One could live every day in Ottawa without awareness of the Indigenous history and contested nature of its land, still unceded by the Algonquin people. While the majesty of the Kichesippi River cannot go unnoticed by anyone who sees it, its significance for the Algonquin people is easily overlooked by non-Indigenous citizens or visitors. Today, Indigenous identity and presence in the nation’s capital begs to be expressed. As a powerful territory that has eluded development, the river offers a vital starting point to this end.
This thesis envisions an inhabitation of the river via a four-part floating pavilion – known as the Migrating Spirits Pavilion – dedicated to language and cultural learning. The pavilion parts journey toward seasonal resting places, engaging other parts of the community. This architectural inhabitation of the river accepts its role as a place for awareness of and reckoning with, Indigenous memory and identity.