Feds create national space for Algonquin Anishinabe on Parliament Hill

Grand Chiefs and council members from Anishinabe Algonquin communities joined the federal minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations in Ottawa recently to sign an agreement on a dedicated space for them on Parliament Hill.

Those nations’ representatives joined Crown-Indigenous Relations minister Gary Anandasangaree in signing what the government called a “landmark” agreement for the construction of a dedicated Algonquin space as part of Canada’s commitment to establish a national space for Indigenous peoples on Parliament Hill.

Algonquin Anishinabeg Nation Tribal Council Grand Chief Savanna McGregor said the move – which will give her people their own space in Canada’s federal-government buildings – “means everything.”

“For our Anishinabe Algonquin Nation members to see us acquire our own space in the heart of our territory means everything,” she said. “This agreement truly demonstrates the recognition of the host nation by Canada and an act toward reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples. We look forward to our 11 communities’ visioning exercise to shape the future dedicated Algonquin space.”

The agreement came after many years of negotiation, the government said.

“The establishment of a dedicated Algonquin space in the Parliamentary Precinct for the Anishinabe Algonquin Nation not only fulfills our government’s promise but also demonstrates our unwavering commitment to fostering a nation-to-nation relationship,” Anandasangaree added. “This space will stand as a lasting and proud symbol of our renewed partnership, mutual respect, and shared future aspirations.”

McGregor was equally effusive.

“Our work and commitment to building our dedicated Algonquin space will be seen by our future generations and that is something to be proud of,” she added.

The traditional ceremony marking the signing was held June 5.

The government said it will move forward on similar agreements with the Assembly of First Nations, Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, and the Métis National Council to “develop the long-term vision, design, and governance for the national space for Indigenous Peoples.”

Federal Public Services minister Jean-Yves Duclos said he is eager to work with the 11 Anishinabe Algonquin communities on their space in the Parliamentary Precinct, which is made up of the three federal buildings on Parliament Hill.

“This dedicated Algonquin space in the Parliamentary Precinct reflects the rich history and culture of the Anishinabe Algonquin Nation and marks an important step towards meaningful reconciliation,” he said. “We are committed to collaborating closely with the Anishinabe Algonquin Nation to ensure their vision shapes the concept and design and helps to develop a continued and distinct presence on their traditional territory.”

The Anishinabe Algonquin Nation will consult with community members and experts on the long-term development of their dedicated space. Those consultations are expected to begin immediately.

Marc Lalonde, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Iori:wase