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April 4, 2007
The Ardoch Algonquin First Nation announces plans for the construction of the Manomin Heritage Centre at Pine Lake, northwest of Sharbot Lake. As caretakers of the wild rice, AAFN will be dedicating the centre to the crop that is an integral part of its culture and history.
“We want to build a heritage centre so our kids can learn our language, so that we can learn about our culture, so we can be proud of ourselves and so our elders can see their efforts bear fruit,” explains Co-Chief Randy Cota.AAFN spokesperson Bob Lovelace believes that “we along with other Native peoples in the country are in the process of defining how Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people work and live together” and are in effect, “setting a standard for ourselves to live by.” As such, the Algonquin’s of Ardoch have placed themselves in a powerful position to govern their own cultural capital in the future. The creation of the Manomin Heritage Centre serves as example of how many First Nations communities are taking it upon themselves to educate future generations about the histories of Aboriginal peoples in Canada.
AAFN will complete the project this summer in order to hold their annual Pow Wow on September 1st , 2007. Enlisted on the project are Alexander Wilson Architect Inc., of Kingston who will ensure that the Heritage Centre meets all requirements of authorities having jurisdiction as well as the standards outlined in the most recent edition of the Ontario Building Code. Conducting an Environmental Assessment of the site and surrounding area will be Ecological Services of Elginburg, to ensure that of the surrounding communities are met. AAFN requests that any concerns regarding the Environmental Assessment be made in writing and addressed to Alexander Wilson Architect, who, as a neutral party, will administer all dialogue between interested parties.
“It is important to us that we do everything properly, that we are open and transparent in our dealings with the community at large” explains Co-Chief Cota, “as we are committed to the success of the project and the people it will benefit.”
According to the AAFN, the community centre will provide a “space for community members to come together in a culturally significant space for community gatherings, cultural and linguistic programs, education and training, as well as social and health services.” As well, the centre will “offer programs to non-members who want to learn about Algonquin people, culture and history.” In addition, the centre hopes to attract one or more health professionals who can provide health services to community members and also regional residents. AAFN ensures that the project will benefit the municipality of North Frontenac and bring welcome revenue to its communities as well as providing opportunities for locals to learn about the history of the place in which they live. Members are certain that the Manomin Heritage Centre will become something the whole community can be proud of.
Please address all questions, comments, concerns and letters of support to:
Alexander Wilson Architect Inc.
Re: Ardoch Algonquin First Nation Manomin Heritage Centre
249 Brock Street
Tel: (613) 545-3744
Fax: (613) 545-1411
For more information or to make a donation to the project, please feel free to contact Alexander Wilson Architect Inc., or see the Ardoch Algonquin First Nation Website at www.aafna.ca
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