Planning and architecture have been, for too long, tools of colonization and cultural suppression, imposed upon First Nations people with little dialogue. Sewá:ko seeks to challenge this legacy by examining the historical and future role of design as an instrument of cultural empowerment. Working with community members at Six Nations of the Grand River, students will be doing research on Indigenous land planning, management and celebration of landscape, and culturally appropriate sustainable housing design. The first half of the course will involve research on challenges and best practices in planning, housing design, and land management. The second half of the term will include schematic design frameworks at several scales which incorporate and reflect upon the collective research of the previous months. The course will be anchored by lectures by Faculty from the Department of History and Planning at Waterloo, numerous speakers from community leaders at Six Nations, as well as guest from numerous other Canadian Universities.
The course is associated with a parallel SSHRC funded project which is intended to provide a model for housing and land use strategies within Indigenous communities across Canada.