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Ottawa Library and Archives facility named Ādisōke by Anishinābe Algonquin Nation

The Ottawa Public Library – Library and Archives Canada Joint Facility will be named an Anishinaabemowin phrase that means "storytelling".

On behalf of the Anishinābe Algonquin Nation, Kitigan Zibi Anishinābeg and the Algonquins of Pikwakanagan First Nation, the Ottawa Public Library – Library and Archives Canada Joint Facility will be named Ādisōke.

Ādisōke is an Anishinābemowin word that refers to the telling of stories. Storytelling is the traditional means by which Indigenous peoples share knowledge, culture and history over generations. Ādisōke also evokes what is at the heart of the partner institutions: Library and Archives Canada as a keeper of Canadian and Indigenous stories, and Ottawa Public Library’s use of stories to build community.

The site for the joint facility is located on the unceded, traditional territory of the Anishinābe Algonquin Nation, who have lived in the area since time immemorial. Elders and members of the Host Nation have been important partners in influencing the design of the facility and the selection of the name Ādisōke.

Ādisōke, Ottawa, ON. North view rendering by Cicada Design, courtesy of Diamond Schmitt

Ādisōke is a strong statement reflecting the depth and sincerity of the partner institutions’ appreciation for the ongoing engagement with Kitigan Zibi Anishinābeg and the Algonquins of Pikwakanagan First Nation. The City of Ottawa, Library and Archives Canada, and Ottawa Public Library will continue to work collaboratively with the Anishinābe Algonquin Nation and other First Nations, Inuit and Métis individuals and organizations from across the country in the spirit of relationship building, active listening, decolonization and reconciliation.

As collaboration with the Host Nation continues, other rooms in Ādisōke will be given Anishinābe Algonquin names, such as the Children’s Discovery Centre, the Outdoor Gathering Circle, and a Wigwam-inspired Circular Lodge and its adjacent exterior terrace. The Project Team will also continue to engage with the Anishinābe Algonquin Nation and other First Nations, Inuit and Métis individuals and organizations to inform the programs and services that will be offered in Ādisōke.

Set to open its doors in late 2024, with an official opening in 2025, the facility, designed by Diamond Schmitt, in joint venture with Ottawa partner, KWC architects, will respond to rapidly developing technology, growing customer expectations and changing demographics.

The new building promises to be a cultural showplace for the country’s heritage, a meeting place for local residents and visitors alike. To learn more about the name story of Ādisōke, visit: adisoke.ca.

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