Mar 1, 2009
The Tyee – Can architecture help kids learn better? Or at the very least, can it make them not hate school? That question burns most intensely in places where architecture historically has been the enemy, the nation’s aboriginal reserves, isolated and shadowed by the dark legacy of residential schools. It’s been 20 years since an architect and civil servant named Marie-Odile Marceau challenged the way First Nations schools were designed and delivered in this province. As a new hire of the provincial government, Marceau rejected the cookie-cutter schools trucked in from afar, and brought in the best B.C. architects to work with local bands. The thesis: aboriginal kids and kin would find inspiration and empowerment in the architecture informed by their own culture and input.