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Title: Re-establishing reciprocal relationships with the land: designing regenerative developments on Six Nations Reserve through the application of Haudenosaunce Ecological Knowledge (HEK)
Authors: McGee, Taylor
Keywords: Traditional ecological knowledge (TEK);Haudenosaunce ecological knowledge (HEK);Scientific ecological knowledge (SEK);Indigenous knowledge (IK);regenerative design and developments;systems thinking;stewardship;receprocity;sustainability;Longhouse;village;Haudenosaunce;Six Nations;Six Nations of the Grand River;retrofitting the reserve
Issue Date: 31-Jul-2020
Abstract: This Thesis pursuit explores how Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK) can inform sustainable land management and architectural development strategies that perform reciprocally with the land, forming harmonious relations with the natural environment. Situated within the Six Nations of the Grand River Reserve located in southern Ontario, the Haudenosaunee will be the cultural focus of the study. For the Haudenosaunee, maintaining a respectful relationship with Mother Earth isn’t just a lifestyle, it is a central component to their culture and identity, while serving as a necessity to achieving healthy minds, bodies and spirits. Although Six Nation’s Reserves built environment has been in fl uenced by settler culture and development. As a result, the environments aren’t conducive to Haudenosaunee value systems and promotes a hyper-individualistic ownership of property that produces segregated communities while allocating hardly any land for communal or recreational use or nature preserves. Titled ‘Re-establishing Reciprocal Relationships with the Land: Designing Regenerative Developments on Six Nations Reserve Through the Application of Haudenosaunee Ecological Knowledge (HEK),’ this Thesis pursuit revolves around utilizing Haudenosaunee Ecological Knowledge (HEK) in modern applications to inform regenerative strategies for sustainable design that reinterprets Six Nations current westernized built environment that is based on a colonialist method of developing the land. Through more of a land-based approach, regenerative systems will take advantage of natural processes of the land while enhancing and remediating the ecological conditions, producing environments that form reciprocal relations with the land. This land-based learning approach also begins both to question, as well as to think and re-conceptualize the current Six Nations gridalinear, westernized landscapes to better align with Haudenosaunee perspectives. The architectural vehicle for the exploration of employing HEK is through the design of a Land Based Learning Center with accompanying facilities of a Transitional Housing Center and the Elderly Care Facility. With the Land Based Learning Center serving as the programmatic anchor of the three architectures, the intent is to produce a regenerative development that achieves selfsufficiency and resiliency, centered around Haudenosaunee ways of keeping balance with Mother Earth in a contemporary context. In doing so, a new community development will be conceived that maintains reciprocal relationships with the surrounding ecology of Six Nations while developing infrastructures that empower the local community and promote self-determination. The intent of the Land Based learning center is to serve as a cultural and educational hub that operates both locally as well as across North America, serving as an outreach center for Six Nations community members both on and off reserve, as well as North American Indigenous people and enlightened mainstream individuals. The Center’s goal is to actively preserve and rekindle Six Nations connections with traditional values, teachings and ceremonies surrounding ecological knowledge and skill sets of harvesting and cultivating the land, while reinforcing the signifi cance of traditional knowledge in a contemporary context. The facility provides social, educational, and therapeutic programming that reinforce the signifi cance of maintaining close and respectful relationships with Mother Earth as a necessity to achieving healthy minds, bodies and spirits. In addition, the facility provides consultation services to home owners, builders, and developers both on and off the reserve as well as Six Nations Council on how traditional teachings and HEK can be reinforced in a contemporary context to inform sustainable land management and regenerative development strategies. Overall, the development of the Land Based Learning Center with accompanying housing facilities will inform Six Nations members and broader society on how to perform reciprocal relations with the land while actively reaching to increase the number of Six Nations members living on reserve by providing affordable housing for displaced Indigenous members.
Appears in Collections:Architecture - Master's Theses
Master's Theses

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