“Caring for and living on the land is a way of being. ᐊᖏᕐᕋᒧᑦ (angirramut) in Inuktitut or ruovttu guvlui in Sámi means ‘towards home.’ To move towards home is to reflect on where Inuit and Sámi people find home, on what their connections to their land means, and on what those relationships could look like into the future. Spacemaking and placemaking have the potential to create meaningful and long-lasting connections between Indigenous architects and designers across homelands in the North and South. The co-curators acknowledge that the work of deepening architecture’s engagement with Indigenous designers and their communities needs to above all centre the knowledge and experiences of being at home on the land.
“ᐊᖏᕐᕋᒧᑦ / Ruovttu Guvlui / Towards Home proceeds through a series of open and future-oriented questions to explore what it means for Indigenous peoples to design with and be at home on the land: What could home become across Inuit Nunangat, Sápmi and the North more generally when defined by Indigenous architects and designers? Where do homelands begin?” — (ᐊᖏᕐᕋᒧᑦ / Ruovttu Guvlui / Towards Home curatorial statement, https://www.cca.qc.ca/en/events/82781/ruovttu-guvlui-towards-home)
Inuit Futures Ilinniaqtuk Nicole Luke took up a position as a research assistant on the project in January 2021 during her final year as a Master of Architecture student at the University of Manitoba. Working closely with the curatorial team, Nicole’s main responsibility is leading the design and execution of an Indigenous-led seminar and charette entitled, Futurecasting: Indigenous-led Architecture and Design in the Arctic. Indigenous architecture students and emerging practitioners from across Turtle Island, Inuit Nunangat and Sámpi territory will engage with Indigenous architects, designers and knowledge keepers in a series of online seminars and discussions, concluding with a week-long workshop in Sápmi territory, Norway in Spring 2022. Throughout the project, participants will compile sketchbooks and create speculative design projects while being out on the land, which will be exhibited in ᐊᖏᕐᕋᒧᑦ / Ruovttu Guvlui / Towards Home. Rather than striving for fully-resolved design projects, Futurecasting seeks to fill the gallery with “ideas, imagination and concepts of Indigenous architecture in the North, for the future of Indigenous architecture as defined by Indigenous practitioners.” (https://www.cca.qc.ca/en/events/82781/ruovttu-guvlui-towards-home)
By partnering with Inuit Futures, the CCA aims to both recognize their own positionality as a settler institution within the Canadian cultural scene, as well as to provide Inuit Futures with solid and wide-reaching connections within the fields of architecture and design. Associate director of research at the CCA, Rafico Ruiz, became a mentor with Inuit Futures as a way of recognizing and making space for Indigenous-led initiatives within institutional spaces. He hopes to continue to actively foster settler accountability by promoting the cross-pollination of perspectives in the way that research is framed and executed in his work at the CCA and beyond. As a partner institution, the CCA provides opportunities for Inuit Futures Ilinniaqtuit and alumni to amplify their voices and perspectives through access to its substantial collection, fellowship programs, active research agenda, and exhibition spaces.
Futurecasting: Indigenous-led Architecture and Design in the Arctic workshop participants:
Robyn Adams, University of British Columbia
Berit Kristine Andersen Guvsám, Sámi University of Applied Sciences
Jenni Hakovirta, Oulu School of Architecture
Johanna Minde, Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Laila Susanna Kuhmunen, Sámi University of Applied Sciences
Andrea McIntosh, Carleton University
Reanna Merastry, Architectural Intern, Number Ten Architectural Group
Naomi Ratte, University of Manitoba
Magnus Antaris Tuolja, University of Gothenburg
The Canadian Centre for Architecture (CCA) is a global research institution and museum located in Tiohtià:ke/Montréal, QC. Inuit Futures in Arts Leadership is partnered with Rafico Ruiz, associate director of research at the CCA. By partnering with Inuit Futures, the CCA aims to both recognize their own positionality as a settler institution within the Canadian cultural scene, as well as to provide Inuit Futures with solid and wide reaching connections within the fields of architecture and design. The CCA hopes to provide opportunities for Ilinniaqtuit and alumni to amplify their voices and perspectives through access to its substantial collection, fellowship programs, active research agenda, and exhibition spaces.
Michelle Sones is a white settler graduate student born and raised in Tiohtiá:ke/Montréal. She completed her BFA in Art History at Concordia University in 2019, where she continues to study in the MA program under the supervision of Dr. Heather Igloliorte. Her MA research on institutions and Indigenous artist-run spaces is supported through the SSHRC Joseph-Armand Bombardier Canada Graduate Scholarship for 2019-2020, and the FRQSC Bourse Maîtrise en recherche for 2020-2021. Michelle is the Online Content Editor for Inuit Futures in Arts Leadership: The Pilimmaksarniq/Pijariuqsarniq Project.
This story is part of the Inuit Futures in Arts Leadership: The Pilimmaksarniq/Pijariuqsarniq Project Spotlight. View more content from the Spotlight here.