Joyce Echaquan, a year later

It has been one year since the tragic incident of the death of Joyce Echaquan, an Atikamekw woman from the community of Manawan and mother of seven children.

One year later, Joyce Echaquan has become a symbol for all the injustices experienced by Indigenous people in Quebec that are too often underestimated. Her story has lifted the veil on the prejudices experienced by First Nations and has proven to be an invitation to dialogue in order to build bridges between peoples, but also to deconstruct the prejudices and stereotypes that have too long fed the collective imagination of Quebecers.

It is our duty to keep Joyce Echaquan’s memory alive and to continue to move things forward.

In solidarity,

The Grand Conseil de la Nation Waban-Aki


Le territoire pour retrouver ses racines autochtones et se découvrir (In French only)

La nature deviendra un terrain de jeu pour les Abénakis lors d’un programme de ressourcements en territoire. Retrouver ses racines, sa culture, partager ses connaissances et ses difficultés. Ils partiront en expédition au mont Ham, un projet du Grand Conseil de la Nation Waban-Aki dans lequel l’intervention et l’approche holistique se côtoient.

Pour lire le reportage complet d’Espaces Autochtones, cliquez ici.


The community of Odanak chosen to build one of 12 shelters in Canada for Indigenous women, children and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people fleeing domestic violence

The Government of Canada, through Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) and Indigenous Services Canada (ISC), with the help of Indigenous partners has selected recipients for the construction of 12 new shelters across Canada for Indigenous women, children, and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people escaping family violence.

Last June 17th, the Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, along with the Honourable Marc Miller, Minister of Indigenous Services, announced today over $85 million to build and support the operation of 12 new emergency shelters across Canada over 5 years, as well as an additional $10.2 million annually thereafter.

This initiative will add 12 new shelters to Indigenous Services Canada’s existing network of shelters for Indigenous women, children and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people, and will be built in partnership with the following communities:

  • Odanak First Nation, Quebec
  • Lil’wat Nation, British Columbia
  • Sturgeon Lake Cree Nation, Alberta
  • Whitefish Lake First Nation #459, Alberta
  • Prince Albert Grand Council, Saskatchewan
  • Keeseekoowenin, Manitoba
  • Hollow Water, Manitoba
  • Wasauksing First Nation, Ontario
  • Natoaganag (Eel Ground) First Nation, New Brunswick
  • Acadia First Nation, Nova Scotia
  • Council of Yukon First Nations, Yukon
  • Inuvialuit Regional Corporation, Northwest Territories

These shelters will be Indigenous-led, and will provide vital refuge and culturally appropriate critical supports and services to help survivors of family violence recover from the trauma of their experiences, access support programming and create a stable environment where they can begin to regain an independent life. They are also a crucial element of the Federal Pathway to Address Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls and 2SLGBTQQIA+ People, the Government of Canada’s response to the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, and an important contribution to the National Action Plan to end violence against Indigenous women, and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people.

In the 2020 Fall Economic Statement, the Government of Canada announced an investment of $724.1 million to develop a comprehensive Violence Prevention Strategy, to expand culturally relevant supports for Indigenous women, children and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people facing gender-based violence. This will also help address the urgent need for new shelters and second-stage (transitional) housing for First Nations, Inuit and Métis across the country including on reserve, in the north and in urban areas. This initiative is also a key action in the Federal Pathway. Further information on the comprehensive Violence Prevention Strategy will be announced in the coming months.

The Government of Canada takes the issue of violence against Indigenous women, children, and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people very seriously and will continue to work in partnership with Indigenous Peoples and organizations as well as provincial and territorial governments, and other partners to develop effective and culturally-appropriate solutions.



June 21, 2021 is the 25th national anniversary of the celebration of First Nations, Inuit and Metis heritage, diverse cultures and remarkable achievements!

Let’s take this occasion to deepen our knowledge of Indigenous peoples, but most of all to share and celebrate our rich cultural diversity.

In this context, here is a brand new short guide on the Abenaki language presenting some culturally significant words for the 𝒲𝟪𝒷𝒶𝓃𝒶𝓀𝒾𝒶𝓀𝓈.


Partnership agreement between McGill University’s Gault Nature Reserve and the Grand Conseil de la Nation Waban-Aki

Sharing a common interest in the protection of the natural and cultural resources of the Gault Nature Reserve, McGill University and the Grand Conseil de la Nation Waban-Aki (W8banaki) are pleased to announce a partnership agreement welcoming the Nation’s members to the site to practice their cultural activities.

This agreement grows out of a series of 52 Calls to Action that McGill established as part of its own project of recognition and reconciliation with Indigenous peoples.

Situated at Mont St. Hilaire, McGill University’s Gault Nature Reserve protects more than 1,000 hectares of natural forest. Mont St. Hilaire, whose Abenaki name wigw8madensis means small mountain in the shape of a house, is located on the Ndakina, the ancestral territory of the W8banaki Nation. This culturally significant space for the Abenaki has long served as a site of meeting and exchange.

The partnership agreement, in effect since January 1, 2021, establishes free access to McGill University’s Gault Nature Reserve for all members registered with the Odanak and Wôlinak communities, which make up the W8banaki Nation in Quebec. The agreement recognizes the ancestral territory and cultural value of the nature reserve to the Abenaki.

“We are pleased with the establishment of such a positive and innovative agreement” says Mr. Denys Bernard, Executive Director of the Grand Conseil de la Nation Waban-Aki.

“This is another step along the path to honouring the past and reconciling the future. A long road remains ahead of us, but we are committed to engaging and collaborating with Indigenous partners to identify, explore, and advance plans that benefit our whole society by embedding Indigenous traditions in the life and activities of the University,” says Professor Christopher Manfredi, Provost and Vice-Principal (Academic) of McGill University.

About the Gault Nature Reserve of McGill University
McGill University’s Gault Nature Reserve is a private reserve which protects nearly 1000 hectares of natural environment. Situated at Mont St. Hilaire approximately 40 km from Montreal, this panoramic natural landscape is ideal for viewing the last great vestiges of old-growth forests in the St. Lawrence Valley. With its 25 km of trail network, it is open 365 days a year. Affiliated with the Faculty of Science at McGill University, the Gault Nature Reserve team offers support for natural science research and teaching while providing a wide range of services to the university community and the general public.

New Logo_Waban-Aki_Noir_Final


More streamlined and current, that’s what GCNWA was aiming for when it approached the graphic design firm Onakì Création to design its brand new image. Growing from 3 employees to nearly 80, the GCNWA has undergone an impressive evolution over the past few years and we wanted our image to reflect this. So today we proudly present our new logo inspired by the word “𝐰𝟖𝐛𝐚𝐧𝐚𝐤𝐢”, which means “𝕡𝕖𝕠𝕡𝕝𝕖 𝕠𝕗 𝕥𝕙𝕖 𝕣𝕚𝕤𝕚𝕟𝕘 𝕤𝕦𝕟”.


The Abenaki Nation affirms its capacity to manage its youth protection

Last April, the Abenaki Nation officially notified the federal and provincial governments of its desire to apply the Act C-92 in its entirety and thus manage all actions related to child and family services. As of January 1, 2020, federal Act C-92 explicitly recognizes the inherent right of Indigenous peoples to exercise their own jurisdiction over child and family services, including child welfare.

For almost two years now, the Odanak and Wôlinak Councils have been working to consolidate general family services, but also to integrate youth protection services into the N8wkika program.

The N8wkika program (Child and Family Services of the Abenaki Nation) has been in place for ten years now and supports families in all their needs. For a decade now, more than 200 children have benefited from individual or family follow-ups. These families have been surveyed and have stated that they would like the communities of Odanak and Wôlinak to exercise their jurisdiction and to autonomously manage all services, including youth protection.

Over the years and through daily practice, it has been clearly demonstrated that the Abenaki Nation has the skills, expertise and knowledge to support families in need. Furthermore, the resources of the Abenaki Nation hold all the traditional cultural knowledge that ensures interventions adapted to the specific needs of the children and their families. It is through holistic practice, connected to the strengths of the families and allied to the community approach that the Abenaki Nation will ensure the well-being of the children of the communities of Odanak and Wôlinak.

The collaboration between the Abenaki Nation and the Director of Youth Protection (DYP) being very constructive and knowing that the resources of the DYP themselves possess an essential expertise, Odanak and Wôlinak propose that discussions lead to a partnership that will see the Nation manage its youth protection autonomously while maintaining a close collaboration with the provincial youth protection service.

The Abenaki Nation is now at the stage of finalizing the development of legal, administrative, and clinical structures that will allow it to acquire all the resources necessary to manage all child and family services and to ensure the protection of its youth.

It is expected that by the beginning of 2023, the children of the communities of Odanak and Wôlinak will be protected by internal resources in collaboration with the provincial and federal partners who will respect the self-determination of the Abenaki Nation.



Kwaï dear members of the Nation,

You can now view online or have printed the hunting & fishing codes:
2021-2022 HUNTING CODE
2021-2022 FISHING CODE

We take this opportunity to remind you of the importance of respecting the terms and conditions indicated in these codes. Since the signing of the first version of the hunting, fishing and trapping agreement between the Government of Quebec and the Nation in 1999, there have only been a handful of incidents. This is to our credit and let’s collectively keep it that way. When in doubt about any of the terms of any of these codes, please feel free to contact me to discuss.

It is also important to remember the existence of the Abenaki Hunting and Fishing Committee. It is an apolitical committee formed by about ten Abenaki members acting as volunteers and having at heart the pursuit of traditional activities such as hunting, fishing and trapping. The committee’s mandate is to formulate recommendations related to the practice of these activities for approval by the Councils. Once approved, the recommendations are then forwarded to the follow-up committee of the hunting, fishing and trapping agreement between the Nation and the Government of Quebec or, depending on the subject, the Government of Canada. It is possible to join the committee at any time. Adjustments to the agreement can be made through comments, concerns or questions raised by the committee. Their contributions are essential to ensure that the agreement is adequate.

For any comments or questions:
Suzie O’Bomsawin
P : 819.294.1686
@ : sobomsawin@gcnwa.com