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CHIEF PINESI DAY RETURNS TO NEW EDINBURGH ON JULY 1ST
By Cindy Parkanyi
Posted on by Cindy Parkanyi
Kichi Sibi Trails, in concert with NECA and the Crichton Community Council, is once again coordinating the July 1st Chief Pinesi Day event in New Edinburgh Park (in and around the Fieldhouse) to honour Algonquin Anishinabe presence in the area.
Beginning at 9 am with the Sacred Fire, the day-long program – lead by the Algonquins of Pikwakanagan First Nation – will feature drumming, singing and dancing. Councillor Merv Sarazin will be present for welcoming remarks; Opening prayers will be offered by Kokom Jane Chartrand. With an indigenous veterans honour guard, former Chief Wendy Jocko will speak about Chief Pinesi and his importance to indigenous and Canadian military history.
During both the morning and afternoon, attendees can take a land tour along parts of the revitalized Chief Pinesi Portage Trail, which was an ancient (approximately 8,000 years old) indigenous portage trail between the Ottawa and Rideau rivers. The trail is now marked by signs created by Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg artist Simon Brascoupé.
After the ceremonies, there will be an educational walk along the Rideau and a Medicine Paddle from Governor Bay along the Ottawa River (for those who are willing to get their feet wet).
This Chief Pinesi Day, people can visit the Bloodline – Miskwi and Gathering Phases – Bakaan Asiginan murals located on the side of the New Edinburgh Fieldhouse, now with a three language panel description. These colourful ceramic and paint murals were created by the Algonquin mother and daughter team of Doreen and Charlotte Stevens. Miskwi means bloodline and the mural depicts several Algonquin lineages. Bakaan Asiginan signifies the gathering of indigenous people living in harmony with nature through all phases of their lives.
Who was Chief Pinesi?
Chief Constant Pinesi (1768 – 1834) was the last traditional Algonquin Chief to have hunting grounds in Ottawa – at Rideau and Chaudière Falls. He and his four sons fought in critical battles in the Niagara on the British side in the War of 1812. Pinesi was appointed Grand Chief by Governor-General Kempt in 1830.
For over a century, Algonquin Chief Pinesi and later his son, Kigonz and other leaders, often with the Nipissing, petitioned the Government of the day that a portion of their hunting and trapping grounds be untouched by settlement. They never did receive even a small piece of their traditional territory, extending across the Ottawa Valley, and in the end were even displaced for the creation of Algonquin Provincial Park. The many petitions exist today, held in archival files, revealing the truth of a stolen land, still without treaty.