WINNIPEG — Wyndham Garden Winnipeg Airport has joined the Wyndham Garden group, becoming the first Indigenous-owned hotel under the Wyndham brand.
Long Plain First Nation, located on Treaty One Territory on Long Plain Madison Reserve, the city’s first urban reserve, initially purchased the land in 2006, making this project a long time in the making.
Winnipeg-based Sparrow Hotels — which owns and runs popular boutique hotels, including Inn at the Forks, Mere Hotel and Norwood Hotel — manages the 132-room property.
The hotel features a unique curvature not seen in typical hotel blocks, which reflects the circle of life. Its abundant natural light throughout the hotel and an east-facing main entrance designed to greet the sun are common themes among Indigenous traditions and cultures.
Smudging and pipe ceremonies are welcome in the hotel. Bilingual services in English and Ojibway are also offered.
Kookum’s Korner in the lobby offers jewellery and dream catchers for purchase made by Long Plains First Nation artists and is open 24/7.
A tranquil colour scheme design celebrates Indigenous culture inspired by the earth in the entryway and black lettering behind the check-in desk, marked “Ode’ Ackiing,” translated to “Heart Land” in Ojibway welcome guests upon arrival.
Indigenous art can be found in each room, representing Long Plain artists Garry Meeches, Linus Woods, and Cyril Assiniboine, with a large focal piece near each elevator.
In the Knowledge Keepers’ gathering room, where tile work can be seen en route to the pool and fitness area, Elders staying at the hotel can unwind and chat in this private and comfortable space.
Manoomin restaurant, which translates to wild rice, with executive chef (Opaskwayak Cree Nation and Red Seal chef) Jennifer Ballantyne at the helm, has dishes highlighting bison, such as bison tacos and Bison chilli. Other earth-inspired dishes include berries, grains, granola, seeds and pickerel.
Nearby attractions such as the CF Polo Park shopping centre and shopping on St. James are only blocks away, while the Assiniboine Park & Zoo is a quick 10-minute drive. Fifteen minutes away in downtown Winnipeg is the hub for top attractions such as The Forks, Manitoba Museum, Canadian Museum for Human Rights, Canada Life Centre (for professional sports and live entertainment), Exchange District, and Winnipeg Art Gallery-Qaumajuq.