Ottawa City Council approves rezoning of sacred Algonquin site near Parliament – Development of islands seen as “offence to the spirit of the land”
by Greg Macdougall | Oct 10th, 2014 | RicochetMedia.ca
Ottawa City Council has approved a rezoning application for private and commercial development on two islands at the Chaudière Falls, about a kilometre upstream from the Parliament buildings on the Ottawa River. The decision, made at a council meeting on Oct. 8, came despite numerous objections from citizens as well as a formal request for further dialogue from Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg Chief Gilbert W. Whiteduck.
The land in question is unceded Algonquin territory, and the area at the falls is considered a central sacred site of the Algonquin and all Anishnaabe peoples. Samuel de Champlain’s writings documented a tobacco ceremony conducted at this specific site during the first European visits to the area in the early 1600s.
— Read the full article here on Ricochet.
For this article, I did a number of interviews.
I’ve posted two of them below, both are edited versions ie not the complete interviews.
See below the interviews for some relevant documents / links.
Interview with Rodney Wilts, partner at Windmill Development Group
Topics include the sacredness of the site to the Algonquin peoples, the consultation process for the developments, and a response to the community opposition to the development/ rezoning plans.
9min:13sec, download the mp3 file here – Recorded Oct 7th, before the city council rezoning decision
Interview with Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg Chief Gilbert W. Whiteduck
Topics include the consultation process and the City of Ottawa’s need for “due diligence” – then “profound disappointment” with the rezoning going ahead despite a request he’d sent for dialogue first, a response to a statement from the Mayor’s office, considerations around Aboriginal title to the land, the Kitigan Zibi letter putting the federal and provincial governments on notice, some history of the area and the relationship between First Nations and European settlers, and the significance of the Chaudière area to the Algonquin and particularily Kitigan Zibi.
16min:38sec, download the mp3 file here – First 2m45s recorded Oct 7th, before the city’s rezoning decision; the remainder recorded Oct 9, after the rezoning proposal had been passed
Documents & Links:
- Letter sent from Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg Chief & Band Council to Federal and Provincial Governments