Foundation set for Ādisōke
June 20, 2022 – At an event today, City of Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson, 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 and representatives from Kitigan Zibi Anishinābeg and the Algonquins of Pikwakanagan First Nation, celebrated the setting of the foundation for Ādisōke, the new Ottawa Public Library – Library and Archives Canada joint facility.
In honour of National Indigenous History Month, the Ādisōke Project Team highlighted the meaningful and respectful partnership with the Anishinābe Algonquin Nation. Each of the project partners, including representatives from Kitigan Zibi Anishinābeg and the Algonquins of Pikwakanagan First Nation, 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.
Set to open in 2026, the modern and iconic facility of Ādisōke will become a landmark destination located in 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.
The site for Ādisōke is located on the unceded, traditional territory of the Anishinābe Algonquin Nation, who have occupied the area since time immemorial. Elders and members of the Host Nation have been key partners in influencing the design of the facility, as well as the selection of the name Ādisōke, which refers to the telling of stories in the Anishinābemowin Algonquin language.
For more information on the Ādisōke project, visit Adisoke.ca.
About Library and Archives Canada
The mandate of Library and Archives Canada is to preserve the documentary heritage of Canada for the benefit of present and future generations, and to be a source of enduring knowledge accessible to all, thereby contributing to the cultural, social and economic advancement of Canada. Library and Archives Canada also facilitates co-operation among communities involved in the acquisition, preservation and diffusion of knowledge, and serves as the continuing memory of the Government of Canada and its institutions.
Library and Archives Canada is online at www.bac-lac.gc.ca.
“Today is an exciting day as we celebrate the laying of the foundation for Ādisōke, bringing us one step closer to doors opening for this word-class facility in 2026. Ādisōke will be an important hub in our city and a cornerstone of our community. 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.”
– Mayor Jim Watson, City of Ottawa
“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. Most importantly, Ādisōke is an example of respect, understanding, collaboration, and commitment to reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people.”
– The Hon. Pablo Rodriguez, Minister of Canadian Heritage
“Today we officially lay 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. 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.
– Councillor Matthew Luloff, Chair of the Ottawa Public Library Board
“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
June 20 is a special day for LAC!
On June 20, 1872, the Canadian cabinet approved the appointment of Douglas Brymner, a Montréal journalist, to head a newly formed “Public Archives Service” within the Department of Agriculture. The new national archive was a response to demands from history enthusiasts for improved access to Canada’s documentary heritage. As the first Dominion Archivist, Brymner spent the next 30 years collecting historical documents from government buildings and private donors, and overseeing the copying of records related to Canada in British and French archives. From modest beginnings in a Parliament Hill basement 150 years ago, the Dominion Archives evolved into the Public Archives of Canada (1912), the National Archives of Canada (1987), and, through its merger with the National Library of Canada (1953) in 2004, the present-day Library and Archives Canada, one of largest libraries and archives in the world.
On this day, 55 years ago, Canadians celebrated the inauguration of the Library and Archives Canada building at 395 Wellington Street, just a few blocks away from Adisōke. Then-Prime Minister Lester B. Pearson cut a ceremonial ribbon during the official opening on June 20, 1967. The formal opening was planned to coincide with national celebrations marking the 100th anniversary of Canada’s Confederation. This was the only major federal building to receive a ceremonial opening during the Canadian Centennial year.
Today, to mark the setting of the foundation for Adisōke, LAC placed the following items in a concrete slab: a copy of a photo showing the official opening in 1967of its building at 395 Wellington Street in Ottawa, and a reproduction of L’Abeille (“The Bee”), the first acquisition made by the institution 150 years ago. L’Abeille was the student newspaper at the Petit Séminaire de Québec, a classical college. Published between 1848 and 1862, the paper often featured transcriptions of historical documents from the Séminaire’s collection, a valuable resource for researchers at a time when the Séminaire’s archives were not easily accessible. For this reason, Douglas Brymner, the first Dominion Archivist, acquired a set of back issues of the newspaper shortly after his appointment in 1872. Three bound volumes of L’Abeille were thus Library and Archives Canada’s first documented acquisition, which anticipated by more than a century our institution’s role as custodian of both published and archival heritage.
City of Ottawa
Library and Archives Canada
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