Adaawe: Stories of

Indigenous Economy

The origin of the name ‘Ottawa’ can be traced to the Anishinàbemiwin word ‘adaawe,’ meaning ‘to trade.’ Historically, Indigenous Peoples used the river now known as the Ottawa for trade and commerce. 

Like rivers, Indigenous economies shift and change. In this special five-part journalism project, we explore how the spirit of Indigenous entrepreneurship and business innovation continues to flow throughout the Ottawa Valley region today. 

Welcome to Reporting in Indigenous Communities, a one-of-a-kind course at Carleton University. This hands-on program breaks free from the conventional classroom and embraces experiential learning by immersing students in local Indigenous communities. Explore the art of storytelling and relationship-building here.

Take a look behind the scenes...

Allison Fisher, Executive Director of the Wabano Centre for Aboriginal Health, explains to RIIC students how Wabano’s model of care is rooted in the Anishinaabe term “mino bimaadiziwin,” meaning “living the good life.” (Credit: Duncan McCue).

Mike Kanentakeron Mitchell, former Grand Chief of the Mohawk Akwesasne, joins RIIC at Carleton to talk about Mohawk politics, lacrosse and the two row wampum belt. (Credit: Duncan McCue)

Angel Xing at Snow Goose Gallery on Sparks Street where they sell a wide variety of Indigenous art, especially Inuit art. The sculptures pictured are made from soapstone, granite, and peridotite. (Credit: Angel Xing)

Benjamin Ralph and Nehaa Bimal chat with Gavin Decontie, owner and founder of the upholstery cleaning company, Decontie Clean. (Credit: Nathan Fung)

Veldon Coburn, an Anishinaabe from Pikwàkanagàn and professor at McGill University, discusses unceded Algonquin territory, the Indian Act and a history of the area we call Ottawa. (Credit: Duncan McCue)

Catriona Koenig plays a virtual reality game of mini-golf with Poptronic co-owner, Chatnie Herne. (Credit: Gabrielle Huston)

Isabella Rumfeldt snapping photos at Kitigan Zibi. (Credit: Zuhra Jibril)