At an event today, the official name was announced for the Ottawa Public Library – Library and Archives Canada Joint Facility. On behalf of the Anishinābe Algonquin Nation, Kitigan Zibi Anishinābeg and the Algonquins of Pikwakanagan First Nation gave the name Ādisōke for the facility. On hand to honour the name of the new facility were Mayor Jim Watson, the Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Canadian Heritage, the Honourable Catherine McKenna, Member of Parliament for Ottawa Centre, and Councillor Matthew Luloff, Chair of the Ottawa Public Library Board.
The site for the joint facility is located on the unceded, traditional territory of the Anishinābe Algonquin Nation, who have lived in the area since time immemorial. Elders and members of the Host Nation have been important partners in influencing the design of the facility and the selection of the name Ādisōke.
Ādisōke is an Anishinābemowin word that refers to the telling of stories. Storytelling is the traditional means by which Indigenous peoples share knowledge, culture and history over generations. Ādisōke is a meaningful and fitting name for the joint facility, as storytelling represents the coming together of knowledge, history, discovery, culture, creativity, collaboration, and connections. Ādisōke also evokes what is at the heart of the partner institutions: Library and Archives Canada as a keeper of Canadian and Indigenous stories, and Ottawa Public Library’s use of stories to build community and transform lives by inspiring learning, sparking curiosity, and connecting people.
Ādisōke is a strong statement reflecting the depth and sincerity of the partner institutions’ appreciation for the ongoing engagement with Kitigan Zibi Anishinābeg and the Algonquins of Pikwakanagan First Nation. The City of Ottawa, Library and Archives Canada, and Ottawa Public Library will continue to work collaboratively with the Anishinābe Algonquin Nation and other First Nations, Inuit and Métis individuals and organizations from across the country in the spirit of relationship building, active listening, decolonization and reconciliation.
As collaboration with the Host Nation continues, other rooms in Ādisōke will be given Anishinābe Algonquin names, such as the Children’s Discovery Centre, the Outdoor Gathering Circle, and a Wigwam-inspired Circular Lodge and its adjacent exterior terrace. The Project Team will also continue to engage with the Anishinābe Algonquin Nation and other First Nations, Inuit and Métis individuals and organizations to inform the programs and services that will be offered in Ādisōke.
Set to open its doors in late 2024, with an official opening in 2025, Ādisōke will become a landmark destination built on the shared values of the partner institutions. The facility, designed by Diamond Schmitt, in joint venture with Ottawa partner, KWC architects will deliver a rich customer experience through Ottawa Public Library’s Central Library and Library and Archives Canada’s public services, exhibitions and events, which showcases Indigenous stories and histories, as well as Canadian heritage. The joint programming and services will make this a truly unique offering in Canada. It will be a modern, iconic facility that will respond to rapidly developing technology, growing customer expectations and changing demographics.
Since 2019, the OPL-LAC Joint Facility Project Team has worked in partnership with the Anishinābe Algonquin Nation via the work of Elders and members of Kitigan Zibi Anishinābeg and the Algonquins of Pikwakanagan First Nation to develop a unique and creative facility that is welcoming to all.
“Pimishka means ‘to travel by canoe’ in the Anishinābemowin (Algonquin language). Since time immemorial, the Anishinābe Algonquin people have travelled by canoe and carried out storytelling. Ādisōke refers to relating stories – this is part of the Anishinābe way of life.”
– Anita Tenasco, Director of Education, Kitigan Zibi Anishinābeg
“Pijashig kakina. Welcome everyone. Welcome to our beautiful, collective space to share stories. Ādisōke speaks to telling stories, tales and fables. Let’s open our ears, our minds and hearts to all stories respectfully now and in the future.”
– Della Meness, Manager of Education, Algonquins of Pikwakanagan First Nation
“We are honoured to receive the name Ādisōke for the new Ottawa Public Library – Library and Archives Canada Joint Facility. Storytelling is at the heart of our communities. The name Ādisōke is a meaningful reflection on the importance of coming together to share our stories and learn from one another. We thank the Elders and members of Kitigan Zibi Anishinābeg and the Algonquins of Pikwakanagan First Nation for this special name.”
– Mayor Jim Watson, City of Ottawa
“This building is unique in so many ways: it’s the result of an unprecedented partnership between municipal and federal governments, it has an amazing location in downtown Ottawa, it’s a net-zero carbon facility that will contribute to a greener Canada and now it has an Indigenous name, Ādisōke, to reflect its identity.
– The Hon. Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Canadian Heritage
“As the Minister of Public Services and Procurement, it was an honour to have signed the official document that gives the name Ādisōke to this important new facility. Ādisōke is the first Indigenous name to be given to a federal building and it reflects the Government of Canada’s commitment to engagement and reconciliation with First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples.”
– The Hon. Anita Anand, Minister of Public Services and Procurement
“Partnering and engaging with local Indigenous communities helped shape the unique design of the Ottawa Public Library–Library and Archives Canada Joint Facility, which was inspired by their histories, cultures and traditional Indigenous knowledge. Giving the building an Indigenous name, Ādisōke, is an important step to advancing reconciliation and understanding.”
– The Hon. Catherine McKenna, Member of Parliament, Ottawa Centre
“Today is an exciting day for Ottawa Public Library as we and our partners at Library and Archives Canada welcome the name Ādisōke for the joint facility. This name will add to creating a welcoming facility for First Nations, Inuit and Métis, focusing on relationship building, active listening, reconciliation and decolonization. We look forward to continuing to work with the Anishinābe Algonquin Nation and other First Nations, Inuit and Métis individuals and organizations from across the country as we develop programming and services for the new facility. With today’s announcement, we are one step closer to welcoming Indigenous peoples, Ottawa residents, Canadians, and visitors from around the world to Ādisōke!”
– Councillor Matthew Luloff, Chair of the Ottawa Public Library Board