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Increased demand for Indigenous-led architecture means challenging the norms of a colonial industry – The Globe and Mail

by ahnationtalk on May 16, 202425 Views

Seven ravens lined up along a clerestory of the Naskapi Women’s Shelter, sunlight filling the space below while the new building was inspected. One of the birds leaned down and tapped on the glass, catching Eladia Smoke’s attention.

“I got the raven’s sign-off,” she says, reflecting on the moment she knew the shelter project, completed in 2019 in Kawawachikimach, Que., had come out as it was meant to.

With a growing demand for Indigenous-led architecture, the few Indigenous architects in Canada are creating spaces for First Nations, Métis and Inuit communities that support cultural practices and a relationship to the land, and encourage community engagement.

As a result, these architects are challenging the norms of a colonial industry.

Smoke, who is Anishinaabekwe from Obishikokaang (Lac Seul First Nation), founded Smoke Architecture in 2014.

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