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Pipe ceremony, teepee in Confederation Park not supported by local Indigenous groups

Ottawa police said they are working with the Algonquins of Pikwakanagan First Nation and Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg to address the multiple safety issues.
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Ottawa Police location on Elgin Street in November 2020. (Photo/Dani-Elle Dubé)

Ottawa police said they have consulted local Indigenous partners and are actively working to address fire hazard issues posed by a structure, and other activity, reportedly going on in Confederation Park. 

In a news release published on Friday, February 4, the Algonquins of Pikwakanagan First Nation and Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg condemned the actions being taken by protesters on their territory, calling them “unacceptable.”

“For those who are participating in these actions, the Algonquin Nation does not support the setup of a teepee, the pipe ceremony and a sacred fire in Confederation Park in support of the ‘Freedom Convoy,’” the letter signed by Chief Wendy Jocko of the Algonquin of Pikwakanagan, acting Grand Chief Savanna Mcgrego of the Algonquin Anishinabeg National Tribal Council and Chief Dylan Whiteduck of the Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg said.

“The Algonquin Nation did not give consent for these ceremonial practices and could cause more harm to who we are as First Nations/Algonquin people,” it continued. “First Nations and Non-Indigenous people should always remember protocol and that permission from us [is] needed to proceed.”

The Tungasuvvingat Inuit (TI) also issued a letter, strongly opposing the events. 

“TI believes in the right to peaceful protest however, the protest in downtown Ottawa have introduced a high-level anxiety and increased fear for the vulnerable Indigenous communities in the area,” the statement read. “By virtue of the ongoing blockades and volume of protesters and trucks, this demonstration has impeded TI’s ability to provide critical programming and services to urban Inuit.”

As the second weekend of the protest approaches, the TI is respectfully asking that the protesters remove themselves from Ottawa.

“It is time to go home and allow for our vulnerable urban Indigenous communities to feel safe again and regain access to culture programming and essential sources.”

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