Image shows a closeup of a beaded friendship belt. The belt depicts four individuals standing together next to a floral pattern. A pair of hands are visible holding the belt.

Indigenous affirmation

The University of Ottawa’s Indigenous Affirmation was written by the Office of Indigenous Affairs, in partnership with the Indigenous Education Council, Indigenous student groups, and members of the local Indigenous community.

The University of Ottawa’s Indigenous Affirmation is a special acknowledgment of the Algonquin Nation on whose traditional territory the University sits. The Indigenous Affirmation is meant to promote a spirit of awareness of the relationships between peoples, and in this instance, the relationship between the University of Ottawa community and Indigenous peoples in Canada.

Historically, Indigenous people did not use land acknowledgements, but instead gave statements of greeting when entering someone else’s territory that recognized the hospitality shown to them, to honour the ancestors and living people who lived in and had cared for that place, and to acknowledge the ongoing relationship of people to their homeland. This affirmation was designed to honour that tradition.

The Indigenous Affirmation is intended to be read at the commencement of events, activities or talks by members of the uOttawa community. Repetition by each subsequent speaker is not necessary and may detract from the significance of the statement. 

Indigenous affirmation

Ni manàdjiyànànig Màmìwininì Anishinàbeg, ogog kà nàgadawàbandadjig iyo akì eko weshkad. Ako nongom egawìkàd kì mìgiwewàdj.
Ni manàdjiyànànig kakina Anishinàbeg ondaje kaye ogog kakina eniyagizidjig enigokamigàg Kanadàng eji ondàpinangig endàwàdjin Odàwàng.
Ninisidawinawànànig kenawendamòdjig kije kikenindamàwin; weshkinìgidjig kaye kejeyàdizidjig.
Nigijeweninmànànig ogog kà nìgànì sòngideyedjig; weshkad, nongom; kaye àyànikàdj.

Listen to the audio file made by Joan Commanda Tenasco, an Anishinàbekwe from Kitigàn Zìbìng near Maniwaki, Quebec. She is a semi-retired Algonquin language teacher and continues to develop curriculum. She also works as a translator to ensure the continuous existence of the Anishinàbe language. 

We pay respect to the Algonquin people, who are the traditional guardians of this land. We acknowledge their longstanding relationship with this territory, which remains unceded. We pay respect to all Indigenous people in this region, from all nations across Canada, who call Ottawa home. We acknowledge the traditional knowledge keepers, both young and old. And we honour their courageous leaders: past, present, and future. 

Two individuals speaking with one another while holding beaded friendship belts.