INDIGENOUS LEARNERS CENTRE
Location Saint Paul University, Ottawa ON
Client Saint Paul University
Size 1700 sf
Saint Paul University Indigenous Learners Center (ILC) has been conceived as a gathering space for students, faculty, staff, and the community to facilitate the understanding of Indigenous culture and history, provide support and a culturally welcoming and safe space for Indigenous learners, and in many ways, serve as a home-away-from-home for Indigenous students coming from rural and remote communities. Saint Paul University is uniquely situated between the Rideau River and the Rideau Canal in the centre of the City of Ottawa. The rivers of Ottawa have historically been important routes for commerce, cultural exchange, and transportation.
The design for the Saint Paul University Indigenous Learning Center (ILC) is based on an abstraction of this watery landscape. The two rivers can be used as a metaphor of the journey of two peoples - like the story of the Two Row Wampum belt.
The Two Row Wampum belt is a symbolic record of the first agreement between Europeans and First Nations people on Turtle Island. The agreement outlined a commitment to friendship and peace between people living perpetually in parallel, with each party recognizing the other as an equal partner.