Innovative GCcoworking Office Opens on Fort William First Nation, Boosting Collaboration and Reconciliation

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FORT WILLIAM FIRST NATION – Indigenous Business – Fort William First Nation is at the forefront of a new type of federal workplace as Marcus Powlowski, MP for Thunder Bay-Rainy River, today announced the official opening of the first GCcoworking office on First Nations land. This innovative space fosters collaboration and reconciliation efforts.

Powlowski states, “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.”

Developed in partnership with Fort William First Nation, the site provides business and employment opportunities within the Indigenous community. It also supports the government’s goal of advancing Indigenous-focused initiatives by offering federal departments and agencies dedicated space for outreach and programming.

“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,” said Minister of Public Services and Procurement, Jean-Yves Duclos.

The space’s design weaves in traditional Indigenous concepts, featuring natural materials, symbolic colours, and artwork by Indigenous artists. Trilingual signage, with Ojibwe as the primary language, further reflects a commitment to reconciliation.

“The Fort William GCcoworking site… 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,” stated Minister of Indigenous Services, Patty Hajdu.

Chief Michele Solomon of Fort William First Nation highlighted the positive economic impact and ongoing collaboration: “The construction of the Anemki Office Complex in 1994 was pivotal to future economic development for Fort William First Nation… we 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.”

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.
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