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Government of Canada announces opening of GCcoworking site on Fort William First Nation

Press Release

From: Public Services and Procurement Canada

February 20, 2024

The Government of Canada is committed to providing its employees with modern, fully accessible and collaborative workplaces to deliver programs and services to Canadians, while continuing to advance reconciliation with Indigenous communities.

Today, Marcus Powlowski, Member of Parliament for Thunder Bay–Rainy River, announced, on behalf of the Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos and the Honourable Patty Hajdu, the official opening of the first GCcoworking office located on First Nations land. This new site is located on Fort William First Nation, near Thunder Bay, Ontario.

This GCcoworking site was developed in collaboration with Fort William First Nation and supports Canada’s commitment to reconciliation. The new site has provided business and employment opportunities for local Indigenous communities, while providing federal departments and agencies with space to advance their own Indigenous-focused outreach and programming.

In addition to including artwork sourced from Indigenous artists, the interior design of the space was informed by traditional Indigenous design concepts, from the use of natural building materials to an interior colour scheme reflective of the medicine wheel, along with an orange wall adjoining the kitchen to commemorate the Orange Shirt Day campaign. All signage related to this office space is trilingual, leading with Ojibwe.

GCcoworking sites are modern workplaces that meet security, workplace health and safety, accessibility and connectivity requirements. Employees from participating Government of Canada departments and agencies can use GCcoworking sites as an alternative to their central workplace location(s) or as a touchpoint between meetings.

Quotes

“The new GCcoworking site on Fort William First Nation is a great example of how we can transform existing federal office space into a place where Indigenous Peoples and public servants from multiple departments can work together on shared priorities, creating new opportunities for Canada’s public service to fulfill its commitment to Indigenous reconciliation.”

The Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos
Minister of Public Services and Procurement

“The Fort William GCcoworking site is the first to open on a First Nation and was designed to include traditional Indigenous design concepts. In the spirit of reconciliation, the signage related to this office space is trilingual, leading with Ojibwe, and the space features artwork sourced from Indigenous artists. This workspace will help government employees get in closer contact with First Nations cultures while supporting their well-being.”

The Honourable Patty Hajdu
Minister of Indigenous Services

“This new GCcoworking space is the first of its kind, and I’m pleased that it’s located in my riding on Fort William First Nation. Not only does this new site show our government’s commitment to Indigenous reconciliation, it also provides a space for federal departments and agencies to advance their Indigenous-focused outreach and programming.”

Marcus Powlowski
Member of Parliament for Thunder Bay–Rainy River

“The construction of the Anemki Office Complex in 1994 was pivotal to future economic development for Fort William First Nation (FWFN), and securing a long-standing lease agreement with Indigenous Services Canada was the cornerstone of making the project successful. This has led to an ongoing working relationship between Fort William First Nation and the Government of Canada (Indigenous Services Canada), and therefore we (FWFN) welcomed the idea and planning of the GCcoworking space within the Anemki Office Complex to allow for expanded services and a shared working facility for both government and Indigenous groups. The cultural component used for the interior design is a welcoming addition to the federal office space and facility owned by FWFN. FWFN is proud to be host to the changes made by the federal government that commit to reconciliation of our First Nation Peoples.”

Michele Solomon
Chief, Fort William First Nation
Quick facts

  • GCcoworking provides activity-based coworking sites in key locations across the country. There are currently 11 sites open across Canada: 6 in the National Capital Region, 1 in Vancouver, 1 in Toronto, 1 in Laval, 1 in Dartmouth and now 1 on Fort William First Nation. Additional locations in Moncton and Charlottetown are scheduled to open in 2024.
  •  As of December 2023, more than 12,000 federal public servants from 50 federal departments and agencies have registered for GCcoworking.
  • Located at 100 Anemki Drive, the new Fort William First Nation GCcoworking site consists of 18 workstations, as well as focus pods and collaboration zones. The maximum occupancy of the space is 64 employees.
  • Renovation of the existing space on Fort William First Nation began in May of 2023. The site has been open to local employees of federal departments and agencies since December 11, 2023.

Associated links

Contacts

Olivier Pilon
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos
613-323-6621
olivier.pilon@pwgsc-tpsgc.gc.ca

Media Relations
Public Services and Procurement Canada
819-420-5501
media@pwgsc-tpsgc.gc.ca

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