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Breaking news about our ongoing initiatives around the country to promote culturally, economically, and environmentally sustainable native communities.
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SPRING 2018

SANTA FE, New Mexico | Happy spring to all of our readers! This year, we welcome Chandler Willie to the SNCC team as our inaugural SNCC Fellow. Chandler is a husband and a father from Tiisnazbas, Navajo Nation, and will be supporting SNCC as we expand our portfolio and offer more services to tribal communities around the country. We’re also excited to share that Joseph was named one of the 50 Grist Fixers, a group of people who are cooking up the boldest, most ambitious solutions to humanity's biggest challenges. If you are looking to find hope in our collective future, read more about the incredible work they are doing.

Lastly, the projects we share below would not be possible without individual contributions. If you like what you read, please take a moment to support our work directly with a
tax-deductible donation. Your support will contribute to our capacity-building efforts in the various communities that we working around Indian Country. Thank you!

BRIDGING BOUNDARIES EXHIBITION LAUNCHES AT THE CORCORAN SCHOOL OF THE ARTS

Washington, DC | This March, we opened our first exhibition 'Bridging Boundaries - Conversations with Native America' at the Corcoran School of Arts and Design at George Washington University. The exhibit charges architecture, art, and design practitioners with the task of addressing the nation’s most divisive and pressing issues through design resilience activities, project exhibits, and visionary conversations that call into question the makeup of our built environment. It poses the question: how can design inspire social and cultural paradigm shifts by re-imagining these spaces as geographies of peaceful discourse and reconciliation? 'Bridging Boundaries' documents and exhibits works of art by those who are working overtly or subversively across a spectrum of design tactics ranging from policy and community planning to the development of alternative building typologies. It has been meaningful to share this work with students, artists, and the larger Washington, D.C. community.

AKWESASNE HOMES ECO-VILLAGE IN THE MOHAWK NATION

Hogansburg, NY | Later this month, the SNCC team will present the final conceptual designs for the Akwesasne Homes project to Akwesasne Housing Authority (AHA) staff at the Mohawk Nation at Akwesasne. Nathaniel Corum, Joseph Kunkel, and board member Ed Rosenthal will propose designs for a 70-unit, 60-acre eco-village on tribal lands. This community presentation represents the culmination of a two-year process to attain a schematic master plan for the development of a culturally and environmentally sustainable neighborhood while addressing the critical housing and job shortage faced by the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe.

The SNCC designs are based upon the conversations and observations from four site visits and three community engagement meetings with members of the tribe 
at the AHA. We’ll be presenting phased master site plans with integrated circulation, utilities and ecological infrastructure as well as a range of architectural designs and housing prototypes building upon Akwesasne cultural protocols and expressed community needs and preferences. This collaboration is made possible by the AHA’s successful application for Section 4 Community Development funding through Enterprise Community Partners.

It has been an amazing process to get to know the people and land at Akewesasne and it is an honor to be trusted with the early design work for this exciting community development. We look forward to continuing the design and implementation process with the AHA team to realize the eco-village in the years to come.

 

MOHAWK CULTURAL LANDSCAPE STUDIO AT CORNELL

Ithaca, NY |
In support of the Akwesasne Ecovillage project, Mohawk tribal members and SNCC team members visited Cornell University in late March to see student-designed landscape strategies based on the project SNCC is working on with the Akwesasne Housing Authority (AHA). In the course of a mid-term design review, the Cornell students pinned up drawings and presented their ideas to Mohawk tribal members and Joseph Kunkel and Nathaniel Corum of the SNCC.


The design review gathering included Akwesasne Boys and Girls Club (ABGC) youth members, Joanne Jocko of the ABGC and Kevin King from the AHA as well as two tribal members currently studying at Cornell. These Akwesasne community members participated in a lively discussion with the Cornell students about their presentations and went on to describe landscape elements, such as sports fields, open space and garden areas, that the ABGC participants would like to see at the Akwesasne EcoVillage. 

The student work was impressive! We want to thank the student participants at the
Cornell University Department of Landscape Architecture led by Professor Kathryn Gleason with teaching assistants Tess Ruswick and Andrew Berger. We look forward to the continued studio input and anticipate that many of the design studio ideas and conversations will inform the design of the Akwesasne Ecovillage.

VISITINGS HOSTED BY ALAN NAKAGAWA

Los Angeles, CA | Alan Nakagawa recently interviewed SNCC's Joseph Kunkel on the VISITINGS Radio Show, a curated series of artist interview sessions. VISITINGS focuses on artists who are creating work outside of the museum/gallery context. Joseph and Alan discuss SNCC's work in community design, creative placemaking in Indian Country and the range of SNCC's art and community collaborations and site specific public interest design work. You can listen to Alan’s interview with Joseph here on Soundcloud. The show also airs on DUBLABS 99.1 FM in Los Angeles and is part of the Echo Park Film Center's curated series OPTICAL TRACK.

Thank you for reading our quarterly newsletter and for your interest in SNCC and culturally and environmentally responsive design!
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