Three faculty members from Sudbury’s McEwen School of Architecture have been appointed to sit on a new task force created by the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada (RAIC).
Patrick Stewart, Eladia Smoke, and David Fortin will participate in the task force, whose goal is to “seek ways to foster and promote Indigenous design in Canada.” Stewart will serve as chair.
The task force, comprised largely of Indigenous architects and intern architects, was formed during the 2016 Festival of Architecture in Nanaimo, B.C. (Snuneymuxw territory).
Conversation during the task force’s inaugural June 9 meeting explored topics such as how to apply good practices in architecture and site planning for Indigenous space, identifying roadblocks, and promoting architecture as a career for Indigenous students.
Initial priorities include basic needs like clean, piped water and highlighting positive examples of cultural identity through design.
The task force also discussed the possibility of collaborations with Indigenous design communities in Australia and New Zealand.
“Too often First Nation, Métis, and Inuit capital projects are designed with minimal community involvement, and ultimately fail to meet community objectives for this reason,” Stewart said in a release.
“To achieve sustainable Indigenous communities, we need designers and designs that can create long-term relevance, exemplify a respectful cultural and economic and environmental responsibility to sustainable development, and consider the reciprocal well-being and quality of life of the people.”