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The meet will happen at the Wabano Centre in Ottawa, which was designed by well-known Indigenous architect Douglas Cardinal.

Canadian architecture group to host 
indigenous architecture symposium

The Royal Architectural Institute of Canada (RAIC) is poised to host its first-ever indigenous architecture and design symposium at the Wabano Centre in Ottawa, on May 27.

Its purpose is to foster and promote indigenous design in Canada in rural, Metis and Northern communities, First Nations and in urban spaces and advocacy with and on behalf of indigenous communities.

"This is a big topic," task force member David Fortin, assistant professor of architecture at Laurentian University, told a recent seminar at IIDEXCanada. "The first thing to think about, I guess, is what indigenous means."

Four perspectives

Fortin, a member of the Metis Nation of Ontario, looked at the topic of indigenous architecture and design from four perspectives: indigenous-inspired architecture; architecture designed for indigenous people; architecture by indigenous people; and architecture with indigenous people.

Fortin, whose architecture school is thought to be the only one in the world with elders in its design studios, told seminar attendees that the intent to work with indigenous people "must be genuine and invested".

"The metrics for success in terms of indigenous design must not only incorporate indigenous perspectives but also meaningfully involve their design input, their desires and their hopes for the future," said Fortin.

Case study

Also at the session, a case study was presented on the Allegany Administration Building, built for the Seneca Nation of Indians in New York State. It was designed by a Six Nations firm in Ohsweken, Ont., Two Row Architect.

The goal was to reinterpret Seneca culture in a modern, respectful and authentic manner. The facility was designed in close consultation with the Seneca community. "From my point of view, it's all about consultation," said Matthew Hickey of Two Row Architect.

"It is all about communication. It is about getting in there, getting your hands dirty and spending time with people, the users of the building, and learning from them," he said.

Indigenous Architecture and Design Symposium

An estimated 100 delegates comprised of Canadian Indigenous and international architects, allied design, and building professionals, students, and interns will gather at the Wabano Centre in Ottawa, designed by Indigenous architect Douglas Cardinal.

The symposium will feature and celebrate Indigenous architecture, design, and place-making in Canada and around the world and present best practices and processes.

For more information visit RAIC Festival website

from dailycommercialnews.com  and Festival of Architecture website

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