On this National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, we are taking time to reflect on the importance of the Calls to Action for Extractive and Development Industries that formed part of the “Reclaiming Power and Place: The Final Report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls.”
Photo: Water Woman by Naomi Blodin
In particular, we ponder the calls to justice related to the safety and wellbeing of Indigenous women, girls and Two-Spirited people in our communities.
Indigenous people have the right to feel safe in mainstream society, and to see their culture, history and traditions reflected back in the spaces they occupy, live and work in.
And so, the celebration of Indigenous culture at Zibi was an important element of the robust Community Benefit Agreements with the Algonquins of Pikwakanagan First Nation and the Algonquins of Ontario that were put in place in the beginning stages of the project. We are proud of the commitments that have been met thus far and look forward to mutual positive outcomes.
Over the years, Zibi’s team members have spent countless hours in meetings, circles, and feasting with the Algonquin Anishnȧbe to learn how they would like to see themselves reflected in the community. Through art, place naming and wayfinding, we strive to ensure that all First Nation, Métis and Inuit people of the National Capital Region (NCR) feel welcomed and included when they visit, work, live at Zibi.
Further, Zibi adheres to the One Planet Living principles of culture and community – nurturing local identity and heritage, empowering communities and promoting a culture of sustainable living.
As one of the few – if not the only – master-planned communities committed to One Planet Living and the goal of making First Nations feel welcomed in the NCR, Zibi strives to be a model for the development industry in this region of Canada. Consultation, reflection, benefit and relationships are paramount to building strong, safe communities that are inclusive of Indigenous people when encroaching on their traditional territories.
To that end, Zibi is committed to:
- Creating spaces where people, especially women and girls, can easily navigate where they are and where they are going – wayfinding in clear, easily recognizable signage.
- Creating community, knowing that highly populated areas reduce the risks of being alone or isolated.
- Designing brightly lit interior common spaces that are welcoming and minimize opportunities for isolation.
- Supporting Indigenous women in trades and building confidence by participating in webinars for the Native Women’s Association of Canada.
- Creating mentorship and internship opportunities for young Indigenous people seeking experience in the construction and development industries.
These are but a few of the examples of the ways in which Zibi is leading the way in changing how developers and builders consider the presence and inclusion of First Nations in their projects.
We will continue to listen to the voices of Indigenous women, girls and Two-Spirited people as we strive to set important precedents in our relationships, and in the creation of a safe and welcoming community.
Learn more about the National Day of Truth and Reconciliation, events happening in the community and where you can support Indigenous youth at the links below.
Where to buy an orange shirt:
To support Indigenous artists, businesses, and youth visit Adaawewigamig (55 Byward Market Square)