Client: Ouje-Bougoumou Crees
Location: Ouje-Bougoumou Quebec
Area: 570 Acres
“When we began to seriously plan our new village, we started with a vision.
The essential thrust of that vision was to recreate the well-being of our traditional way of life to the fullest extent in the context of modern facilities and contemporary institutions.
In our traditional way of life there were no formal distinctions between work and play, between teaching and learning, between the richness of family ties and the establishment of specific roles for people, nor for that matter between healing and daily life. Daily life itself was infused with elements of learning, healing, play and a deeply rich network of social relationships.
Our new village would have to be a source of learning, a source of spiritual renewal, a source of physical and economic sustenance, and a source for the healing of many wounds, both past and present. And all this would be embedded in the context of our traditional Cree ways of relating to one another.
Throughout our planning and construction the community members have participated at every level of decision making and direction-setting, from the expression of hopes, dreams and visions, to decisions on more technical matters involving the direction of basic construction issues.
Successful aboriginal development requires that we always keep in mind that the Creator gave us hearts to have vision, minds to devise solutions to problems and hands to build our communities. It was on the basis of this set of beliefs that we undertook a unique approach to the village architecture, the design of our innovative housing program, the installation of an appropriate alternative energy system and devised our current economic development plans.”