Indigenous relations

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Recognition of territory

Honouring the Anishinabe Algonquin Nation, First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples

Ottawa is built on un-ceded Anishinabe Algonquin territory.

The peoples of the Anishinabe Algonquin Nation have lived on this territory for millennia. Their culture and presence have nurtured and continue to nurture this land.

The City of Ottawa honours the peoples and land of the Anishinabe Algonquin Nation.

The City of Ottawa honours all First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples and their valuable past and present contributions to this land.

Celebrate Indigenous History Month 2024 in Ottawa

June is National Indigenous History Month, a time to honour and learn about the unique cultures, experiences and achievements of First Nations, Inuit and Métis Peoples. And June 21, in alignment with the summer solstice, is National Indigenous Peoples Day with events occurring across Canada.

From a local perspective, it is important to recognize and learn about the Anishinabe Algonquin Host Nation whose traditional and unceded territory the City of Ottawa is built upon. The Anishinabe Algonquin Host Nation has shaped this region since time immemorial and continues to make significant contributions to the betterment of this land.

Throughout the summer, pow wows and other events are held in communities across Quebec and Ontario. Find out more:

Official Statement of Reconciliation

Mayor Jim Watson read an official Statement of Reconciliation on behalf of the City at a Council meeting on March 28, 2018.

Statement of Reconciliation adapted from the June 1, 2015 Federation of Canadian Municipalities Big City Mayors Caucus Statement of Reconciliation

THAT Ottawa City Council adopt the Federation of Canadian Municipalities’ Statement of Reconciliation from Canada’s Big City Mayors issued June 1, 2015:

Ottawa City Council recognizes the significance of the undertaking of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission with the release of the TRC's final report and its recommendations. It took many decades of advocacy by residential school survivors to establish the Commission, and the several years of gathering testimony, evidence and developing recommendations have been a difficult and exhausting process for survivors and Commissioners alike.

We recognize the deep and lasting traumatic impact that Canada's Indian Residential Schools had on individuals, their families, and communities both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal. The history of these schools is one of pain and gross injustice that requires us all to make ongoing and concerted efforts to learn the truth about residential schools, acknowledge this history and its modern legacies in our cities and begin a shared journey of reconciliation.

Many Aboriginal people now living in Canada's largest cities continue to grapple with the most severe consequences of the intergenerational trauma caused by residential schools - but we are committed to supporting and delivering real change, working together with Aboriginal leaders.

Today we declare that we stand with Canada’s big city mayors and with the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, and commit ourselves to learning from the lessons of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, and taking action to ensure the needs and aspirations of Aboriginal people are fully acknowledged in policy, and in the great cities we seek to build.

We stand together today in committing to a new equal partnership with Aboriginal people in Canada; one based on truth, dignity, and mutual respect.

City of Ottawa Reconciliation Action Plan

In June 2015, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) released its findings and 94 Calls to Action to redress the residential schools legacy and advance the reconciliation process in Canada. The Calls to Action are directed at all levels of government, the private sector and to Canadians as a whole.

In February 2018, the City of Ottawa’s Reconciliation Action Plan [5.93 MB] was approved. This plan addresses the TRC Calls to Action and confirms the City’s commitment to reconciliation. The plan is a direct result of a relationship built on trust and collaboration between the City, the Indigenous communities in Ottawa and many community partners. It includes 14 actions in the areas of:

  1. Culture
  2. Employment
  3. Children's Services
  4. Education and Awareness Building

Ottawa Public Health and the Ottawa Public Library are also working to implement the TRC calls to action. Ottawa Public Health (OPH) has drafted a Reconcili-ACTION Plan to respond to the health related TRC Calls to Action. Ottawa Public Library released a TRC report in February 2018 that includes recommendations for action, including implementing a visual land acknowledgement program at all OPL locations.

Learn more about the actions by reading the Reconciliation Action Report.

Aboriginal Working Committee


In 2007, the Aboriginal Working Committee (AWC) was established to work together with the community to address emerging issues and to improve City services for Aboriginal communities. Since the beginning, the AWC has focused on building trust, relationships, and awareness through concrete actions. The AWC partners are very proud of the work accomplished together since the beginning of the relationship.  The 2018 Truth and Reconciliation Accomplishments update highlights some of this work.



  • General Manager, Community and Social Services, City of Ottawa
  • Chair, Ottawa Aboriginal Coalition


The Ottawa Aboriginal Coalition is represented by the following organizations:

We acknowledge the support and contributions of the Ottawa Aboriginal Coalition partners and service providers. The City’s relationship with Indigenous partners is very important to us. It is as an example of what we can do when we listen to the communities we serve.

Working Model

Diagram 1. Aboriginal Working Committee Model

The Aboriginal Working Committee works within a cultural working model. It produces action plans that reflect the priorities of urban Aboriginal communities, in partnership with the Ottawa Aboriginal Coalition.

Areas of focus include:

  • Culture
  • Employment
  • Education
  • Housing
  • Health

Next steps

Reconciliation is a journey. The Aboriginal Working Committee will continue to work together with our partners to respond to the priorities of the urban Indigenous communities in Ottawa and ensure that the Reconciliation Action Plan evolves based on those priorities. We also engage regularly with the Algonquin Nations on this work.

Contact us

For more information about Indigenous relations at the City of Ottawa, email