Collaboration & Reconciliation

Zibi offers real partnership and ownership to the Algonquin Nation(s).

Windmill and Dream are non-indigenous companies working to create landmark partnerships with indigenous communities, companies, entrepreneurs, workers and peoples. Zibi takes counsel from the Algonquin Anishinabe people and communities in support of the project. The Algonquins of Pikwàkanagàn First Nation and the Algonquins of Ontario, for example, have worked with Zibi from the beginning in a spirit of friendship and respect. Together, the parties signed a Letter(s) of Intent that outline benefits ranging from equity partnership, investment, jobs and job training, youth apprenticeships and mentorships, and onsite residential and retail opportunities.

Making the Algonquin Nation partners in Zibi – in the project as a whole or in elements of it – is significant for several reasons. First, it makes real (and symbolizes) the spirit of peace, collaboration, and reconciliation that we want to bring to the project. Second, it creates a source of long-term economic development so that the benefits are not restricted to shorter term jobs and opportunities. Finally, it ensures that the relationship and benefits will persist over the long-term by embedding Algonquin Anishinabe in the permanent control of the development.

 
 

Windmill is offering substantial benefits & collaboration.

In engaging the Algonquin Nation(s), our principal message has been: “Everything possible is on the table.” The resulting collaborative benefits program – which continues to evolve as conversations continue – includes investment and ownership that will create economic benefits for generations, entrepreneurial opportunities, jobs, and cultural celebration. In this regard, we are driven by two goals:

  • Develop Zibi in friendship with the Algonquin Nation(s) and people; and,
  • Develop Zibi beneficially with and for the Algonquin Nation(s) and people.
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    We are working to make Zibi an example of reconciliation.

    It is not for us, non-Indigenous companies, to know what successful reconciliation would look like here or elsewhere. But we hope that Zibi will become an example of reconciliation between the non-native private sector real estate industry and First Nations in this country. We understand the actions that the Truth and Reconciliation Commission specified for the private sector, and we are working on realizing them. We have strong partnerships within the Algonquin Anishinabe community, and we are inviting the Algonquin Nation and other First Nations to become involved in the project as partners, and we are open to any suggestion for a way forward together.

     
     

    The Memengweshii Council offers insights into Algonquin Anishinabe culture and heritage.

    This non-political Council is inspired by ancestral Algonquin Anishinabe practices. It was initiated by Algonquin Anishinabe women to act as a recommendation body to the Zibi project on matters of Algonquin Anishinabe interests. Notably, the Council works to ensure the integrity and appropriateness of cultural, heritage and socio-economic aspects of the Zibi project.

     
     

    Construction is creating significant immediate opportunities.

    “Just the fact that Windmill has extended its hand to our nation and to our tradesmen, that is something that is unique. We are setting the stage for something really historic here, and I am proud to be a part of it because this is about moving forward beyond the reserve.”
    – Andrew Decontie, President, Decontie Construction

    In addition to the more permanent benefits of partnership and ownership Zibi offers the Algonquin Nation, the construction of the project (which will last up to 15 years!) offers more immediate and personal opportunities. For example:

  • Kitigan Zibi’s Decontie Construction is overseeing excavation and remediation at Zibi. This will be the company’s most significant off-reserve project ever, and will create employment for many aboriginal workers.
  • Decontie and Zibi have created a talent pool of available Anishinabe construction workers. We will work to put Algonquin Anishinabe workers from partner communities at the front of every line. Already the Algonquin Nation labour callouts have generated a talent pool of over 250 applicants.
  • Zibi is breaking down barriers for Algonquin Anishinabe construction workers. We are working with the Province of Québec to ensure an inclusive work site, create opportunities for Algonquin Anishinabe workers. Unbelievably, Aboriginal construction workers continue to face significant administrative and systemic barriers to working in the mainstream construction industry in Canada. In fact many find themselves having to work in the United States. We are trying to change that at Zibi.
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