In 2015, the Edmonton Indigenous Cultural Resource Centre proposed to the City of Edmonton a concept for creating a permanent urban site for cultural ceremonies, events and knowledge sharing for both Indigenous and non-Indigenous people. The City collaborated to secure a site on the former Fox Farms land, and thus the kihciy askiy project emerged.
Kihciy askiy, meaning “Sacred Earth”, provides a beautiful, land-based context for the inter-generational learning, community engagement, and collaboration that are so essential to Indigenous culture. The site facilitates important events, such as sweat lodges and ceremonial feasts, while also supporting the exchange of traditional knowledge, such as the growing of medicinal herbs and other land-based learning opportunities.
JOINED WITH THE EARTH
Kihciy askiy’s fundamental connectedness to the earth is illustrated in its unique architecture. The buildings do not merely sit on the land, but merge with it. The building forms are minimalist, literally and metaphorically integrated with nature, and boast an exceptional sustainability profile. Using organic and locally-sourced materials, the structures are oriented for maximum solar gain and boast contemporary design innovations, including photovoltaic panels. Kihciy askiy will be operated by the Indigenous Knowledge and Wisdom Centre, IKWC, in an agreement with the City of Edmonton.