1. Commitments
  2. Indigenous
  3. Land Acknowledgement

Indigenous Land Acknowledgement

The Canada Council for the Arts acknowledges that our offices, located in Ottawa, are on the unceded, unsurrendered Territory of the Anishinabe Algonquin Nation whose presence here reaches back to time immemorial.

The Council recognizes the Algonquins as the customary keepers and defenders of the Ottawa River Watershed and its tributaries. We honour their long history of welcoming many Nations to this beautiful territory and uphold and uplift the voice and values of our Host Nation.

Further, The Council respects and affirms the inherent and Treaty Rights of all Indigenous Peoples across this land. The Council has and will continue to honour the commitments to self-determination and sovereignty we have made to Indigenous Nations and Peoples.

The Council acknowledges the historical oppression of lands, cultures and the original Peoples in what we now know as Canada and fervently believes the Arts contribute to the healing and decolonizing journey we all share together.

This land acknowledgement was developed by members of the Algonquin community and we thank them for their generosity and collaboration.

For Indigenous people, the canoe holds a special and unique place in their relationship with the land.

Virtually unchanged for thousands of years, now used and enjoyed by generations of Canadians, the canoe is an enduring symbol of Indigenous presence, cultural continuity and our shared future on this land.

Algonquin canoes such as the one displayed here are made of birch bark and sewed with spruce roots. Its construction speaks to the relationship the Algonquin Peoples had with the environment around them; a relationship built on respect for the interrelationship of all things. The canoe epitomizes the relationship with our Mother the Earth and the waterways that are its lifeblood.

The canoe, and the “idea” of the canoe, gives us an opportunity to pause and reflect on this most vital of relationships.

birch bark canoe on display in a gallery
The Algonquin Canoe, 2012, Daniel (Pinock) Smith, birch bark canoe, cedar ribs, cedar paddles. Collection of the Canada Council Art Bank. Photo: Sandra Dyck