Toronto Metropolitan University
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An elemental architecture: water stewardship in Hiawatha First Nation

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posted on 2021-05-23, 13:57 authored by LeeAnn Pallett
Dozens of First Nations in Canada lack access to safe and secure water resources. This thesis proposes the decentralization of water treatment in First Nations, and explores how architecture might integrate and decentralize water collection, purification, and storage strategies in Hiawatha First Nation. It simultaneously explores the very deep and layered spiritual connection between women and water in Anishinaabe culture. Feminist theory is used as a lens through which the research and design is approached. Synthesizing vernacular strategies with contemporary technologies led to the development of a regionally sensitive architecture that creates much needed space for purification, healing, and growth of the community and the individual. The Pimaadashkodeyaang Cultural Centre in Hiawatha First Nation investigates Anishinaabe architecture and culture, feminist theory and space, and water and productive landscapes. Multiple design strategies emerged that inform how to design with water from both a pragmatic and mythopoetic perspective.





  • Master of Architecture


  • Architecture

Granting Institution

Ryerson University

LAC Thesis Type

  • Thesis