The House of Canada
The red Manitoba granite façade of this 10-metre-high human rights monument makes a simple, powerful statement. But as a symbol of the fragility of respect for human rights in our society, it leans on a massive concrete structure, called “The House of Canada.”
In the “House,” are the Aboriginal Languages Plaques. On these plaques of Quebec granite, the concepts EQUALITY, DIGNITY, and RIGHTS, are carved in the languages of the First Peoples of this country. Each of these expressions of basic human rights relates, in word and thought, to the plaques EQUALITY, DIGNITY, and RIGHTS, held aloft by the columnar concrete figures.
When the development work at the Tribute is completed there will be 73 carved granite plaques in the House of Canada. 26 plaques remain to be created and installed, supported by a current grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation.
Native peoples’ cultural centres and individuals have provided translations in each of the languages on the granite plaques, as well as interpretations of their cultural values inherent in the concepts: EQUALITY, DIGNITY, and RIGHTS.
After review by the Aboriginal people who contributed the text, the words were carved into the plaque using the appropriate graphic form.
The presence of the Aboriginal peoples of Canada in the Tribute, through these language plaques, bears witness to the vital role of languages in the preservation of cultures.
The Land on Which the Tribute Stands
The land for the Canadian Tribute to Human Rights was the generous gift in 1984 of the then Regional Municipality of Ottawa-Carleton, now the City of Ottawa.