Reconciling Our Built Heritage

The Decolonization of ‘100 Wellington’ (former US Embassy in Ottawa, Canada)

WWU Canadian-American Studies logo with red maple leaf and blue star.

Event Details




Online: Zoom



Brought to you by:

Center for Canadian-American Studies, Fairhaven College of Interdisciplinary Studies, The Ray Wolpow Institute, The Foundation for WWU & Alumni


Check out this video to watch the Reconciling Our Built Heritage.

2024 Speaker Series: Populations Rendered ‘Surplus’ in Canada

This case study tackles the controversial “gifting” of the former United States Embassy (Ottawa, Canada) to the National Indigenous Organizations. The main issue with this “gift” is that within the current settler-colonial heritage and conservation regulations, it has strict limitations on interventions that would decolonize this building, making it the new Indigenous Peoples’ Space. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) Call to Action 79 addresses that issue, in theory. However, despite an outcry by local Anishinaabeg and Indigenous activists stating that another site would be ideal, Asinabka/Akikodjiwan (Victoria Island), they must settle with this site for now.

The research is based on critical discourse analysis of government websites, reports, speeches, commissions, newspaper articles, academic articles and an emphasis on Indigenous literature. Indigenous research methods, such as storytelling, visiting and self-reflexivity, are a means to ground this research from a decolonizing framework. This research captures the reality of Indigenous hurdles at 100 Wellington and Asinabka/Akikodjiwan and shortfalls by the TRC.

Header image by Jean Gagnon on Wikipedia Commons, Creative Commons license.


Christopher DesRivieres smiles warmly. He has black hair, light brown skin, and a full beard. He has tunnel ear piercings and wears a suit and tie.

Christopher DesRivieres, Speaker

Christopher DesRivieres (M.A., GCS, LEED GA) graduated from La Cite Collegial in 2008 as an Architectural Technologist. He received a BA in Canadian Studies, with an emphasis on Indigenous Studies, and a minor in Anthropology from Carleton University in 2020. He completed an MA in Canadian Studies with a specialization in Heritage and Conservation from Carleton University in the spring of 2023. Throughout his undergraduate studies, he was able to blend his professional career and knowledge with his passion for Indigenous Studies and issues. Currently Christopher is working for general contractors as an Estimator in the nation's capital, Ottawa.

Accommodations and Other Details

Contact The Foundation for WWU & Alumni for this event if you have questions or need disability accommodations by calling (360) 650-3353 or emailing

Advance notice for disability accommodations and special needs is greatly appreciated. Please indicate your special needs on the registration form.

There will be auto-captions available for the Zoom webinar.