APTN News Sunday
The World Design Summit is in full swing in Montreal and Indigenous peoples are sitting down with architects and designers from 80 countries and hoping some of what is learned here will help the city to be more Indigenous.
“The exhibition is a showcase of the best projects from around the world that is either built up by Indigenous people or non-Indigenous,” said Philippe Meilleur, executive director, Native Montreal.
“But who had really found a right approach to build up the project by considering the need of the people who are out there and through the culture of Indigenous peoples.
The exhibition is to promote a new perspective on urban Indigeneity.
It explores the achievements of Indigenous culture in architecture and design in Canada and around the world.
Meilleur said he wants Montreal to visually represent Indigenous people across the city.
And create an environment where they can reconnect to their culture.
“Across Canada Indigenous culture is much more present than in Montreal, in Montreal there is none,” he said. “I believe by showcasing real examples that have been built in a lot of countries around the world and in Canada that Montreal is going to step up their game and say we can do ambitious projects.
Internationally renowned architect Douglas Cardinal was the summit’s keynote speaker.
Cardinal said architecture is much more than a building – it must improve people’s lives.
And he strongly supports the idea of Indigenizing a city like Montreal – and using young Indigenous people to do it.
“They have tremendous creativity that is much part of our culture,” Cardinal said. “We brought up people where we realize the power was never out there — the power is always here. The more people turn back to their traditions, their culture, their teachings, more opportunity they will have of facing the future in a good way.”
Alain Fournier, an architect based in Montreal, worked with Native Montreal and presented a project where each of the 11 Indigenous Nations in Quebec will be presented a walking stick.
“So we have shown through our project called Speech Silencing Arms at Place d’armes where De Maisonneuve (a statue) is in fact welcomed if you want by Indigenous peoples who were there.”
Officials at the design summit are hoping that Montreal uses Indigenous designers to help the city move towards being Indigenous.
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