Aiding with Architecture: Exploring the Role of Collaborative Design in Healing and Empowering Northern Saskatchewan Communities
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In northern Saskatchewan, colonialism has caused a disruption between people’s cultures and land, resulting in many social woes. This thesis aims to use architecture to aid in healing and empowering communities along the Desnethé/ Missinippi/ Churchill River. It starts by contextualizing the issues to understand the land, waterways, and people, and then proposes an architectural design that uses the resources at hand to enhance connections through co-operative action. The project is situated in the village of La Loche, near the historic voyageur highway transition between the Churchill and Athabasca Watersheds. A new story is written through design, and a healing centre is proposed to act as a catalyst for positive change in the region. The building orients habitants in a restorative way by connecting back to its specific place in the world. The work concludes by paying homage to history, while looking forward to a bright future.