Learning from First Nations. Respect for Traditional Ways
It's an honour to have been invited to collaborate with First Nation communities. Every design is an opportunity for learning and for sharing. Challenges coastal communities experience include, exposure to rainforest conditions and resource management. Every community is unique and deserve solutions that respect past, current and future concerns. Knowledge from elders, collective histories on community, housing and resources has enabled us to explore innovative solutions– from energy conservation, construction techniques & materials, to food preparation, language preservation and ceremony.
In Fall 2013, David Wong was inducted as an Honorary Witness by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada. At this event, David spoke of embracing the values Indigenous peoples offer– of respecting, of nurturing, and of protecting our environment, and understanding our relationship to all living things.
Designing a home is the easy part. The challenge is building community. One with a future connected to the past, with hope and with opportunities.
Our office has been assisting indigenous communities build their own homes. Affordable homes built by their own people– by supporting and mentoring new builders and designers. A partnership with the Nuxalk Nation and Camosun College, has seen the past few years train over 70 trades people and designers complete over 100 new healthy and energy-wise homes and gathering places.
In recognition of David Wong's work, David is the first person of Chinese ancestry to have been adopted by a number of indigenous families and clans across Turtle Island (North America), including the Haida (BC) and Sinx't (Washington).