• Client
  • Prairie Valley School Division
  • Location
  • Fort Q’Appelle, SK
  • Completed
  • 2019

This project was born out of a collaboration with students, teachers, school administrators, board members, community members, and Indigenous knowledge keepers and elders. The community had a need for a space for education about Indigenous medicine, food, crafts, and language as well as a space for spiritual ceremonies. Two spaces were provided in the Bert Fox Community High School in Fort Qu’Appelle, SK: a 425ft² renovated classroom used for education and storage and a 625ft² addition accommodating education and ceremonial space.

For the Plains Indigenous Peoples’ culture(s), everything is done in a circle. When you sit on the ground in a circle, it is a structure that is conducive to communication and consensus-making. For these reasons, the addition’s floor plan is circular. The Treaty 4 area around the Qu’ Appelle Valley encompasses different linguistic groups (Cree, Dakota, Nakota and Saulteaux), and there was a need to incorporate four doors facing each of the four directions – north, east, south and west. The design incorporated natural materials and fenestration around the full perimeter of the addition, connecting to the land and place. Blackout shades allow the space to be transformed for ceremony. Storage in the renovated area accommodates hides, buffalo skulls and medicines, and a small kitchenette facilitates the making of tea and other demonstrations.