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Wpg Free Press: Reconnecting with the land

October 30, 2017 — 

As the Winnipeg Free Press reports on alumni David Thomas [B.Env.D./2000, M.Arch./2007] and his daughter Cheyenne [B.Env.D./2013]:

When design consultants David Thomas and his daughter Cheyenne were asked to help develop the Indigenous Peoples’ Garden — one of the gardens that will make up Canada’s Diversity Gardens at Assiniboine Park — he began thinking about the project the way an environmental designer would: with a sketch.

He didn’t think about shiny new buildings. He was thinking about the word Assiniboine.

“Assiniboine is a Cree word, which means the stone people, the people who cook with stones,” he says.

“So I created this big field of stones that signified the rocks people would cook on.”

He left the drawing in his sketchbook, but revisited it during a consultation workshop.

“You think of Assiniboine Park, Assiniboine Credit Union, Assiniboine River — you think of it as kind of a corporate, commercial name,” he says. “But when we looked at the sketch and took that word and put it into the context of what it represented, it kind of blew everyone’s minds to see this image. It took the word Assiniboine and created a different identity.”

The Assiniboine Park Conservancy’s vision for the Indigenous Peoples’ Garden was to create an inclusive gathering space that would honour Indigenous perspectives, traditions and culture.

Read the full story here. 

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