Architects pay attention to the way we live: how we do everyday things, how we define ourselves, what has meaning to us, what strengthens those connections. Using technical expertise combined with a careful sensitivity to context, we create spaces that build community strength. Homes on First Nation land often use a developer approach. Homes might be well-built (or not), but they often miss that connection to our experience as First Nation and Indigenous peoples: the way our communities live together and connect back the land. How would our communities look if our buildings were as Indigenous as we are?
Eladia Smoke | KaaSheGaaBaaWeak is Anishinaabekwe from Obishikokaang (Lac Seul First Nation), with family roots in Alderville First Nation, Winnipeg, and Toronto. Practicing architecture since 2002, she founded Smoke Architecture in 2014, and teaches at Laurentian’s McEwen School of Architecture. Her career includes principal architect with Architecture 49’s Thunder Bay office, and architect with Prairie Architects Inc.
Eladia is on the Unceded international team of Indigenous architects, who will represent Canada at the 2018 Venice Biennale exhibition of international architecture. Past projects include APTN studios, Migiizi Agamik Aboriginal Student Centre at University of Manitoba, and Makoonsag Intergenerational Learning Centre. Current work includes community centre, office, and multi-family residential projects with First Nation clients, including new construction, adaptive re-use, community engagement, and feasibility studies.