1 LU / HSW
Indigenous schools in Canada, the USA, Australia, and other colonized lands in the “New World” have charted a dramatic and frequently heartbreaking course that played a central role in the lives of indigenous peoples for two centuries. To the peoples variously styled by the now-dominant colonizing cultures as Indian, Native American/Canadian, Aboriginal, First Nation, Metis, Inuit, Alaska Native, or other, these government-sponsored schools were for the most part designed to destroy indigenous cultures, languages, and ways of life in order to assimilate. The results of this imposed, inequitable, and highly unjust policy and practice are evident today: graduation rates the lowest of any demographic; incarceration, substance abuse, and fatal encounters with law enforcement the highest. Central to much of this and to much of the transformative healing now underway are schools. This session will examine three models.
Recent reintroduction of traditional, culturally-relevant learning approaches and designs are helping indigenous communities restore their cultures and heal their people. Beyond the architecture, this session will also explore lessons how traditional Indigenous approaches and attitudes towards learning can inform dominant colonizing cultures and mainstream educational systems and approaches.
Ross Parker, AIA, ALEP, Seattle Education Studio Lead, IBI Group
Ross is the Education Studio Lead for IBI Group in Seattle, WA. He has a passion for inclusive, culturally relevant experiential design of educational facilities connecting pedagogy to design to nature. His 3-decade architectural portfolio spans from northern Canada, the UK, the US West Coast, and US South. It includes three James D. MacConnell Awards projects – 2010 recipient and 2004 and 2020 finalists. He is currently co-chair A4LE’s JEDI Committee.
Faye Strong, ALEP, Learning Environment Planner and Project Manager, Archiasmo Architectural Works Ltd.
Faye is a learning environment planner and project manager with Archiasmo Architectural Works Ltd. in Cochrane, Alberta. Her education includes degrees in Architecture and Math from Dalhousie University and for the past seven years has focused on educational work to develop, design and project manage Indigenous Education Projects. Her vision is to see equitable learning environments established within Indigenous Communities.
Dr. Terri-Lynn Fox, Sociologist, Director of Kainai Wellness Centre and Professor at Mount Royal University
Dr. Fox honours the spirit of victims and families, their survival, and the cultural resiliency of those traumatized by the Indian Residential Schools that operated into the 1990’s. Her graduate thesis Intergenerational Communication & Well-Being in Aboriginal Life addressed issues concerning lack of communication of traditional ways of knowing, teaching, and being due to colonization, assimilation, and segregation.
Cliffton Cross, Council Member, Frog Lake First Nations
Cliffton is a Council Member of Frog Lake First Nations, with responsibility for portfolios of Education, Daycare, Youth and Recreation. He was born, educated, and raised a family in FLFN. For 10 years he served as FLFN Youth and Recreation Director and recently oversaw completion of the new Frog Lake High School and First Nation Intermunicipal Library, including securing funding to create some semblance of equitable opportunity for his community.