The Speech Act Project

New Partnership created between Urban Shaman Gallery and Winnipeg Trails Association in, “The Speech Act Project” 


The Speech Act Project


Visit   use the "Language" option in the navigation panel and choose (slowly we are getting the different languages sent to us. If you don't see it, it is in the works. All great languages take time.)


Statement of project

Urban Shaman Contemporary Aboriginal Art Gallery, in partnership with Winnipeg Trails Association have both taken on a leadership role in restoring and maintaining Indigenous Languages by encouraging the general public to engage with local language varieties, no matter what level of understanding, through art and story. In each language there is a differing philosophy between meaning, the constitution of sentences, concepts, learning, thoughts, references and intentionality. In philosophy of language and linguistics, a speech act is something expressed by an individual that not only presents information but performs an action as well. 

The Speech Act’s special programming will utilize Indigenous art to contribute to the enrichment of Indigenous knowledge as well as the prevention of the loss of Indigenous languages in the Winnipeg area and worldwide online. Check it out: 


Bench Installation with Ryan Gorrie - Ryan Gorrie, with Brook McIlroy Inc., will create a new installation on the North Winnipeg Parkway in Michelle Jean Park at the Norquay Community Centre.- a bench with sound! More details to come as our plans develop.

Ryan Gorrie has been collaborating with Brook McIlroy since 2009, when he was retained as a key member of the design team for the award-winning Spirit Garden in Thunder Bay, and formally joined the firm in 2016 to lead the Winnipeg office and the Indigenous Design Studio. Ryan is a member of Bingwi Neyaashi Anishinaabek (Sand Point First Nation on Lake Nipigon) and strives to ensure the perpetuation of Indigenous culture through creative opportunities ranging from the crafting of traditional items for ceremonial use to large-scale landmark architecture. He is a licensed architect in Manitoba.

In 2018, Ryan’s work was showcased in UNCEDED: Voices of the Land at the Venice Biennale along with the work of 17 other Indigenous architects and designers across Turtle Island. His work has been recognized with awards from professional bodies including the Ontario Association of Architects, Royal Architectural Institute of Canada, and Ontario Wood Works. As part of a broader effort to support Indigenous presence in the design industry, Ryan has helped Brook McIlroy to source Indigenous suppliers for inclusion in projects. He also provides mentorship for Indigenous students and young designers who work at the firm.


Mobile App - A Fortress of Indigenous Stories - At any given time, transmitting about, there exists the digital landscape. We are connecting to our digital networks with our upcoming Mobile App that will feature new and traditional stories. Our name is still to be determined. The idea is that these stories can be found through pins on the map and will be accessible day or night. Each pin will feature “an event” which can be a story, an artwork, a song, or any other cultural expression. We want to promote literacy of Indigenous languages outside of our gallery walls and on our Winnipeg trails. 


Word of the day - Indigenous languages Cree and Ojibwe shared daily on social media platforms of both organizations. Teaching the Indigenous languages through the platforms in restoring the 2 of many initial languages of Turtle Island. Relevant images matching the words of each day help engage in the learning. Words/phrases shared consist of common basic questions for example “ let's go for a walk”, greetings such as “Hello”, and the natural elements found walking on the trail such as "river".


Learning the Languages With B (aka LLB) - LLB is a mini series focused on the Indigenous languages Ojibwe and Cree recently shared through the “Word of the Day” this past 2021. Each episode, hosted by Brennan Mackay(the “B” in “LLB”), will consist of  listening to audio recordings and practicing together with Brennan and invited guests. We hope that the public learns with the host and guest the nuances that some may encounter when learning Cree or Ojibwe, giving encouragement watching their process and giving a personal and casual feel for all to learn. 


These are the fun initiatives The Speech Act Project wants to achieve starting in Fall of 2021. 

Any donated contributions will go to the overall project equally. Our fundraising goal is $5,000.00. Please consider supporting our project, your contribution will be thanked on Urban Shaman Gallery’s website ( and in the project’s mobile app (app name TBD) along the tour of the trails in a special spot.


Any donated contributions will go to the overall project equally. Our fundraising goal is $5,000.00. Please consider supporting our project, your contribution will be thanked on Urban Shaman Gallery’s website ( and in the project’s mobile app (Digital Landscape) along the tour of the trails in a special spot. Anonymous donations can be arranged and acknowledged by a last name initial eg: donation from Jack Smith would be “Anonymous S”. 

Want to share this on social media? We would greatly appreciate it! We want Winnipeg and the rest of the country to know that Manitoba Indigenous Languages are being used and we want to learn more. Share your experiences and photos on #speechact or #healingtrails #MbIndigenousLanguages


Sponsor thanks

Thanks to Canadian Heritage - Indigenous Languages and Cultures Program - Indigenous Languages Component

The Trans Canada Trail 

The Asper Foundation 

First Unitarian Universalist Church of Winnipeg

Government of Canada