Year in Review: Indigenous architects left a mark on more than the land

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Already passionate about architecture and the natural world, writing about Indigenous architects became my most meaningful story of the year.

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From Earth to Sky is a documentary about seven Indigenous architects who collectively represented Turtle Island at the 2018 Venice Architecture Biennale where the best talents of the world converged.

Two of them, Douglas Cardinal, who studied under Frank Lloyd Wright, and Wanda Dalla Costa, hail from Alberta. There’s a harmony in their work, not from superficial aesthetics but shared values of loving and respecting this earth — it’s essential to our wellness, and this reminder refreshed my soul as we reemerged from isolation.

Months later, I met Cardinal when he announced the Biennale project, Unceded: Voices of the Land , would be in Edmonton next spring. It was clear his greatness has been realized by tenacity in the face of adversity, a commitment to his purpose and an unshakable faith in these lessons passed down from his elders. This wisdom will stay with me, and it’s been a privilege to share it.

jfeniak@postmedia.com

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