Canada and Timiskaming First Nation working together to co-manage Obadjiwan-Fort Témiscamingue National Historic Site
From: Parks Canada
July 5, 2019 Duhamel-Ouest, Quebec, Unceded Algonquin Territory Parks Canada Agency
The Government is committed to reconciliation and renewed relationships with Indigenous peoples, based on a recognition of rights, respect, co-operation, and partnership.
Today, the Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Minister responsible for Parks Canada, Catherine McKenna, announced the signing of an agreement between the Government of Canada and the Timiskaming First Nation, to establish a trust to co-manage the Obadjiwan-Fort Témiscamingue National Historic Site. In the spirit of this new agreement, Obadjiwan has been added to the name of the historic site.
Through this agreement, the Government of Canada will transfer 50% of the ownership of the national historic site into a trust to better represent Indigenous history. Co-ownership will help protect Indigenous history and culture and enable the Timiskaming First Nation to be directly involved in the management of the national historic site. With this new agreement and name, the site will now better reflect 6,500 years of Indigenous land use and occupation in Obadjiwan and the surrounding area of Lake Temiskaming.
A Board of Trustees will be appointed to administer the trust. The trustees will provide advice and may make decisions regarding the planning and management of the historic site.
Parks Canada is pleased to continue working with the Timiskaming First Nation, as well as with other Indigenous communities wishing to celebrate the contributions of Indigenous cultures, traditions, and customs in the history of the Obadjiwan-Fort Témiscamingue National Historic Site.
Canada and the Timiskaming First Nation will be partners in conserving the important history and culture of the Obadjiwan-Fort Témiscamingue National Historic Site and sharing the stories of this special place with Canadians and the world.
“Canada is working with Indigenous peoples to build a system of national heritage places that recognizes and honours the contributions of Indigenous peoples, their histories and cultures, as well as the special relationship Indigenous peoples have with nature. We are celebrating today this unique collaboration in the spirit of reconciliation.”
The Honourable Catherine McKenna
Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Minister responsible for Parks Canada
“This has been a long time coming and we are glad to finally see this new chapter in our long relationship with Obadjiwan. I want to thank all of the past Chiefs and Councils, our technical people, the Obadjiwan Board, and of course our elders, who have kept steady on this issue over the past decades. We also say megwetch to Parks Canada for supporting this work. All in the spirit of our tradition of love, honour and generosity.”
Chief Wayne McKenzie
Timiskaming First Nation
- In the Anishnabe language, Obadjiwan means “where the water rises in the rapids.”
- The Board of Trustees will be made up of eight representatives, four appointed by Parks Canada and four by the Obadjiwan Corporation, which, in turn, will designate one of its members to be Chair.
- A new Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada plaque will eventually be unveiled.
- Through the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada, the Government of Canada commemorates the important people – including the invaluable contributions of Indigenous peoples – the places and the events which have shaped our country to help Canadians connect with their past.
- The Obadjiwan-Fort Témiscamingue National Historic Site bears special witness to the Indigenous presence going back more than 6,500 years and to the area’s history as a place where the commercial rivalries of the fur traders were played out over a 200-year period. This old trading post is central to the history of the vast Témiscamingue region.
- The Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada has taken steps to increase the number of Indigenous designations under the National Program of Historical Commemoration. To date, there are 144 national historic sites that commemorate Indigenous themes, and 66 Indigenous people and 58 Indigenous events that have been designated as having national historic significance.
Marketing and Communications Officer
Mauricie and Western Quebec Field Unit, Parks Canada
Parks Canada Agency