Landscapes - Spring 2020 - 43

FOCUS

The Healing Forest is
a spiritual landscape,
built to remind us all that
Mother Earth and her
inhabitants are sacred.

shrubs and perennials, this planting bed acts
as a buffer and soft barrier to encourage
visitors to enter from the east, which is the
traditional direction of ceremonial entrance,
honours the direction of the rising sun and
is symbolic of new beginnings and creation.
Following this path, the visitor enters the
circular space by passing a threshold of
rough-cut limestone blocks arranged along
the outermost arc of the circle. From here
the visitor can choose to continue down
three steps that pass through a second
arc of limestone blocks. The inner arc of
blocks is set into the natural slope of the
land and together with outer blocks form an
amphitheater-style seating arrangement.
A secondary path from the south was
included to provide a more direct path for
those with mobility challenges. Wheelchair
access to the inner circle is provided by a
gently sloped, compacted crushed granite
path between the inner and outer limestone
block arcs.
Moving toward the center, one begins to
see patterns of texture and colour through
the different surface materials - dark
crushed granite, reddish-brown clay pavers,
smooth-cut limestone pavers and rough
limestone flagstone. These materials have
been arranged into four quadrants aligned

5

with the cardinal points. Each of these
quadrants offer a place of rest on one of
eight, partially sawn, oak-wood logs (cants).
The cants were made from locally salvaged
oak and furnished by Wood Anchor, a local
fine woodworking company that specializes
in using reclaimed wood. The cut ends of
each cant openly reveal the history of years
past and symbolically reflect one of the
intentions of this place, which is to invite and
encourage guests to contemplate and share
their own story. At the center of the circle is
a refined and precisely fabricated medicine
wheel rising up from the ground, made up
of four different coloured granite pieces.
Functioning as a teaching tool, the granite
medicine wheel also acts as the base on
which sacred fires can be held.
This procession through the space is
intended to shift the viewer's focus to the
objects within, similar to a personal healing
journey. Take pause, look closer and you
will begin to see the embedded meanings.
This sentiment is reflected in the artwork
on the four Grandmother/Grandfather
stones at the cardinal directions. For these
elements, the planning group reached out
to local Indigenous artist, Natalie Rostad
Desjarlais, whose passionate and skillful
work inspired us. Having endured many
injustices throughout her life, Natalie
understands the importance of healing
firsthand. Connecting with the land on a
spiritual level, she credits the discovery
of her Creator-given talents with saving
her life. Upon her first visit to the site, she
immediately understood the meaning of
the project in ways that we never could. Her
artistic process involved discovering and

drawing out images which she discerned
to already be embedded within the stones.
This uncovering of new layers, both
physically and personally, is at the heart of
the concept for the Healing Forest.
On September 27, 2019, over 100 children,
community members, City of Winnipeg
council members and the planning
group gathered for the unveiling of the
Healing Forest. Planning group member
and artist Val Vint invited her friend,
Elder Peetanacoot, to offer a traditional
name for the Healing Forest. At the end
of the opening ceremony, Val shared
the spirit name given to this place for
the first time, "Wandering Spirit." The
ceremony acknowledged our collective
past, honouring children lost to residential
schools and their families.
The Healing Forest is a spiritual landscape,
built to remind us all that Mother Earth and
her inhabitants are sacred. It is a place for
introspection, recognition and recovery.
By bringing people together to remember,
reflect, share and learn, the opportunity for
greater understanding, closer connection
and new perspectives becomes possible.
The shared vision for the Healing Forest
is now a reality; for many the journey to
recovery has just begun, but hope for future
reconciliation is shared by us all.

For more information about Wandering
Spirit Healing Forest:
Email: healingforestwpg@gmail.com
Facebook: /healingforestproject/
National Healing Forest Initiative website:
https://www.nationalhealingforests.com/

6

SPRING | PRINTEMPS 2020 43


https://www.nationalhealingforests.com/

Landscapes - Spring 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Landscapes - Spring 2020

To Begin With | Pour Commencer
Our Writers | Nos Collaborateurs
Prologue > Fr_ en_lp+ Sweeping the Forest Floor
Interview | Entrevue the Star Is in the Ballpark > fr_lp+
“Gravitas” – The Lost Airmen of the Empire
Creating Sacred Spaces – Weaving the Memorial Landscape
Sacré Montagne
Curating Calm in the Spirit of Mandalay, Myanmar
Kapabamayak Achaak | Wandering Spirit Healing Forest
By Invitation Only – Inclusive Playground Design
Battle of Kapyong Memorial Plaza
L’essentiel Est Invisible > en_lp+
Critique
The Parting Shot | Une DernièRe Salve
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - Intro
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - cover1
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - cover2
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - 3
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - 4
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - 5
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - 6
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - 7
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - To Begin With | Pour Commencer
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - 9
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - Our Writers | Nos Collaborateurs
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - 11
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - 12
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - 13
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - Prologue > Fr_ en_lp+ Sweeping the Forest Floor
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - 15
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - 16
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - 17
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - 18
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - 19
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - Interview | Entrevue the Star Is in the Ballpark > fr_lp+
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - 21
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - 22
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - 23
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - 24
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - 25
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - “Gravitas” – The Lost Airmen of the Empire
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - 27
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - 28
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - Creating Sacred Spaces – Weaving the Memorial Landscape
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - 30
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - 31
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - 32
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - Sacré Montagne
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - 34
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - 35
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - Curating Calm in the Spirit of Mandalay, Myanmar
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - 37
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - 38
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - 39
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - Kapabamayak Achaak | Wandering Spirit Healing Forest
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - 41
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - 42
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - 43
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - By Invitation Only – Inclusive Playground Design
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - 45
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - 46
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - Battle of Kapyong Memorial Plaza
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - 48
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - 49
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - 50
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - L’essentiel Est Invisible > en_lp+
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - 52
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - 53
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - 54
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - 55
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - Critique
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - 57
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - 58
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - 59
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - 60
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - 61
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - 62
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - 63
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - 64
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - 65
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - The Parting Shot | Une DernièRe Salve
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - cover3
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - cover4
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - LPplus 1
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - LPplus2
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - LPplus3
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - LPplus4
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - LPplus5
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Landscapes - Spring 2020 - LPplus15
Landscapes - Spring 2020 - LPplus16
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Landscapes - Spring 2020 - LPplus20
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