Ottawa, August 21, 2017. Ottawa Riverkeeper applauds the Quebec government’s designation of the Ottawa River as a Lieu historique, Monday.
A fitting designation for the Ottawa River
The lieu historique designation was announced onboard a boat in the middle of the newly designated river, with representatives from three levels of government in attendance: Minister of Culture and Communications Luc Fortin, MPP Nathalie Des Rosiers, and Minister of Environment and Climate Change Catherine McKenna, representing the Quebec, Ontario, and Federal governments respectively.
“It’s an auspicious moment,” said Patrick Nadeau, Executive Director for Ottawa Riverkeeper. “Especially since the Ottawa River is only the second location to be given this designation under Quebec’s Cultural Heritage Act.
The Ottawa River has a history of human occupation dating back over 6,000 years. It was a trade route and gathering place for First Nations. From Jacques Cartier and Champlain, to the river’s role in the logging industry in the 1800’s, to the hydroelectric power it generates today, the Ottawa River has played an integral part in Québec’s histo
“It has a long, proud history at the convergence of Francophone, Anglophone, and First Nation culture,” said Nadeau. “It deserved to be recognized.”
The Ottawa River is often celebrated for its ecological diversity, its first-class recreational offerings, and its clean drinking water. Today, Ottawa Riverkeeper is excited to see it formally recognized for its cultural and historical values as well.
Minister Fortin spoke about the designation, thanking Ottawa Riverkeeper for submitting the nomination.
For years, dedicated citizens from Ontario and Quebec, starting with those in the Ottawa Valley, have been pushing for formal recognition of the cultural and heritage values of the Ottawa River. At the 2015 Ottawa River Summit, convened by Ottawa Riverkeeper, mayors, First Nations, organisations, and citizens all came together, asking that the Ottawa River be officially recognized for its cultural, heritage, and natural values. In 2016, it was formally recognized as a Canadian Heritage River.
“Today, we stand behind the spirit of collaboration that led to this announcement. Three levels of government came together to celebrate the history of the Ottawa River. This reaching across borders is exactly what’s needed to tackle the complex issues of the Ottawa River Watershed, such as sewage overflows and the preservation of endangered species,” said Riverkeeper Meredith Brown.
Ottawa Riverkeeper is working to convene the Ottawa River Watershed Council, which will bring together key players in our watershed.
“Ottawa Riverkeeper is excited to harness the momentum of this designation and work with concerned citizens, organizations, and all levels of the government to protect and preserve the Ottawa River,” said Brown.
One More Reason to Celebrate
Ottawa Riverkeeper hosting Ride the River! Parade and Picnic on Sept. 10. Details are at riverparade.ca.
About Ottawa Riverkeeper
Ottawa Riverkeeper (Sentinelle de la rivière des Outaouais) is a citizen-based action group that brings people together to protect and promote the ecological health and diversity of the Ottawa River and its tributaries. Expert and independent, our organization advocates for responsible decision-making, public education, participation, access to information, and compliance with protective regulations, for the benefit of our river and our communities.