ABOUT THE RAIC INDIGENOUS TASK FORCE
The Royal Architectural Institute of Canada (RAIC) Indigenous Task Force (ITF) was officially launched on June 9, 2016, in Snuneymuxw territory (Nanaimo, British Columbia) during the 2016 RAIC Festival of Architecture.
“The Task Force seeks ways to foster and promote Indigenous design in Canada”, said then RAIC President Allan Teramura, FRAIC, who was instrumental in founding the Indigenous Task Force.
The core purpose of the ITF is to foster and promote Indigenous design and architecture in Canada in rural, Métis, and Northern communities, First Nations and urban spaces, and to advocate with and on behalf of Indigenous communities. The Royal Architectural Institute of Canada and the ITF strongly believe that architecture is a public-spirited profession with an important role in reconciliation – addressing injustices by giving agency back to Indigenous people.
The ITF is chaired by Dr. Patrick Luugigyoo Stewart (Nisga’a), MRAIC. Over 30 individuals who are Indigenous or who work in Indigenous contexts are members of the ITF, including architects, designers, academics, intern architects, and architectural students.
RAIC 2021 INTERNATIONAL INDIGENOUS ARCHITECTURE AND DESIGN SYMPOSIUM
The RAIC International Indigenous Architecture and Design Symposium is hosted by the RAIC Indigenous Task Force. The Symposium focuses on Indigenous representation, narratives and collaborations.
To learn more about the 2021 Symposium, including access to the event program, click here.
The inaugural symposium took place on May 27, 2017, at the Wabano Centre for Aboriginal Health in Ottawa. The symposium’s theme was Reconciliation, Place-Making, and Identity. Presenters spoke about a variety of design and other issues facing Indigenous communities across Canada and internationally. Overarching themes emerged, such as the inclusion of local Indigenous communities in the design process, incorporation of traditional design elements, the preservation of culture, and remembrance of history. The feeling of optimism, energy, and momentum at the symposium inspired members of the RAIC’s Indigenous Task Force, led by Douglas Cardinal, FRAIC, to submit a successful proposal to the Canada Council for the Arts to represent Canada at the 2018 Venice Biennale in Architecture. Their project, titled UNCEDED: Voices of the Land, was on public display from May 26 - November 25, 2018, at the international exhibition.
Read about the results of the inaugural Symposium (2017) here.
RAIC INDIGENOUS MEMBER DIRECTORY
The RAIC invites members who identify as Indigenous to participate in the RAIC Indigenous Member Directory. This pilot project was started in 2020 in response to requests for the RAIC to share information about Indigenous members.
Phase two of the project will run from June 1, 2021, to December 31, 2021 and has been updated in consultation with the RAIC Indigenous Task Force. Inclusion in the directory is voluntary and requires express consent for your name and contact information to be included. The directory will not be published and only shared in direct response to incoming requests to the RAIC.
For questions, access to the directory, or to change information shared, contact ITF@raic.org.
The RAIC ITF is an Indigenous volunteer-led group with membership across the country. The ITF is continually accepting requests for membership in order to provide a full representation of Indigenous and Metis groups across the country. If you are interested in joining the ITF to represent your region, contact ITF@raic.org.
TRUTH AND RECONCILIATION TASK FORCE
In February 2020, the RAIC board of directors unanimously passed a motion to convene an RAIC Truth and Reconciliation Task Force to provide leadership on how the organization can advance reconciliation with Indigenous peoples. The mandate of the task force is to facilitate sustainable actions that will foster reconciliation within the profession. The RAIC is grateful for the leadership of Patrick Stewart and Alfred Waugh,as co-chairs. Task force updates will be shared via the RAIC Bulletin as they are available.
BRINGING THE ‘UNITED NATIONS DECLARATION ON THE RIGHTS OF INDIGENOUS PEOPLES’ TO THE RAIC
The RAIC is pleased to report that the motion to adopt the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (“The Declaration”) –proposed by RAIC Truth and Reconciliation Task Force Co-Chairs, Patrick Stewart, MRAIC and Alfred Waugh, MRAIC– passed with overwhelming support at the Annual General Meeting on June 30. This is a symbolic first step in the RAIC’s journey towards justice and peace. The Declaration is a framework for reconciliation and will help build a better RAIC and architecture community for Indigenous peoples and all architects today and for future generations. What happens next? The Task Force will continue its work to identify actions and recommendations to inform an action plan, including strategies that the RAIC can take to achieve the goals of “The Declaration” and of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action.
On April 29, 2021, the Truth and Reconciliation Task Force presented a live, virtual session and Q&A on the importance of the RAIC membership adopting the ‘The Declaration’. The session was hosted by Task Force co-chairs Dr. Patrick Stewart, MRAIC, Architect, AIBC and Alfred Waugh, MRAIC, Architect, AIBC. An encore presentation of the session, and a second live Q&A was held as a part of the RAIC 2021 International Indigenous Architecture and Design Symposium on June 24, 2021.
View the recording from the April 29 event here.
In addition to the RAIC ‘Bringing The Declaration to the RAIC’ events on April 29 and June 24, 2021, the RAIC Truth and Reconciliation Task Force Board liaisons Dale Taylor and Jill Stoner interviewed Task Force Co-Chairs Patrick Stewart and Alfred Waugh. During this interview, they discussed the motion for RAIC members to adopt ‘The Declaration’ as a resolution.
Read the interview here.
RESOURCES DEVELOPED WITH THE RAIC TRUTH AND RECONCILIATION TASK FORCE
For external requests or more information about the Indigenous Task Force, please contact:
RAIC Advocacy and Engagement Manager