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Winnipeg! Explore “The Speech Act Project”

Winnipeg! Explore “The Speech Act Project”

Permanent public viewing throughout Winnipeg

As part of “The Speech Act Project” (2021-2023)


Title: Bizindaadiwag (2022)

Artist: Ryan Gorrie

Official ribbon cutting Saturday, October 15, 2022

Permanent installation located at  Michelle Jean Park, 65 Granville Street, Winnipeg Mb

Open to reflect 24/7

Project Description

Bizindaadiwag is an action to make audible Indigenous language present and publicly available. It creates an opportunity to hear language communicated by different ages and different voices. It provides a place where anyone on their language learning journey can pause to listen, perhaps speak and to meet others who have the same interest. Language is generational, parent to child, from the beginning of our lives to the end of our lives.

The project is made up of two benches at different heights, that of a child and that of an adult.  Both benches have integrated audio of Indigenous language and are connected by a zig zag pattern on the ground.  The zig zag is symbolic of the path of our lives with each of the seven points representing a different stage in our lives. The vertical elements which hold the audio components represent the spirit. We enter the world as spirit and leave the world as spirit.

Bizindaadiwag is part of the Speech Act Project and aims to advance the knowledge of Indigenous language and encourage people to listen and learn in the context of the land.  Language is more than sounds ordered and arranged, it contains whole worlds, perspectives and cultural understanding in order to live in relation to rest of creation.

About the Artist

Ryan Gorrie is an architect and artist and is a member of Bingwi Neyaashi Anishinaabek.  Ryan 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.

Mobile App – SpeechTrails (2022)

Link for SpeechTrails app (Designed for Apple products):

In the air above our heads, at any given time, there exists the digital landscape to promote literacy of Indigenous languages outside of our gallery walls and on our Winnipeg Trails, in our SpeechTrails world, new and traditional stories will be accessible day or night. The content can be found through pins on the map and will be available in multiple Indigenous languages, all you need is your phone and to get out onto the land. Each pin can vary from historical nonfiction to cultural mythological stories, to fiction, and may even other narratives such, songs, word games and exhibitions.

Phase one funded by Canadian Heritage and grew out of the Healing Trails program led by Janell Henry. SpeechTrails is an ongoing collaboration between the staff of Urban Shaman Contemporary Aboriginal Art Gallery and Winnipeg Trails Association. Developer: Torrin Swanson. Designed for Apple products.

TO THE COMMUNITY…We would like to ask the public, should you visit Bizindaadiwag or use the SpeechTrails app  please inform our staff <info at  urbanshaman dot org> of any issues of graffiti or tech problems so we can resolve it. Or let US know what you think, we’d like to hear how these projects can evolve for future changes and upgrades.  Much appreciated!

The Speech Act Project Statement  (2021-2023)

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.

Winnipeg Trails Association, in partnership with Urban Shaman Contemporary Aboriginal Art Gallery 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.

Our programming utilizes Indigenous art to contribute to the enrichment of Indigenous knowledge as well as the prevention of the loss of Indigenous languages.

Funding for The Speech Act Project, Urban would like to thank … 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, Tokyo Smoke in the Exchange and the many friends who donated.