Learning from First Nations

Respect for Traditional Ways

In 2013, David Wong was inducted as an Honorary Witness by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada. A promise to support and embrace values – of respecting, nurturing, and protecting our environment. A relationship with all living things

It's an honour to have been invited to collaborate with First Nations. Every design is an opportunity for learning and for sharing. Coastal communities often experience buildings not properly designed for wet climates, with the availability of construction materials and reliable builders adding to the challenge. Every community is unique and deserve solutions that respect past, current, and future concerns. Knowledge from elders with histories on community, housing and resources has enabled us to collectively explore innovative solutions – from energy conservation, construction techniques and materials, to food preparation, language preservation and ceremony.

Building Community

Our office continues to support indigenous communities through mentoring builders and designers in their communities. Affordable homes built by people who live there. A recent partnership with the Nuxalk Nation and Camosun College, has seen the past few years train over 75 trades people and designers complete over 100 new healthy and energy-wise homes and gathering places.
Designing a home is just one part of the whole. The challenge is building community. One with a future connected to the past, with hope and with opportunities.
David Wong
TRC Witness and Architect
In recognition of his support and work, David Wong has been adopted by indigenous families and clans in Canada and the U.S., including the Haida (B.C.) and Sinx't (Washington).
Tla-o-qui-aht, Tofino B.C.
Westcoast Rainforest Home
July 6, 2014
xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), B.C.
Accessible Home
Sep 2, 2019