Presentation Title

Integrating Traditional Sustainability Knowledge into Housing in Indigenous Communities

Format of Presentation

15-minute lecture to be presented the Saturday of the conference

Presenter Information

Stephanie TourandFollow

Location

IB 1015

Start Date

30-3-2019 12:15 PM

End Date

30-3-2019 12:30 PM

Abstract

As part of the Interdisciplinary Studies program, I have created a thesis on traditional environmental sustainability and ways we can practice stewardship in the housing system on reserves. I think environmental sustainability is more than just protecting mother earth; it is also protecting that sacred part in ourselves. “In Indian country, ecological and cultural restoration are intimately entwined and vital to the health and well-being of Native American communities” (Nelson, 2008). Indigenous people have shared values, spiritual connections and cultural stories embedded in mother earth; protecting our mother means protecting the umbilical cord that binds us to her as an intimate link.

Given that ecological sustainability is vital for sustainable culture, health, spirituality, and, well, basic survival, it is becoming a priority for many nations. I am going to put the argument forward to start implementing sustainable values into reserve homes in modern ways to help heal mother earth, but also to improve our connections to her as we modify or tear down these literal colonial structures to make room for more awareness of the environment within our homes.

In my thesis, I examine the current state of housing in Indigenous communities in Canada and discuss any problems that might be prevalent (ie. the prevalence of overcrowding and the potential health risks it could cause, reasons why the historical implementation of colonial style homes clashed with the indigenous lifestyle and environmental conditions, etc.). From there I examine current usage of sustainable building practices in local communities and the feasibility, environmental benefits, and impact on citizen well-being these technologies could have if they were to be more widely implemented. The housing crisis on reserves continues to be a major problem with no clear solution; I believe this needs to be addressed with more creative ideas to increase the well being of Indigenous peoples.

The state of one’s housing situation can greatly affect one’s life outside the home (overcrowding leading to tension or fighting, mold leading to health issues etc). I think that if people want to address some of the complex problems people on reserve face, it makes the most sense to start with making sure they have a solid home.

Department

Interdisciplinary Studies

Faculty Advisor

Lisa Cooke & Tracy Penny Light

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Mar 30th, 12:15 PM Mar 30th, 12:30 PM

Integrating Traditional Sustainability Knowledge into Housing in Indigenous Communities

IB 1015

As part of the Interdisciplinary Studies program, I have created a thesis on traditional environmental sustainability and ways we can practice stewardship in the housing system on reserves. I think environmental sustainability is more than just protecting mother earth; it is also protecting that sacred part in ourselves. “In Indian country, ecological and cultural restoration are intimately entwined and vital to the health and well-being of Native American communities” (Nelson, 2008). Indigenous people have shared values, spiritual connections and cultural stories embedded in mother earth; protecting our mother means protecting the umbilical cord that binds us to her as an intimate link.

Given that ecological sustainability is vital for sustainable culture, health, spirituality, and, well, basic survival, it is becoming a priority for many nations. I am going to put the argument forward to start implementing sustainable values into reserve homes in modern ways to help heal mother earth, but also to improve our connections to her as we modify or tear down these literal colonial structures to make room for more awareness of the environment within our homes.

In my thesis, I examine the current state of housing in Indigenous communities in Canada and discuss any problems that might be prevalent (ie. the prevalence of overcrowding and the potential health risks it could cause, reasons why the historical implementation of colonial style homes clashed with the indigenous lifestyle and environmental conditions, etc.). From there I examine current usage of sustainable building practices in local communities and the feasibility, environmental benefits, and impact on citizen well-being these technologies could have if they were to be more widely implemented. The housing crisis on reserves continues to be a major problem with no clear solution; I believe this needs to be addressed with more creative ideas to increase the well being of Indigenous peoples.

The state of one’s housing situation can greatly affect one’s life outside the home (overcrowding leading to tension or fighting, mold leading to health issues etc). I think that if people want to address some of the complex problems people on reserve face, it makes the most sense to start with making sure they have a solid home.