Ginawaydaganuc Village planned for Mississippi Mills

Ginawaydaganuc Village
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Posted on: April 13, 2023

The upper room at Almonte’s old town hall was packed to standing room only on Sunday, March 26 for a presentation about a new development being proposed for the municipality. Ginawaydaganuc Village is a non-profit organization with an Indigenous-led economic development plan to construct an eco-sensitive education and tourist centre, which will promote Indigenous ideologies about interconnectedness and relationship building, somewhere within Mississippi Mills. The group told Hometown News they have potential locations close to Almonte but haven’t finalized a land-deal at this time. The event saw the audience seated in a large circle and included traditional ceremonies, songs, and dance by Algonquin Hooper Dancer & Singer Mariah Miigwans (Chabot-Smith), Inuit throat singers Jennifer Kadluk and Annie Qimirpik, David Finkle & Anthony Brascoupe on guitar and fiddle with Jaime Morse and her son JJ performing a traditional jig. Traditional drummers Patsea Griffin, Laura Leonard and Carmel Whittle performed a drum song to open the event.

Their multifaceted plan aims to create short-term lodging, healthy cuisine opportunities, retail space, social gathering and workshop space. It will also provide Indigenous teachings, and educational opportunities that promote sustainable living and working practices. The project will also include a special focus on support and opportunities for businesses that are developing products and services to assist mankind’s efforts to harmonize with the environment. The main Village design will feature five buildings (one round plus four two-story oval/oblong-shaped) constructed with sustainable and environmentally friendly materials and topped with living green roofs. They are hoping to break ground next year.

The project’s proponents are lead by a board of directors which includes Elder Barb Brant of the Turtle Clan, Mohawk Nation of Tyendinaga, John Henri Commanda, Anishinaabe (Ojibway) of the Eagle Clan, who is a member of Dokis First Nation, Karen Bisson, C.E.O. of Turtle Lodge Trading Post Inc. and a member of the Metis Nation of Canada, and Romola V. Thumbadoo, PhD, Geography, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, who is the volunteer coordinator of the Circle of All Nations. Karen Bisson told us that the number of people on their advisory board is growing as well.

They received a start up grant from Indigenous Tourism Ontario last summer and are currently working on other government funding streams. As this is a non-profit organization, they are also looking to the community for contributions of all kinds. As Karen put it, “If you feel you have something to contribute, please step forward! We need you!”

The group indicated their next steps are the development of steering committees to break the job down into smaller parts. They are also in need of skilled people in all areas of management and development, including human resources, grant writing and management, and project management. 

To anyone who would like to help give them a leg up in any way and/or create a partnership of some kind, please email 

Chi miigwetch for your support!!!

Article by Brian Turner

Hometown News
Author: Hometown News

One thought on “Ginawaydaganuc Village planned for Mississippi Mills

  1. Karen Bisson

    HI Brian!
    Chi miigwetch for publishing this wonderful article about our new project. It is hugely appreciated!

    We are so excited to begin working with the community to develop this into something the entire community will benefit from, and feel a sense of pride and belonging to.

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