This research institute was named by Elder Joan Commanda Tenasco and Anita Tenasco from Kitigàn Zìbì Anishinabeg First Nation and by Elder Irvin Sarazin and Della Meness from the Algonquins of Pikwakanagan First Nation.

In November 2020, the Carleton team working to launch the Institute was honoured to consult with these Knowledge Keepers to determine an appropriate new name for the Institute. Due to COVID restrictions, we had to meet online rather than in-person (and we also had to limit the number of Elders on-site at each venue).

Ānako is a “connection, an extension, a generational continued connection.

Ānako means that we are connecting across generations, including with people from the spirit world who have passed, with people of today, and with the future generations who are not born yet. We are all connected, and we will continue being connected. Ānako is a very short and sweet word that explains this whole process of our connectedness.”

– Elder Joan Commanda Tenasco

This description of the meaning of the Algonquin word Ānako, in the words of Elder Joan Commanda Tenasco from Kitigàn Zìbì Anishinabeg First Nation, captures the spirit and purpose of Carleton’s Indigenous Research Institute.

The Ānako Indigenous Research Institute is a hub or a connecting point at Carleton: a place where people come together and where learning and sharing between all people is supported. Ānako is respectful and inclusive of all First Nations, Métis and Inuit because we research in different places as we move through time. As Anita Tenasco, Director of Education at Kitigàn Zìbì, explained “We believe all of these points can find meaning in Ānako.”

Chi miigwech to Irvin, Della, Joan and Anita for the guidance and knowledge you so generously shared at this consultation and at our subsequent meetings about Ānako!