Water words

The theme behind this year’s urban issue title, “Streams of Thought,” is water. We were looking for a general theme to guide this group of stories for our capstone issue of the year – something that would focus our investigations of Winnipeg and the many different lived experiences in this space. Our editorial team chose this topic because of how essential it is to our location, our existence and our future.

The role and importance of water for Indigenous communities locally is foregrounded with the perspectives of local elders, shared by Braiden Pergis. The protection of water has been in the forefront of many environmental discussions recently, so Jaz Popadopoulos examines Winnipeg’s location and linkage to pipeline development.

Politics of resource extraction are echoed in the comments section as well, in Haley Pauls’ consideration of other travellers’ interpretation of the “nice” Canadian (contrasted with some examples of foreign policy).

The intersection of two rivers is central to our city’s existence, so Skylar Smallacombe is also taking a look at the history and current use of The Forks as a historical site and contemporary gathering place. Dunja Kovacevic shares reflections on cottage culture and proximity to water in the comments section.

Water is also something that makes us up, and that we absorb in various forms. Callie Lugosi examines the act (and acceptance) of shedding water through crying in the comments section.

Thomas Pashko links Winnipeg’s dry history, and the politics of prohibition, to troubling trends in our current political climate. And for those who can’t (legally) imbibe but who want to enjoy the culture of venues and bars, Charls Morin explores how all-ages venues create space for youth in the local music scenes.

In the column this week, Jase Falk questions how the concept of binary genders (and gender perception) have been challenged, yet this space of relative fluidity is still not always fully embraced or resolved in everyday life.

This issue may look or feel a little different than our other issues. We’re running longer pieces that leave more room for these ideas to flow and coalesce. I hope this collection of water-themed pieces leaves you with lots to think about until we return with our Summer Festival Guide on May 31.

– Anastasia Chipelski

Published in Volume 72, Number 24 of The Uniter (April 5, 2018)

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