As we celebrate National Indigenous Peoples Day, the City of Ottawa continues to make progress towards reconciliation with its Indigenous communities.
In a ceremony today at City Hall, the flags of the Algonquins of Pikwakanagan First Nation and the Algonquin Anishinabeg Nation Tribal Council were permanently raised. The flags will fly in perpetuity outside City Hall in Marion Dewar Plaza, inside Andrew Haydon Hall, which houses Council Chambers, and in the Mayor’s boardroom.
The flag raisings reaffirms the City’s commitment to honour the Algonquin Anishinabe Nation’s history and contributions by listening, learning and working collaboratively with them. The City recognizes all First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples, their elders, their ancestors and their valuable past and present contributions to this land.
This symbolic gesture is an important part of the City’s reconciliation efforts with its local Indigenous Peoples. In response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), the City has developed its own Reconciliation Action Plan. The TRC was established in 2008 to contribute to truth, healing and reconciliation by exploring the impact of the Indian Residential School system on Canada’s Indigenous communities. The TRC’s top recommendation was that Canadians acknowledge the past abuse that had occurred and reconcile with Aboriginal Peoples moving forward.
Amongst the steps the City has taken so far include:
- Drafting a Statement of Reconciliation, adopted by Council on March 28, 2018
- Working closely with Indigenous partners and working groups
- Holding staff events to broaden knowledge of our Indigenous communities
- Unveiling an outdoor commemorative artwork designed by Anishinabe artist Dean Ottawa, of Kitigan Zibi. The piece consists of an artistic plaque attached to a large stone, which was selected and moved from Pikwakanagan to City Hall
- Establishing the Aboriginal Working Committee, made up of members of the Ottawa Aboriginal Coalition, City departments, Ottawa Police Service, the United Way, the Champlain Local Health Integration Network, Crime Prevention Ottawa, the Ottawa Carleton District School Board and the Ottawa Catholic School Board.
- Working with Algonquin Anishinabe communities on multiple cultural and heritage initiatives Development of the Algonquin Anishinabe Nation Civic Cultural Protocol in full collaboration with Algonquin Anishinabe communities
The City will continue to look for ways to connect with Algonquin Anishinabe Host Nation, First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples and communities, knowing it must ensure their needs and aspirations are fully acknowledged in policy and in the great city we seek to build. Reconciliation is an important step for all residents to move forward and build stronger and deeper relationships with Algonquin Anishinabe Host Nation, First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples and communities.