“Remembering Our Future” : Bringing our home community into the city

Research Start-Up Summary and Abstract:

This project will cover the history to the present day of the different Aboriginal communities in Ottawa, including the development of Aboriginal services, recognized Elders, its leadership, and its community-based organizations that have existed, and do not exist in Ottawa. In the spring of 2016, the Ottawa Aboriginal Coalition (OAC) was approached by OFIFC to sponsor a research project on the history of the Aboriginal community in Ottawa. The research team would work towards providing an overview of the history of the OAC and the influence of the Urban Aboriginal Strategy (UAS); as well as, sharing the history of Aboriginal organizations in Ottawa. The history story project will highlight:

  • The diversity of the Aboriginal community population living in Ottawa over the past 25 years.
  • How the population has changed (or not), and the reason why.
  • The services we built.
  • The resistance to our growth.
  • Key milestones that moved us forward include the struggle with homelessness.
  • Our understanding of the teachings we use as a community that is both a gathering place and on Algonquin territory.
  • Our relationships with government (municipal, provincial, and federal).

Research Questions:

The project will explore the following questions:

  • How has Indigenous leadership been developed in Ottawa?
  • How has we created/formulated leadership in our community?
  • What supports Aboriginal people to be leaders in an urban context like Ottawa?
  • How did people connect to the culture once in the city?
  • How do we build a community in our city where Aboriginal people can walk down the street and feel connected and have a sense of belonging?

Main Contact:

Don McCaskill, Trent University

Marc Maracle, Ottawa Aboriginal Coalition