Architect selected for TTO’s Mohawk Language Cultural Centre
Tsi Tyónnheht Onkwawén:na names Brook McIlroy's Indigenous Design Studio
Tsi Tyónnheht Onkwawén:na (TTO), a non-profit organization based inTyendinaga, Ontario, has selected the Indigenous Design Studio Indigenous Design Studio of Toronto-based Brook McIlroy to design its new Cultural Centre, once funding is confirmed.
The future Kenhtè:ke Language and Cultural Centre, proposed for Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory in Tyendinaga, would house TTO’s school programs, an outdoor playground for the students, and a replica of a traditional Longhouse. The project is currently seeking federal and community support.
“This is a major step forward for our project and a moment of celebration for our community,” says Callie Hill, executive director for TTO. “We are nearing shovel ready and awaiting the outcome of our applications for the funds necessary to bring this project to life.”
The Indigenous Design Studio of Brook McIlroy is a team of Indigenous architects, landscape architects, and designers who provide full-scope architectural design services to clients to infuse projects with an Indigenous perspective. The Indigenous Design Studio is led by principal Ryan Gorrie, an Anishinaabe architect based in Brook McIlroy’s Winnipeg office.
“Buildings and landscapes are important cornerstones for communities to teach language and culture,” says Gorrie. “We are honoured for the opportunity to help Tsi Tyónnheht Onkwawén:na realize their vision.”
The Mohawk language (Kenhtè:ke) is considered endangered, with less than 2,500 speakers in Canada and the United States. While the number of first-language speakers is declining across all Mohawk territories, the population of Indigenous Peoples in Canada is growing. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission 2015 final report called for the establishment of more education and cultural spaces to reverse the decline of Indigenous languages in Canada.
TTO continues to fundraise and speak with government representatives about the Cultural Centre and its Mohawk Language campaign. More information about the project and ways to support it are available here.