The Naskapi of Kawawachikimach have built a new shelter to care for victims of Family Violence in their community near Schefferville, QC near the Newfoundland border. The Naskapi make extensive use of local labour, and community identity is very strong, which offered plenty of inspiration for this design. The form draws from traditional Naskapi architecture, most particularly the Manukashunanu, a tent-like structure that uses posts and tensed fabric. The roof form and centralized layout of the building reflects this Indigenous architectural precedent.
Henvey 8-Plex Suites
Location: Pickerel, ON
Client: Henvey Inlet First Nation
Value: $2.1 million
Status: 2018 under completion
This new 8 unit residence (four each of 2-bedroom and 1-bedroom units) is inspired by the Thunderbird geometrical designs seen in Anishinaabe beadwork. The symbolism is significant to Henvey Inlet First Nation, who wanted this new rental accommodation to be immediately recognizable as Anishinaabe architecture. The courtyard is enclosed by two wings, enclosing a safe and cozy place for children and families. The play yard is just to the west, ice rink to the north, and the health centre, daycare, and after-school program are just the east of this site, making it perfect for young families and Elders. All the trees on the site were carefully preserved and more planted in an all-indigenous species landscaping plan.
Henvey Inlet Community Centre
Location: Pickerel, Ontario
Client: Henvey Inlet First Nation
Value: $11m Size: 14,000sf, 1-storey plus mezzanine
Status: Study completed December 2017, design development on-going
Henvey Inlet chose a Thunderbird as design inspiration for the new community hub for this small community just south of Sudbury. The building will combine conference, recreational, and wellness programming in a new facility that exemplifies the community’s Anishinaabeg identity. Existing trail systems will be joined together to form a new ceremonial landscape that includes sweat lodge, roundhouse, outdoor powwow grounds, all surrounding the community centre.
The Red Embers Team, partnered with The Native Women’s Resource Centre of Toronto (NWRCT), is the proud recipient of the 2018 Park People’s Public Space Incubator competition. Our installation showcases 13 large-scale red banners suspended from charred wooden gates sited along the pathways of Allan Gardens, each banner designed and decorated by local Indigenous wxmen.
The 13 installations honour the 13 Grandmother Moons within the Lunar System, as the Grandmother Moon is the leader of Feminine life. For a woman who has experienced domestic violence or sexual assault, it is the Grandmother Moon that provides healing and a re-balancing of energy. All 13 installations create a bigger civic platform for artists to share their work and collaboratively design banners that symbolize an intervention into the MMIW inquiry.
While Allan Gardens is an important gathering place for Indigenous peoples, it has also struggled with issues of vandalism and violence. By creating a beautiful intervention that celebrates the design brilliance of Indigenous artists while also memorializing the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women (MMIW), the hope is that the park would open up to new positive relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples. A smudging ceremony led by Elder Jacqui Lavalley opened the installation June 08, 2019 and it will be displayed throughout the summer and into the autumn to serve as a backdrop for the (MMIW) Sisters in Spirit Vigil held annually on October 4th.
The Red Embers design symbolizes an intervention into the MMIW inquiry storyline. We are still here, we are healing, and we are fighting as a community towards increased inclusion in the land stewardship narrative. The 13 banners symbolize the strength of our matriarchs, and the resilience of Indigenous women that continues to be held together by our matriarchs.
The Red Embers Design Team includes:
Tiffany Creyke (left), Indigenous Designer for Aboriginal Health at Vancouver Coastal Health and a member of the Tahltan First Nation near Dease Lake.
Larissa Roque (middle), intern architect for Smoke Architecture Inc., and Anishinaabekwe of Wahnapitae First Nation near Sudbury.
Lisa Rochon (right), principal of Citylab, design director of the new Canadian Canoe Museum to be sited on a National Historic Site, and former architecture critic for The Globe and Mail.
Charitable Status Partner for Red Embers: the Native Women’s Resource Centre of Toronto (NWRCT). NWRCT designed 2 of the 13 banners and continues to provide further programming around the installations.
The NWRCT is a community-based organization dedicated to providing resources and support to urban Indigenous women and their families. NWRCT delivers culturally relevant programs and services that empower and build the collective capacity and self-sufficiency of Indigenous women.
Banner by Smoke Architecture Inc.
Eladia Smoke and Larissa Roque designed 1 of the 13 banners titled Animkii -Binese-Kanenh/ag | Bone Thunderbird . This banner displays two thunderbirds, back-to-back, made of bones from roadkill deer.
Each bone is sewn to its partner on the opposing side with copper wire. The blue side of the banner represents the female, while the red side represents the male. If one of the bones falls off the banner, its partner bone will also fall, indicating a weakening of society.
For more information and updates please visit the official Red Embers website www.redembers.ca
We have also been published in Canadian Architect!
This community centre on Taykwa Tagamou Nation will host several community service providers and an annual conference, along with childcare, meeting rooms, and multi-purpose spaces for local events. The connection to outdoors is significant because the annual conference is partly held outdoors. The plan centres around a community tree, which is a sculpture created by Elders and other community members representing Taykwa Tagamou’s long history as Muskegowuk, and their connection to the land. This is placed in a central welcome atrium at the east entrance to the building. The building’s angular design is inspired by Muskegowuk geometrical bead patterns.
Obishikokaang Administrative Offices
New Construction Location: Frenchman’s Head, ON Client: Lac Seul First Nation Value: $11.3 million Size: 23,400sf, 3-storeys Role: Principal Architect (design study, programming, collaborative/integrated design, site analysis, schematic design) Status: Design Study completed Dec 2014, funding phase
Lac Seul First Nation commissioned a design study to determine the feasibility for developing a new office building in Frenchman’sHead, ON. Obishikokaang AdministrativeOffices will have several major tenants , including Tikinagan Child & Family Services, Sioux Lookout First Nations Health Authority, Independent First Nations Alliance, Northern Nishinaabe Education Council, as well as Lac Seul First Nation chief, council, and administrative entities. Best practice research and extensive consultations included a Collaborative Design Process that included administrators and staff from each tenant group that informed the schematic designs.
This office represents another investment in the communities of Lac Seul First Nation, completing a larger economic development strategy that has included a new Events Centre including arena and conference facilities and extensive housing improvements, both new construction and renovation. This critical mass of development will result in numerous related benefits, and has the potential to spur further investment in this growing community.