Outdoor winter activities

Every Sunday, Barbara Nepinak and her husband Clarence invite people to make bannock with them in a teepee set up at The Forks – but you might have to wait in line to get in.

As people outside brave the cold for other common winter activities, people inside the teepee stay warm around a fire. The Indigenous elders inside share teachings and history, like how many of these popular outdoor activities – like snowshoeing and dogsledding – are actually of Indigenous origin.

This year, they had to double their time to 14 weeks to keep up with demand.

“We found that a lot of families come out,” said Nepinak. “It’s a lot of work. It’s a commitment that we make. But somebody’s got to do it.”
Nepinak said and her husband have been organizing programming at The Forks for the past 20 years, and people of all ages and backgrounds gather inside to hear them tell stories and share knowledge over bannock.

She said it’s a great way to embrace the cold weather, share their culture with people and teach them about Indigenous customs in a friendly environment.

“That’s how, as a society, we learn from each other. You sit here with an open mind and listen to what other people have to share,” said Nepinak. “Those teachings serve a purpose.”

The teepee at The Forks will be open for Indigenous storytelling and bannock making until the end of February.


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