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1. Restoration of 1882 First Nation Council House Thanks to $48,400 OTF Grant

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1. Restoration of 1882 First Nation Council House Thanks to $48,400 OTF Grant
Laura E. Dent (PhD, MCIP, RPP)

Old Council House, New Credit ON

A 132-year-old Council House is going to be restored thanks to a $48,400 grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF). Built in 1882, the Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nations (MNCFN) Council House is the 2nd oldest structure in the community and was the seat of government for over one hundred years.

It is a very significant cultural-heritage resource and its retention is critical to fostering a deeper appreciation of the MNCFNs history in Ontario. Retaining this resource also has broader implications in helping us all to develop a more inclusive and comprehensive knowledge of Canadian history. Im very pleased to see the MNCFN receive this grant from the OTF in order to preserve the Council House, says Dave Levac, MPP for Brant. An important cultural piece of architectural history, the restoration of the MNCFN Council House will allow for traditions to be maintained and act as a home for bringing communities together and the mutual sharing of knowledge and history. 


The Council House now houses office space and is used for occasional events, but it needs to be adapted for current needs and brought up to todays standards in order to continue to remain viable. Some of the funding from OTF will go to fully evaluating the condition of the Council House and preparing a building conservation plan. Funding will also help to increase awareness of the historical significance of the Council House through dedicated research, promotion and public engagement at community events. However, the primary goal at the end of the one-year funding period is to have an adaptive re-use concept for the Council House that is sustainable and endorsed by the community.

Faith Rivers, chair of the New Credit Cultural Committee, recounts that, [m]y ancestors gathered all the Mississauga Nations to hold Grand Council in this building to make decisions for our future as a people, and we sit here today looking at the future of this great building!

A project management committee is overseeing the project, and Laura Dent (PhD, MCIP, RPP) of Dent Planning in Stratford, has been hired as a project coordinator.

Chief M. Bryan LaForme commends the Council House Restoration Committee not only for recognizing the historical significance of the Council House, but for taking the many steps required for its restoration.
The Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nation (MNCFN) is part of the Anishinabe (Ojibway) Nation. In 1847, approximately 260 Mississaugas left their settlement at the River Credit (presently the City of Mississauga) and arrived at their present location. Their current home occupies 2392 hectares of land in Haldimand and Brant Counties and shares much of its borders with the Six Nations of the Grand River. Consisting of 2230 members, with approximately 40% living on reserve, the MNCFN is one of the largest Mississauga Nations. www.newcreditfirstnation.com

A leading grantmaker in Canada, the Ontario Trillium Foundation strengthens the capacity of the voluntary sector through investments in community-based initiatives. An agency of the Government of Ontario, OTF builds healthy and vibrant communities. www.otf.ca