THE PATH: RECONCILIATION, LEARNING, AND LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE
Successful landscape architecture projects represent the fusion of creative vision with a formal process of design, planning, and implementation. Our professional practice emerges from our world view that is informed by education, experience, cultural context, and creativity. Through an applied process we gradually master the skills of the profession by organizing place, resources and people to achieve a well-defined goal.
Achieving “reconciliation” is also a process. But there is no single definition of what “reconciliation” will mean. Reconciliation describes a state of being, defined by connections between cultures, communities and individuals in the past, the present and the future. There is no project plan and no checklist to achieve the goal. Reconciliation is a destination defined by the journey – a journey without a map to an undefined place, along paths that haven’t yet been revealed. Every First Nations, Inuit or Métis person and community in Canada has lived their own truth. Every non-Indigenous Canadian has a responsibility to acknowledge a state of reconciliation which can only be defined through their personal and professional process of seeking.
Travelling the path towards reconciliation in the design professions requires non-Indigenous professionals and our institutions to reflect on our learned approaches, our solutions based processes, and our ethics. We must look within ourselves and our profession to reflect on what needs to be learned or unlearned in order to become partners in reconciliation.
Having worked alongside Indigenous communities in the Arctic and across Canada for twenty years, Chris Grosset has learned in their classrooms, on their land, in their homes, or during their project meetings. Through this lecture he will explore the formal and informal paths towards reconciliation through learning and his practice as a landscape architect. He’ll explore how Indigenous perspectives have changed his process and principles, and reflect on practical approaches that may enable non-Indigenous design professionals to travel the path of reconciliation.