New Anishinàbe Algonquin installation celebrates indigenous language

Canada Agriculture and Food Museum
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The new Anishinàbe Algonquin installation

OTTAWA, ON, August 3 2021— A new audio installation celebrating indigenous language was unveiled today at the Canada Agriculture and Food Museum. Nidòndàzimin nidjìbikànàng means “Thriving from our Roots.”

In recognition of the United Nations declaring 2019 the International Year of Indigenous Languages, the Canada Agriculture and Food Museum, one of the three national museums of science and innovation in the Ingenium family, began discussions with Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg Cultural Education Centre representatives to have an Anishinàbe Algonquin phrase shared with museum visitors. The original idea of exploring language as another way of nourishing and sustaining a community has since been enhanced by the ideas and energy of several members of the Kitigan Zibi community.

“The Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg is honoured to have the talent and skills of Asha Meness King and Elder Joan Tenasco highlighted within the new exhibit Nidòndàzimin nidjìbikànàng: Thriving from our Roots at the Canada Agriculture and Food Museum. The fact that our Anishinabemowin - our Anishinabe Algonquin language - is present within the installation on the grounds of the museum in the heart of Anishinabe Algonquin territory within Ottawa is vital to our relationship building and ongoing collaboration,’’ said Anita Tenasco, Director of Education for the Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg Education Sector.

The installation, titled Nidòndàdizimin nidjìbikànàng will be a long-term feature in the open-air Discovery Park. Visitors to the museum will be able to take in two panels which describe both the Anishinàbe Algonquin phrase and the work being done by the Kitigan Zibi Cultural Centre – but most importantly, visitors will be able to hear Algonquin Language Keeper, Joan Tenasco, read the text in the Anishnàbe Algonquin language.

Curator William Knight and Museum Director-General Kerry-Leigh Burchill are deeply appreciative of the time, energy and trust invested in this collaboration. “The museum staff consider themselves very fortunate to have been gifted and trusted with this knowledge. Working with Anita and Joan Tenasco in addition to Asha Meness King has been a truly wonderful and enlightening experience” said Kerry-Leigh Burchill.

“The Ingenium museums’ teams recognize that we are at the beginning of a long journey to listen, learn and then collaborate to reflect Indigenous perspectives in our exhibitions, programs and practices. This partnership marks an important step on that journey. We look forward to working with Indigenous communities throughout the country we call Canada to share stories of both innovation and resilience” said Ingenium President and CEO, Christina Tessier.

Anita Tenasco further shared, “The Anishinabe Algonquin Nation via the work of the Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg and Pikwakanagan is pleased to be working in partnership with Ingenium and the Canada Agriculture and Food Museum. The Nidòndàzimin nidjìbikànàng: Thriving from Our Roots installation is but one example of a relationship that is blossoming between the Algonquin Nation and the Canada Agriculture and Food Museum. Our trust and partnership will continue to flourish from here!’’

Nidòndàzimin Nidjìbikànàng: Thriving from Our Roots will be on display for all visitors to the Canada Agriculture and Food Museum as part of their museum experience. As a result of the current health and safety measures in place for COVID-19, all visitors must reserve their tickets in advance online. Ingenium is pleased to offer complimentary admission to all Indigenous Peoples and will arrange ticket reservations via the Customer Relations Team by phone at: 613-991-3044 or 1-866-442-4416, or by email: contact@IngeniumCanada.org.

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Media Contact

Rebecca Hickey
Ingenium – Canada’s Museums of Science and Innovation
rhickey@ingeniumcanada.org
343-550-7547

About the Canada Agriculture and Food Museum

Ingenium – Canada's Museums of Science and Innovation oversees three museums, one of which is the Canada Agriculture and Food Museum. The museum offers hands-on food literacy demonstrations and immersive exhibitions on a working farm in the heart of our nation’s capital. It showcases milestones in Canadian agriculture which inform and inspire the future of food security and sustainable agriculture.  It also highlights the relationship between agricultural science and technology and Canadians’ everyday lives. Visitors to the national site have a unique opportunity to experience hands-on demonstrations, participate in seasonal programs and to see diverse breeds of farm animals as well as technology. Virtual visitors and national audiences are able to access learning modules, experiments, recipes and online programs that feature key issues of our time.