Design for reconciliation: The Indigenous Place Making Council reclaims public space for First Nations – Spacing Toronto

by ahnationtalk on July 13, 2017225 Views

July 13, 2017

“When Rita Joe first come to the city, she told me … the cement made her feet hurt.” The last line of George Ryga’s landmark 1969 play The Ecstasy of Rita Joe touched on the physical, emotional, and spiritual dislocation experienced by many urban-dwelling Indigenous people. When Saskatchewan-based theatre artist Yvette Nolan directed the play in 2009, she said the words were a touchstone she shared with her Algonquin mother, “a way of us acknowledging the difficulty of being different, of being other on our own land.”

Although about 60% of Canada’s Indigenous people now live in cities, “there’s so little in the fabric of those cities that acknowledges them,” says architect Calvin Brook, a partner with Brook McIlroy Architects Inc. This idea was one influence on the founding of the Indigenous Place Making Council (IPMC), which exists to “[facilitate] the creation of unique, iconic spaces of gathering located throughout the fabric of Canadian communities for learning, teaching, culture and exchange that embody Indigenous culture and place-making traditions.”

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