June is National Indigenous History Month. It’s an opportunity for the City to celebrate Indigenous culture and reflect on its reconciliation efforts.
In celebrating Indigenous culture and history, the City will also be holding its 9th annual Indigenous awareness day for staff mid-month. Entitled, Walking Together, the day-long session offers workshops on cultural protocol, community engagement and Indigenous allyship, providing an excellent learning opportunity for City staff to build cultural competency.
The Ottawa Public Library is hosting events for National Indigenous History Month too. Join them for their Indigenous Writers’ Gathering on June 12 at 7 pm or partake in other events the library is hosting.
Looking for a way to immerse yourself in Indigenous culture? Don’t miss the Summer Solstice Festival at Vincent Massey Park. The family-friendly event celebrates the contributions that Inuit, First Nations and Métis peoples have made to Canada. The Festival is held between June 20 to 23 and celebrates Indigenous art, food and people.
While we celebrate National Indigenous History Month, the City continues on its path to reconciliation by committing to continued development in response to community needs. City staff attended the closing ceremony of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG), and will be reviewing the Final Report as well as the Calls to Justice.
The City of Ottawa works closely with the urban Indigenous community of Ottawa, and is strengthened by two decades of working together.
In an effort to bring the communities even closer, the City developed a reconciliation action plan in 2018 and have been making progress on implementing reconciliation initiatives. In the last year, the City has:
- signed a multi-year agreement with Indigenous Sport and Wellness Ontario (ISWO) which prioritizes Indigenous wellness through sport, leadership and community development. The initiative was reached in partnership and consultation with the Algonquins of Pikwakanagan First Nation, Kitigan Zibi First Nation, the Algonquin Nation, the Métis Nation of Ontario, the Mohawk Nation of Akwesasne, Tungasuvvingat Inuit and the Ottawa Aboriginal Coalition.
- acquired the rights to host the 2021 Ontario Indigenous Summer Games and the 2021 and 2023 Masters Indigenous Games.
- worked closely with the Indigenous community to include an Indigenous component to the refresh of its 10-Year Housing and Homelessness Plan
- increased services for Indigenous children and families through four Indigenous-led EarlyON Child and Family Centres, and funding for a bus for the delivery of mobile EarlyON Indigenous programs across the city.
- worked in collaboration with Indigenous community partners to provide free 'I Love To' programming
- actively encouraged and sought out First Nation, Inuit and Métis artists, curators and peer assessment experts.
- raised the flags of the Algonquins of Pikwakanagan First Nation and the Algonquin Anishinabeg Nation Tribal Council at Marion Dewar Plaza, in Council Chambers and in the Mayor’s boardroom.
Ottawa Public Health has initiated their own Reconcili-ACTION Plan that promotes initiatives to advance Indigenous health equity, and was validated by Indigenous Elders.
Despite what it has accomplished, the City recognizes that reconciliation is a journey and will continue to evolve based on the needs and priorities of the Indigenous community. We look forward to continuing this walk together.