June 14th 2021
Partnership agreement between McGill University’s Gault Nature Reserve and the Grand Conseil de la Nation Waban-Aki
Collaboration highlights cultural value of the Gault Nature Reserve
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 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.
McGill University’s Gault Nature Reserve at Mont-Saint-Hilaire protects more than 1,000 hectares of natural forest. Located on the Ndakinna ancestral territory of the Waban-Aki Nation, the Mont St. Hilaire site (Wigwômadenizibo) in the Abenaki language means at the small mountain in the shape of a house. 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 Waban-Aki Nation in Quebec. The agreement recognizes the ancestral territory and cultural value of the nature reserve to the Abenaki.
**About the Grand Council of the Waban-Aki Nation ** The Grand Conseil de la Nation Waban-Aki was founded in 1979 and is a Tribal Council composed of the Abenaki bands of Odanak and Wôlinak.
Its first mission, drawn up in December 1993, was revised and corrected, at the request of the Board of Directors, by a working committee composed of members of Odanak and Wôlinak, in March 1997.
Based on the eight objectives set out in the letters patent of Waban-Aki Corporation Inc. the mandated committee identified three main elements of its mission; representation, development and administration.
Important Information for members of the Odanak or Wôlinak communities
Members of the Odanak or Wôlinak communities must present at the Welcome Centre the letter issued by the Council of Abenakis of Odanak or the Council of Abenakis of Wôlinak to receive an annual card free of charge. The Annual Card allows you to access Gault Nature Reserve free of charge. You will receive a renewal link one (1) month before your renewal is due.