International Mother Language Plaza

Photos: Doug Little

Thank you media for covering this important project!

CBC:

Winnipeg Free Press: Park plaza establishes reflective space to honour languages

CTV:

Global News: Plaza celebrating diverse languages opens at Winnipeg park


On October 12, 2021, we opened the International Mother Language Plaza in Kirkbridge Park, Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada!

A dream transformed into reality through the strength, passion and perseverance of so many community members!

The International Mother Language Plaza acknowledges the struggles many groups have fought to protect their language.

“We are losing mother languages, each and every nation who are colonized or otherwise occupied, and nobody’s talking about it or taking heed of it,” Khawja Latif, the president of the corporation, said at the ceremony.

“By building this beautiful gathering place here, change has taken place and moved us forward … it’s a real statement of truth and reconciliation,” said Southeast Collegiate principal Sheryl McCorrister.

Three years ago members of the Bangladesh community approached me with a dream to build a ‘Shahid Minar’ – a plaza commemorating the struggles and victory – of so many in retaining the mother language. The International Mother Language Plaza was made possible by the outstanding leadership of:

  • Manitoba Bangladesh Bhaban Corporation (Khawja Latif & Abdullah Khafi Snikdho & team – stars of the entire project – and the driving force behind the dream!)
  • Canada Bangladesh Association of Manitoba (Nasreen Masood & Sharif Islam & team)
  • Southeast Collegiate (Principal Sheryl McCorristor, Staff & Students)
  • Bairdmore School (Vice Principal Jane Rowland, Staff and Students)
  • Architecture49 (Greg Little & Bhavana Bonde – we cannot thank you enough!)

And Financial support from:

  • Province of Manitoba ( Minsters Cathy Cox, Jon Reyes, Sarah Guillemard)
  • City of Winnipeg (Councillors Vivian Armstrong Santos, Markus Chambers , Scott Gillingham, Cindy Gilroy, Brian Mayes, Devi Sharma, Kevin Klein and Janice Lukes)
  • and many members of the Bangladesh community

Huge thank you to the remaining members of Council, and to the City parks and planning staff for helping navigate this project over the past two years! And to Doug Little for outstanding photos!

I look forward to many special linguistic events being held on this site in the years to come. Languages matter for development, peace building and reconciliation. Bravo everyone!