Closing Soon: Kahnowiilyaa / Everyone

by Shelby Smith

There is only one week left to see Kahnowiilyaa / Everyone at the Douglas Family Art Centre before it closes on November 4th.

In this exhibition, Fourth year architecture students from the Faculty of Architecture at the University of Manitoba were tasked to look at how the process of design can be used to strengthen community, while discussing homelessness. Their goal was to use the process of design to unify academics, cultural guides and people with lived experience in homelessness.

Included at the start of the exhibition is a definition of Indigenous homelessness:

Indigenous homelessness is a human condition that describes First Nations, Métis, and Inuit individuals, families or communities lacking stable, permanent, appropriate housing, or the immediate prospect, means or ability to acquire such housing.  Unlike the common colonialist definition of homelessness, Indigenous homelessness is not defined as lacking a structure of habitation; rather, it is more fully described and understood through a composite lens of Indigenous worldview.  These include: individuals, families, and communities isolated from their relationships, cultures, languages and identities.  Importantly, Indigenous people experiencing these kinds of homelessness cannot culturally, spiritually, emotionally or physically reconnect with their Indigeneity or lost relationships (Aboriginal Standing Committee on Housing and Homelessness, 2012).

The group notes that:

By prioritizing colonial practices, communities have experienced a disconnect from tradition, leaving many Indigenous communities and individuals out of balance. Social policies continue to encourage the abandonment of Indigenous tradition and culture. If sustainable housing is to be addressed, a new methodology and approach is needed, one that returns to culture and tradition.

Both Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities have an important role to play in reconciliation.  

The works presented in Kahnowiilyaa (Everyone) explore and represent a collective voice, prepared to identify and reduce systemic and organizational barriers to housing and find forward-thinking solutions for the transformation of housing and healing services.

Click here to learn more about Kahnowiilyaa / Everyone.

The Douglas Family Art Centre is open Tuesday – Saturday, 10am – 5pm.  

Did you know?

Kenora was once claimed by Ontario and by Manitoba. Both provinces claimed the area between 1878 and 1884. The case was resolved in 1884 by Queen Victoria’s Privy Council, the highest court in the world at the time.