europe,” said Peter Spencer, the play’s director.

I Remember Mama speaks to the struggles and experiences many newcomer families are going through, Spencer said. HHRM is a non-profit organization that sponsors refugees, provides housing and support for up to 12 people at a time. Although many parishes and donors have supported their work, Tom Denton, HHRM’s executive director, said help is always welcome.

“Hospitality House receives no government funding whatsoever, and relies entirely on the generosity of the community to keep its doors open to serve thousands of refugees over the past 30 years.”

The cast of 17 local artists has been rehearsing since the end of February. Spence said it’s a short time for such a big production. The church will be adapted to become the stage for I Remember Mama.

“I think we have a strong cast and it’s been a lot of work and frustration, but putting on a play is problem-solving basically. As you run into problems you try to solve them,” he explained. “There’s kind of a miracle in theatre. The miracle is that it all seems to come together in the end. People make enormous strides in learning their roles. You get on stage, and almost all of it comes together.”

North End resident Robert Butler has been creating costumes for the Shoestring Players for over 20 years and said dressing up characters plays an essential part in any production. He researches the era and the characters in the production and then goes through the Shoestring Players’ stock, as well as thrift shops and available fabrics, to create something that will support the characters.

“If the costume is not working on stage it can be distracting for the performance. The audience is watching and thinking ‘there’s something wrong with that.’” Butler said.

All performances will be held at St. John’s Cathedral (135 Anderson Ave.) daily from Tues., May 16 to Sat., May 20 at 7:30 p.m. with a matinee performance on Saturday starting at 2 p.m. Tickets cost $15 and may be reserved by calling 204-475-6821 or email lindameckling@gmail.com

(Source: the Times newspaper, May 27, 2017)


Join The Shoestring Players at the Cathedral May 16th through May 20th for their presentation of ‘I Remember Mama’. Proceeds from the play will benefit the Hospitality House Refugee Ministry.


Requiescat In Pace, Lennard Sampson

LENNARD WASHINGTON SAMPSON December 25, 1933 – March 4, 2017

With dignity and grace, our family Patriarch, Lennard Washington Sampson, died and was welcomed into the arms of our Lord and Saviour, surrounded by his family, at Seven Oaks Hospital in Winnipeg. Len will be deeply missed by his wife of 59 years, Barbara; six sons, Keith (Debbie), Kirk (Kim), Kerry (Sandra), Kester (Lorelei), Kordel and Kyle; 16 grandchildren, Korbin (Jenny), Kyra (Kyle), Kasandra (Aaron); Terrell, Kayne, Kareem and Kory; Tyler, Terrence and Taylor; Kyle (Joan) and Kayla (Arnie); Kollin (Kaytie) and Matthew, Noah and Owen; 12 great-grandchildren, Kali, Dominik, Melody, Aria, Taliyah, Chloe, Yazmin, Micheal, Vida, Drayden, Maleena and Olivia; his sister Cleorita Ramcharan and her family; sister-in-law Shirley Cooke and her family; brothers-in-law, Sherwin, Jack and Jeff Sheppard (Althea) and their families, as well as numerous nieces, nephews, a large extended family, and many dear friends. Lennard was predeceased by his parents, Sydney and Millicent Sampson; father-in-law and mother-in-law Augustus and Violet Sheppard; brother Livingston Medford; sisters, Ursil Charles, Velda Walters, and goddaughter Sherry Sheppard. Len was born on Christmas Day 1933, in Usine, St. Madeleine, Trinidad and Tobago, the youngest of five children and was educated in San Fernado. He was employed as a machinist with Texaco in Pointe-a-Pierre.

In 1968, he along with his wife and five young sons, immigrated to Winnipeg. Len was employed as the General Manager of Cyclo-Chrome Industries and later employed with Dominion Tanners. He was also an entrepreneur and owner of Trin-Tech Industries, and later owned and operated Krystal Crankshaft right up until his passing. Len was an ardent community servant and leader, often referred to as the Captain. He served on numerous committees and organizations including, Cari-Cana, Caripeg, Trinidad and Tobago Society, Barbados Association of Manitoba, Council of Caribbean Organizations of Manitoba, Folklorama – where he served as an adult ambassador, High-Life Steel Orchestra, Independent Order of English Mechanics, Preston Unity, where he was the Grand Master of Canada and a member of the Supreme Council, London, England, and a member of St. John’s Cathedral for over 40 years.

Len was a family man, his family was always number one to him. He was also very respected and loved by all who met him. His home was always open to anyone and everyone. His kind and genuine nature, infinite wisdom, sense of humour, his many stories, his guidance and constant words of encouragement will be greatly missed. We are truly blessed to have had him in our lives. Viewing will be held on Friday, March 10, at Cropo Funeral Chapel, 1442 Main Street, Winnipeg, from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Funeral Service will be held at 12:00 p.m. on Saturday, March 11 at St. John’s Cathedral, 135 Anderson Avenue, Winnipeg, conducted by the Very. Rev. Paul N. Johnson with viewing one hour prior to service. Interment to follow immediately after the service in St. John’s Cathedral cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, donations in memory of Lennard Sampson may be made to ‘St. John’s Anglican Cathedral‘, 135 Anderson Ave., Winnipeg, MB R2W 1E2.

Goodbyes are not forever,
Goodbyes are not the end;
They simply mean we’ll miss you,
Until we meet again.

“Rest in Peace Daddy.”


As published in the Winnipeg Free Press on Mar 09, 2017