Formed in 2016, Treaty Lands, Global Stories (TLGS) is a student-led initiative that creates space for discussions centred on place, diversity, and inclusion at the school. The name speaks to the spatial, political, and cultural context within which we operate here in so-called Canada — a context that is not adequately addressed in the Eurocentric curricula of many Canadian architecture schools. TLGS advocates for greater diversity by challenging the colonial frameworks upheld by the University of Waterloo’s architectural curriculum. We believe education can — and should — reflect the Indigenous heritage of the land on which the school is situated, and support the diverse voices and backgrounds within the school’s student body.
We work closely with the school’s faculty, administration, and students. Our advocacy at Waterloo Architecture has taken many forms: informal conversations, lectures, exhibitions, workshops, and research projects. We promote going beyond the cultural study of the Western World, acknowledging Canada’s Indigenous heritage, responding to the diversity of Waterloo Architecture’s student body, and looking for ways to amplify the voices of Black, Indigenous, and people of colour as students, architects, thinkers, and creators. TLGS, together with other partners, works to build a school and an education that better reflects our intersectional realities.