Chief Pinesi Day – Celebrating the Life and Legacy of Grand Chief Constant Pinesi
As many will be celebrating Canada Day this Friday, a contingent of his descendants, history buffs, and paddling enthusiasts will also be celebrating the life of Algonquin Grand Chief Constant Pinesi with the inauguration of the trail marking his portage route through the City of Ottawa.
Chief Pinesi, the great-grandfather times six of present Algonquins of Pikwakanagan First Nation Chief Wendy Jocko, and his family had their hunting grounds in the vicinity of Rideau Falls, and he would canoe and portage through Ottawa when it was still all forests and rivers.
“It is the first Chief Pinesi Day. And I hope it will be an annual event,” said Chief Jocko.
The work of Kichi Sibi Trails has brought attention to this aspect of our local history and the legacy of Chief Pinesi by mapping his portage route. Many of those joining the festivities on Friday will have an opportunity to walk in his footsteps and paddle in his wake.
“Chief Pinesi is such an important figure in our history, and I’m not just saying that because he is my great-grandfather,” said Chief Jocko.
The story of Chief Pinesi features battles alongside the British and their indigenous allies in the War of 1812 and petitioning the colonial governments of the time for a return of unceded Algonquin lands to the Algonquin people.
Chief Jocko and Merv Sarazin of the Algonquins of Pikwakanagan First Nation will be participating in the events and ceremonies scheduled for July 1. Algonquin history, tradition, and culture will be at the forefront with the lighting of a sacred fire, prayers, drumming, dancing, and a presentation on the life of Chief Pinesi.
“It should be a wonderful day,” said Chief Jocko.
Senior Communication Advisor
Algonquins of Ontario Consultation Office