On June 20th, in Ottawa, the IPMC was invited by the National Capital Commission (NCC) to hold the re>Odawa Vision Workshop. Indigenous youth from across the country came together to participate in a design exercise aimed at the celebration of Indigenous presence in the fabric of our capital. After a day tour of assessing multiple sites, three teams worked to develop unique and iconic recommendations for recognizing indigenous presence in the urban fabric and created places of social connection to bring all Canadians together in a space of inspiration and common cause. The following is a brief summary of each team’s presentation to the public at NCC’s Capital Urbanism Lab, 40 Elgin Street, 2nd Floor, Ottawa.
BRIEF OVERVIEW OF KEY DELIVERABLE'S
- Our Commons: Re-positioning the seat of governance through spatial structures and community spaces
- The Land: Resetting Boundaries
- River/Flow: Fire keeper Circuit
- Indigenous Business Incubators and Pop-Up Shops
- Water Reconnection through a walkable re-telling
- Narrative Pathway
- Process of healing
TEAM ONE PAINTING WITH LIGHT
Team One put forth a 3 step intervention process for indigenous place-making in the capital.
Step 1: create a permanent seat of governance for indigenous peoples at the site of the former US Embassy.
Step 2: highlight the river as the life of the capital through an extensive firekeeper circuit.
Step 3: tell indigenous stories through light projections on the riverside edge of Parliament Hill
A walking path connects the three interventions by land while water connects the remainder of the firekeeper circuit. All three interventions use light in their own way, either through fire or light projection, to reveal indigenous presence throughout the capital otherwise invisible during the day. Using light in this way allows for more widespread semi-permanent occupation of places and acts as a wayfinder independent of typical signage.
TEAM TWO MINO-BIMAADIZIWIN. THE GOOD PATH
Team two proposed an alternate walk-able route to Confederation Parkway focused on telling the indigenous narrative of the capital. The three major objectives of this proposal were reconnecting to the water, recalling truths and making the process of healing more accessible to the public. Mino-bimaadiziwin or “the good path” derives itself from the Water Walkers movement of the Great Lakes started by Anishinaabe grandmother Josephine Mandamin. Their sacred walk aims to raise awareness of the water as the Lifeblood of Mother Earth and calls for both its protection and ultimately, our respect. In this same way, Mino-bimaadiziwin aims to raise awareness of indigenous place and presence surrounding Kitchissippi (Ottawa River). The team explored various steps of the healing process and prescribed these to several of the NCC owned sites along the Water. These steps are by no means rigid. More so, they are the beginning of a conversation, a process, the next chapter of our capital’s narrative.
TEAM THREE SEED OF A NEW NARRATIVE
Team three focused on developing a process rather than an definitive answer. Their main objective was creating a place within the capital to acknowledge uncomfortable truths and begin a dialogue about them. The proposal to extinguish the centennial flame (a celebration and reflection of only 100 years of Canada’s past ) aims to begin a new narrative for Canada - one that includes these uncomfortable truths. Like other Grassroots initiatives, people will come, people will stay, communities will form and conversations will happen - all in plain site just outside the country’s seat of governance. The new fires forged in these new communities will stay lit until the needs of all Canada’s people are met. Only when everyone has access to clean water, proper shelter, proper healthcare and everything else we consider a basic human right, only then can the central “centennial” flame be relit.
To view our full presentation please visit https://youtu.be/vo5MVhBDkug