Ottawa is home to First Nations peoples and its rich history is readily accessible to students interested in this topic. Resources available include an Aboriginal Experiences Centre, the Odawa Friendship Centre, an Aboriginal Resource Centre at the University of Ottawa, and the Ottawa Carleton District School Board’s Aboriginal Learning Centre.
The Algonquin community has an Aboriginal Experiences Centre on Victoria Island located in the Ottawa River west of the Supreme Court of Canada. The centre gives presentations on the First Nations peoples, they give tours of the area, they perform dance ceremonies, and they have a First Nations craft workshop. Programming information is on their website however it is presently on hiatus due to a fire in 2010. The centre will be setting up kiosks at local festivals instead. Educators can consult their website for more information: http://www.aboriginalexperiences.com/#!__victoria-island
The Odawa Native Friendship Centre serves the aboriginal community of Ottawa and it also offers cultural activities for native and non-native peoples alike such as pow-wows, harvest feasts, and annual family conferences. More information can be found on the Centre’s website: http://www.odawa.on.ca/index.html
Some schools in the Ottawa area offer support to aboriginal students such as the University of Ottawa’s Aboriginal Resource Centre. The Centre provides support to the aboriginal students’ classroom, career, and personal needs and contact information is posted on the university website: http://sass.uottawa.ca/en/aboriginal. Events are posted on the Centre’s facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/uOttawaAboriginal/
The Ottawa Carleton District School Board (OCDSB) has an Aboriginal Learning Centre which was established in 2014 to support aboriginal programming in the OCDSB schools and to provide space to the aboriginal community for events organized through the community use of schools process. It is located at Rideau High School and part of the initiative included the opening of a smudge room at the school. More information on the Aboriginal Learning Centre is posted on their website: http://www.ocdsb.ca/ab-ocdsb/AboriginalEducation/Pages/Aboriginal-Learning-Space.aspx. The opening of the smudge room at Rideau High School was covered by the CBC in February 2014: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/ottawa/rideau-high-supports-aboriginal-smudging-tradition-1.2526481.
The Aboriginal Experiences Centre, the Odawa Friendship Centre, an Aboriginal Resource Centre at the University of Ottawa, and the Ottawa Carleton District School Board’s Aboriginal Learning Centre all have links available to other aboriginal organizations in the Ottawa area so students have easy access to information on First Nations peoples.