Mennonite Heritage Village

Trekking in Community

August 11, 2022

By Gary Dyck

Trek: to make one’s way arduously, a trip or movement especially when involving difficulties or complex organization, a journey by ox wagon.

Merriam-webster dictionary

Life is a trek. It is not easy, but in the end, you can look back and recognize you made some progress. This past week I was out with the ‘Arete’ (Greek for excellence) run club testing the trail for Mennonite Heritage Village’s (MHV) upcoming Peace Trek. I was amazed at how they supported one another. I don’t like running, I’m out of shape, but after being with them for an hour, I found myself wanting to get off my bike and keep going. That is the power of a caring, positive community. As far as your community goes, so do you.

Mennonites have made many treks over the centuries. Most of them have included a long journey  with a wagon load of what they had left. The last time my ancestors did it was in the 1870s when they arrived in Manitoba from Russia. The Metis, with their trepid ox carts, helped the Mennonites off the steamboat at the Red River. From there, the Metis directed them toward their destination where the Mennonites would start a new village.

On August 20th, MHV and Eden Foundation will be hosting our first annual Peace Trek that will revisit that trip. We are hoping for at least 50 runners and cyclists to do the whole 48-kilometers, or to do part of it (the shortest leg being 14-kilometers). We will acknowledge what we are grateful for, as well as what needs to be done for the wider community. It is sure to be a meaningful event. I am confident that the participants will be that community of care that inspires others.

Community can help fight feelings of hopelessness and provide assurance of safety when surrounded by it. The benefits go both ways, since supporting others also gives us a boost. Sign up for the Peace Trek today on our website,! You can also be a donor or volunteer. Either way, you don’t want to miss this event and the dedication of the Dirk Willems Peace Garden that will follow that afternoon at MHV.

Win this beautiful Trek bike by participating in the Peace Trek!

Upcoming Events:

MHV’s grounds and Livery Barn Restaurant are open seven days a week! The restaurant is open 11am to 4pm, and the grounds are open 9am to 5pm, except Thursdays 9am to 8pm, and Sundays 11:30am to 5pm, including our famous Sunday buffet till 2pm. 

August 20 – Peace Trek 2022: Together with the Eden Foundation, Mennonite Heritage Village is proud to be hosting our first annual cyclathon and marathon! Choose to bike, run, or participate in a relay on the Peace Trail; a newly established route that passes waypoints of history and nature in south-east Manitoba that you won’t want to miss.  

August 20, Saturday – Dirk Willems Peace Garden grand-opening ceremony, 1:30pm. Years of dedicated work will be celebrated as we officially open the Dirk Willems Peace Garden. The flowers are in full bloom, two new panels will be revealed, and acknowledgements given. To add to the festivities, we will also be welcoming those completing the 48-kilometre Peace Trek from the Mennonite Landing Site (near Niverville) to the Dirk Willems Peace Garden.

August 30, Tuesday – Leaving Canada Speaker Series In-Person: The third event in our “Leaving Canada” series is a screening of the film Conform, a new documentary produced by the Plett Foundation and Refuge 31 films about the Mennonite migration to Mexico of the 1920s. This is an in-person event and there will be no livestream. Historian Royden Loewen will host, and attendees will hear from the director, Andrew Wall. To indicate your attendance, register here