Since its establishment in 1848, the University of Ottawa has taken pride in fostering a remarkable learning environment for all students, and in providing an outstanding work environment for faculty members and support staff. As a community, the University has set ambitious goals for the future, including the development of a unique and diverse cultural environment in which students can learn, grow and excel; embodying the Canadian spirit with an openness toward the world; fostering the spirit of discovery; and nurturing the many languages that defines the country, including Indigenous languages. 

In 2015, the University of Ottawa adopted the 13 Principles on Indigenous Education that were released shortly after the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s final report on Canada’s residential schools. The 13 Principles on Indigenous Education were created by Universities Canada (the voice of Canadian universities) in partnership with Indigenous communities, in order to address the underrepresentation of Indigenous peoples in post-secondary institutions. In light of the 13 Principles, the University responded to a student-led request to create an Indigenous presence on the University of Ottawa website by creating an Indigenous Student Portal. 

In 2017, the University of Ottawa signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation at the University of Manitoba. By doing so, it joined a network of 22 other official partners who seek to preserve the past and forge new alliances to ensure that no one ever questions the legacy of the Residential School system. 

In 2017, the Office of Indigenous Affairs was established in response to consultation with Indigenous students, staff, and faculty at the University of Ottawa as well as with the larger Indigenous community located within (or in proximity to) the National Capital Region. It manages the Indigenous portfolio which includes student support services and programming, policy and procedural developments, and implementation of the Indigenous Action Plan.  

The Office of Indigenous Affairs prides itself on working closely with local Indigenous communities internal and external stakeholders, including the Algonquin Anishinàbeg Nation Tribal Council, Algonquin Secretariat, and the Algonquins of Pikwakanagan First Nation, the Indigenous Education Council, members of representative First Nations, Métis and Inuit communities, as well as undergraduate and graduate student representatives. 

The creation of the Indigenous Resource Centre (IRC) in 1997 (previously the Aboriginal Resource Centre) marked the beginning of a new relationship between the University of Ottawa and Indigenous learners. Since its creation, the IRC has provided services to support the academic, professional and personal needs of learners in a manner consistent with Indigenous cultures and values. 

In 2018, Kitigan Zibi's Elders Circle gifted the Indigenous Resource Centre with a new name, Mashkawazìwogamig, which means Place of Strength.  

As of the summer of 2021, the IRC is now located at 145 Séraphin-Marion. This new space provides more space and resources than ever before to accommodate the growing number of Indigenous learners who choose the University of Ottawa for their studies.