The indigenous worldview is centered on individual responsibility, respect and self-worth. It is based on peace, harmony, love and contribution, represented by a circle, where each individual is considered noble, with inherent power and sovereignty. Our worldview follows natural law, and I believe its principles are best embodied in the build environment through the practice and expression of organic architecture. Throughout my life I have also found this worldview stands in contrast to the colonial worldview built on hierarchical systems of power and control. My elders, and my connection with the traditional indigenous way of bringing a shared vision into reality from the bottom up, has informed both my architectural my political work throughout my career. It is a worldview that, I believe, has something critical and timely to offer to all of human society for the benefit of our relationship with the land, and all of our lifegivers.
Born in Calgary, Alberta, DOUGLAS CARDINAL's architectural studies at The University of British Columbia took him to Austin, Texas, where he achieved his architectural degree and found a life experience in human rights initiatives. Cardinal became a forerunner of philosophies of sustainability, green buildings and ecologically designed community planning. His architecture springs from his observation of Nature and its understanding that everything works seamlessly together. In recognition of such work, Cardinal has received many national and international awards. He is a member of the Order of Canada and was declared a "World Master of Contemporary Architecture" by the International Association of Architecture.
A special fund in memory of former St. Jerome's University professor,
Laurence A. Cummings.