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A new approach to design: Learning at Laurentian infused with Indigenous values

Northern Ontario Business

By Lindsay Kelly 

December 15, 2017 

With an interest in, and awareness of, Indigenous issues growing in Canada, the time is right to talk about how Indigenous values relate to architecture and design, says the director of the McEwen School of Architecture.
David Fortin, who will take over as director of the Sudbury school on Jan. 1, 2018, said though it’s a fairly young conversation in this country, Canadians are ready to have it.
“We’re much more aware of our relationship with Indigenous communities in this country, and I think that’s growing right now, and the population is growing as well,” said Fortin, who identifies as Métis.
“I think many Canadians recognize that there’s been a neglect of the rich cultures that are there, and people are genuinely, in a good way, wanting to see more of that, make that more visible, and so architecture’s one way of doing that.”
It’s significant, he said, that there are currently just 16 registered Indigenous architects in all of Canada, even though Indigenous peoples make up 4.9 per cent of Canada’s population, leaving them grossly underrepresented in the industry.