SUDBURY, ONTARIO—Perkins&Will is pleased to announce the recipients of the studio’s Architecture Excellence and Graduate Architecture awards for Indigenous students enrolled in the Bachelor and Master programs at Laurentian University’s McEwen School of Architecture. The two new annual scholarships were created as part of the studio’s commitment to reconciliation in Canada. Matched in available years by Indspire—Canada’s national, award-winning Indigenous registered charity—students will be awarded up to $5,000 for each scholarship. Recipients will also be granted an internship at Perkins&Will’s donor studio in either Vancouver or Calgary.
“Indigenous peoples are underrepresented in architecture with less than thirty professionals registered in Canada. We created these scholarships to support talented students to graduation and build capacity within the field,” says Susan Gushe, principal and managing director of the Vancouver and Calgary studios of Perkins&Will.
The awards were conceived in response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada: Calls to Action report. Further demonstrating its commitment, the studio developed an internal Reconciliation Working Group and engages with Indigenous consultants to speak with and educate employees around knowledge of Indigenous culture and history. The studio continues to advocate to bring Indigenous peoples to the table and to involve them in projects in a meaningful way.
“The McEwen School of Architecture is proud of its tri-cultural mandate with Indigenous learning embedded in many courses throughout the program and members of Indigenous communities, Knowledge Carriers, and Elders contributing regularly in design and theory courses. The McEwen School of Architecture is proud of the students and graduates who have chosen to learn, apply, and respectfully engage to support further knowledge and design with and for Indigenous peoples,” said Dr. Tammy Gaber, director and associate professor at Laurentian University’s McEwen School of Architecture.
As the only University in Canada with a tri-cultural mandate, Laurentian offers a comprehensive approach to Indigenous education. Indigenous worldviews and knowledge are present in courses and community settings throughout the program. Design studio options include ‘Architecture and Craft,’ ‘Indigenous Design’ or ‘Community Building’ and emphasis is placed on developing expertise in wood and sustainable materials.
“We are pleased to be working in partnership with Perkins&Will and Laurentian University on this important initiative. These scholarships not only represent a significant new opportunity for First Nations, Inuit, and Métis students who want to pursue careers in architecture, it is also a tangible sign of reconciliation in action. We look forward to walking this productive path together with Perkins&Will and Laurentian University,” says Mike DeGagné, president and CEO of Indspire.