OTTAWA, June 21, 2022 – Yesterday, numerous local and national dignitaries celebrated the setting of the foundation for Ādisōke, the new Ottawa Public Library – Library and Archives Canada joint facility located on Albert Street across from Good Companions Seniors’ Centre, on the unceded, traditional territory of the Anishinābe Algonquin Nation, who have occupied the area since time immemorial.
In honour of National Indigenous History Month, the Ādisōke Project Team highlighted the meaningful and respectful partnership with the Anishinābe Algonquin Nation.
“Today is an exciting day as we celebrate the laying of the foundation for Ādisōke, bringing us one step closer to opening the doors of this word-class facility in 2026. Ādisōke will be an important hub in our city and a cornerstone of our community,” said Mayor Jim Watson, who took part in the celebration along with the Honourable Mona Fortier, President of the Treasury Board (on behalf of the Honourable Pablo Rodriguez, Minister of Canadian Heritage), Councillor Matthew Luloff, Chair of the Ottawa Public Library Board, Grand Chief Savanna McGregor, Algonquin Anishinābeg Nation, and Councillor Dan Kohoko (on behalf of Chief Wendy Jocko, Algonquins of Pikwakanagan First Nation). “It will be a welcoming, inspiring and inclusive space that will be enjoyed by Ottawa residents, Canadians, Indigenous Peoples and visitors from around the world for generations to come,” said Mayor Watson.
The project partners placed a token of significance into a concrete slab that will become part of the facility’s foundation. This is a historic and important ceremony that builds on the spirit of relationship building, active listening and reconciliation.
Built to achieve a Net-Zero Carbon standard and LEED Gold designation, Ādisōke will be an environmental leader that showcases sustainable infrastructure design and contributes to a clean, safe and sustainable environment for present and future generations. It will pave the way for other federal and municipal infrastructure projects and enable the City to achieve its goal of transitioning Ottawa into a clean, renewable, and resilient city by 2050.
“What is coming to life before our eyes is much more than a concrete foundation. We are laying the groundwork for a project that is unique in Canada: an innovative federal-municipal partnership, an environmentally exemplary building, and a construction site that contributes to economic development and the growth of our culture.,” said The Hon. Pablo Rodriguez, Minister of Canadian Heritage. “Most importantly, Ādisōke is an example of respect, understanding, collaboration, and commitment to reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people,” said Rodriguez.
Set to open in 2026, the modern and iconic facility of Ādisōke will become a landmark destination located on the traditional territory of the Anishinābe Algonquin Nation, in what is now known as the National Capital Region. Ādisōke will deliver a vibrant customer experience through public services, exhibitions and events that showcase Indigenous stories and histories, as well as our rich Canadian heritage. The joint programming and services will make this a truly unique offering in Canada.
“Sweet Grass is one of the medicines that the Algonquins use in ceremonies; it grows wild along some rivers and streams in the Algonquin Territory. Sweet Grass is braided; three groupings of strands come together in the braid. Each strand on its own is not very strong, but when braided, together they become very strong. This for us symbolizes our relationship with the City of Ottawa, Ottawa Public Library and Library and Archives Canada. The Algonquins are represented by the first strand, the city and your citizens are represented by the second strand, and Canada, our country is represented by the third strand. Together we are all very strong like the Sweet Grass Braid. The partnership we have formed with Ottawa Public Library, Library and Archives Canada, Algonquins of Pikwakanagan First Nation and Kitigan Zibi Anishinābeg is a strong partnership for the future.”– Councillor Dan Kohoko, Algonquins of Pikwakanagan First Nation
Elders and members of the Host Nation have been key partners in influencing the design of the Ādisōke facility, as well as the selection of the name Ādisōke, which refers to the telling of stories in the Anishinābemowin Algonquin language.
“Today we officially set the foundation of Ādisōke, and more than that, we also celebrate the unique collaboration that is the base of this once-in-a-generation project,” said – Councillor Matthew Luloff, Chair of the Ottawa Public Library Board. “In working together to advance reconciliation, respect, sustainability, and innovation, the collaboration between Ottawa Public Library, Library and Archives Canada and the Anishinābe Algonquin Nation points the way forward for all of us.”
For more information on the Ādisōke project, visit Adisoke.ca (link is external).