The Algonquins of Pikwakanagan First Nation
The Algonquins of Pikwakanagan First Nation is a proud and progressive Algonquin community. Pikwakanagan is situated on the shores of the Bonnechere River and Golden Lake in Renfrew County, Ontario. Located off of Highway 60, the community is 1.5 hours west of Ottawa and 1.5 hours south of Algonquin Park.
The Algonquin Traditional Territory in Ontario is an area of more than 9 million acres (14,000 square miles) within the watersheds of the Ottawa and Mattawa Rivers. This area in Ontario includes the National Capital Region, all of Renfrew County and most of Algonquin Park.
The Algonquins of Pikwakanagan First Nation is the only federally recognized Algonquin community in Ontario. In Quebec, there are nine Algonquin communities: Abit ibiwinni, Timiskaming, Eagle Village (Kebaouek), Wolf Lake, Long Point (Winneway), Kitcisakik (Grand Lac), Lac Simon, Mitcikinabik Inik (Algonquins of Barriere Lake) and Kitigan Zibi (River Garden) First Nations.
The Algonquin philosophy is to only take what you need; give in order to receive; recognize that you are an equal part of all that is; and be thankful for everything that you get. Many teachings relate to the Creator; the teachings are not rigid and can be interpreted in many different ways. It is encouraged that each person develop their own special relationship with the Creator. It is this difference, this uniqueness with the Creator, that creates meaning.
In 2017, the Algonquins of Pikwakanagan First Nation (AoPFN) chief and council made the progressive decision to work with the Ottawa 2017 organization which was created to celebrate the 150th anniversary of confederation. This decision was not made lightly, as it is common for First Nations, Métis and Inuit people and organizations to not choose this path. AoPFN chose this path, not to celebrate the anniversary, but for the opportunity to educate others, to learn, and to allow for new experiences and opportunities for the youth and community members who would be involved.
This decision led to an incredible year of countless opportunities for Algonquin and other First Nations, Métis and Inuit participation, from waking up the dragon during “La Machine” to a crowd of 25,000 spectators; to performances at Inspiration Village in the Byward Market; to the Juno Awards – where for the first time, the Algonquins were acknowledged as being the host Nation on live TV to millions of viewers. A truly spectacular event not to be forgotten was Miwate: The Illumination of Chaudiere Falls. Miwate was an epic event that involved a number of teams, working together to make magic happen. Every single individual involved was empowered to spend time with members of the AoPFN, ensuring that full consultation, engagement and Reconciliation was taking place.
Outside of the unique celebrations hosted in 2017, the City of Ottawa has been a role model for consultation with Indigenous communities in the Ottawa region. The AoPFN is involved in many areas of the City and is active on various Boards, Committees and Working Groups, leading the people of Ottawa and the Algonquins into a new era of Reconciliation.