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When states design : making space on native reserves Subedar, Mary 2005

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WHEN S T A T E S DESIGN: Making Space on Native Reserves By: Mary Subedar M.Arch., The University of Manitoba, 1989 B.E.S.,The University of Manitoba, 1985 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF T H E . REQUIREMENTS FOR T H E D E G R E E OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY in THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES (GEOGRAPHY) at THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA July 15, 2005. © Mary Subedar, 2005 Abstract Canada's reserve system lias reconfigured Aboriginal life in terms dictated by the state. This has been particularly true of reserve architecture. It has flattened Aboriginal architectures into a single repetitive form and lias permanently altered the context and nature of Aboriginal life. This thesis examines only a few reserves in Manitoba, but they are broadly representative of all others in the province and. indeed, across the country. It comprises three essays about the physical properties of reserves and their modern systems of production. The first describes the tangible physical human landscapes of reserves: the buildings, their arrangements in space, the patterns of circulation that connect them and the land uses tlial surround them. It reveals isolated and strangled settlement patterns, severed from the context that would ensure their sustenance, and at more intimate scales, random layouts of ready-made foreign forms. Although these problems have been widely acknowledged, they continue to be replicated. Another essay records a state driven design process for a new reserve. The process is restricted by the provincial government's control of resources, by the federal Department of Indian and Northern Affair's bureaucratic methods, by profit-seeking consultants, and by the status of Aboriginal people as wards of the state. Together these factors subordinate the interests of Aboriginal communities. A third essay discusses the transformation of reserve house production from a process of local creation to government provision. Aboriginal people, now with substantial borrowing power, are consumers of large-scale government housing schemes that serve a growing industry of building product and service providers. The trend promotes an architecture that is dependent on outside knowledge, drives many communities into debt, and forfeits the empowering capacity of local building traditions. These essays describe a system of reserve production that Aboriginal people neither own nor control, is inordinately expensive, and solves virtually none of the problems of reserve life. Yet without options, most Aboriginal people comply. Government bureaucrats adhere to illogical planning guidelines. Consultants market inappropriate design and technology to communities facing few alternatives, and the provinces control resource access, denying reserves an economic base. The system results in a familiar pattern of subversive reserve space. Table of Contents Introduction 1 1 Indifferent forms 2 33 Borders 35 Housing 46 Materials 57 Band office and community hall 61 The center: church, school and petroforms 70 Pathways and in-betweens 77 Sweat lodges and teepee villages 80 Conclusion 95 Recreating Hollow Water 3 98 Reserve planning history 100 Origins of the new reserve 105 Planning the new reserve 126 Experts and information 161 The reserve plan 164 Conclusion 177 Buying design 4 181 Evolution of the government house 1959-2003 182 Two Canada Mortgage and Housing conferences 201 Conclusion 213 Conclusions 5 216 Bibliography 6 228 in Acknowledgements I would like to thank a number of communities and individuals to whom I am indebted and who overlooked their well warranted suspicions of researchers to talk to me. The Wawayseecappo, Roseau River, Grand Rapids, Chemawawin, Brokenhead, Hollow Water, Keeseekowenin, and Dakota Tipi reserves granted me the privilege to peer into their territories armed with a camera, and local housing councilors shared the knowledge of issues facing their communities. The people of Hollow Water, in particular, allowed my participation in local events and welcomed me into their homes. These include; Chief Larry Barker, Ferlin Barker, Gary Raven, Marcel Hardisty, Norbert Hardisty, Danny and Marianne Monias, Yvonne Barker, Lorraine Monias, Kathy Bjork, Ian Bushie, Patsy Monias, Alice Bushie, Henry and Isabel Phillips, Valde Seymour (from Seymourville) and other community members that I have surely overlooked. Ray and Louise Raven, with whom I resided, I especially thank for the many enlightening conversations about reserve housing and buildings we shared. Chief Andrew Colomb, and Headman John Colomb of the Marcel Colomb First Nation enabled my "sitting at the table" to observe a government planning process firsthand. They opened the door to the closed and bureaucratic processes described in chapter 3 that otherwise would have been entirely out of my reach. I relied heavily on John, a leader and storyteller who unselfishly shared valuable stories about the tent village history, origins of the new reserve, and his own remarkable life. The band status information was embellished by Ray Bayer. Elder Dominique Hart, of the Mathias Colomb First Nation, provided critical background regarding Aboriginal occupation and lifestyle prior to the arrival of Sherritt Gordon Mining in Lynn Lake, and Brad Stoneman from the Northwest Development Corporation in Lynn Lake informed me of current development issues in the region. A number of past and present Indian and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC) employees, who wish not to be named, have discussed INAC policy off the record and procedure, and Doug Kirfwood, INAC's regional planner during the 1980s provided much of the information pertaining to INAC's short-lived planning division. I am grateful to two INAC Information Access officers who stuck their necks out by simply providing data on INAC capital spending. Seventeen local architectural firms willingly participated in surveys and interviews providing insights into reserve planning and its interface with the construction industry from their unique perspective. Assistance iv with illustrations and maps was provided expeditiously by Simon Haxby from Manitoba Hydro and Norma Kohl and Janice Land from Natural Resources Canada. Bev Phillips copy edited the manuscript in the last minute. I have been privileged to work under the direction of four highly distinguished scholars, Dr. Cole Harris, Dr. Geraldine Pratt, Dr. Richard Vedan and Dr. John Borrows. This thesis was shaped by all of their intellectual contributions. Gerry and Cole helped formulate the "whole" which I often could not see. They continuously challenged my assumptions, and they gave many half-baked ideas both depth and organization. I am especially grateful to Cole Harris, the committee chair, for granting me a place in the UBC Geography Department, for his skillful and repeated editing of my rough text, for his endless fortitude, for his own writing that I have admired and used as reference, and for his belief in this work. He is, by far, the most supportive teacher I have ever met. My husband Knut, a professional architect and composer, encouraged me to begin this writing, and without him not a page would have surfaced. Knut was my continual sounding board against which almost every idea was thrown, was my main reference for the concepts on architecture in chapter 2, and patiently endured the project's excessive and intolerable delays. He is owed most dearly. Mary v o CL c o 3 One can always recognize an Aboriginal reserve in Canada.1 Wherever they are encountered they are indistinguishable, lacking attributes that might mark one from another. I often wondered about these repetitive properties and what they say about Aboriginal life in Canada. Spaces are conversant, whispering meanings. If one were to read reserves or listen to their spatial testimony one might discern something of what it means to live in Aboriginal shoes. Reading reserves unravels the special status of Aboriginal people and a way of life that exists alongside Canadian settler society. Most notably, engraved in Aboriginal space is an overbearing relationship with the state. Reserves arose from the treaty-making process2 intended to detach an indigenous population clashing with settler expansion and industrial development from most of its land. Between 1850 and 1930 many treaties between indigenous people and Canada surrendered vast tracts of Aboriginal land. Over an old geography was lain a pattern of minuscule, bounded patches on which Native people would live.3 Sustenance was largely irrelevant. Reserve life was considered a transitional phase between savagery and civilization - a phase that would be shortened by missionaries and residential schooling.4 Together, reserves formed a comprehensive organizational system, without which state management of elusive bands was nearly impossible. Reserves made visible, reshuffled, remapped, and generally gave order to formerly diffuse, roving populations that controlled large territories. A numerical registration system further fixed the organization of people in space. The Indian Register accounted for all those considered "Indian" by the state,5 linked people to bands, 1 I use the term "Aboriginal" and "First Nation" interchangeably to mean the indigenous peoples of Canada and I use the term "Indian" (now considered derogatory) only when referring to a distinct political entity created by the state of Canada. 2 Treaties were agreements between Aboriginal people and Canada as a means towards Aboriginal land surrender. They were crucial to the spread of empire in that they "freed" land for settlement by European immigrants and "freed" resources for development. 3 Many writers have illustrated this process of containment and appeasement. See Tough, As Their Natural Resources Fail... Harris, Making Native Space, Tobias, "Protection, Civilization.. .Policy." 4 The reserve system was fundamental to Canada's Aboriginal policy of civilization and assimilation. It "...was conceived as a social laboratory, where the Indian could be prepared for coping with the European....the Euro-Canadian would serve as an example of what the Indian would become, and the existence of a [bordering] town, it was thought, would attract the Indian from the reserve and into the non-Indian community...." Tobias, "Protection, Civilization...Policy" 29-30. See also Petti pas, Severing the Ties. ..Prairies 212 and Weaver, Making Canadian Indian Policy.. .for more. 5 The 1850 colonial government of Canada began lists of individuals it recognized as members of a band and these people were registered as Indians each with treaty numbers. State legislation known as the Indian Act arose at that time defining who was to be considered Indian, band membership and laws that governed the lives of Indian people. The Act remains today and "Indian" still refers to persons registered in accordance to its guidelines. In 1951 all lists of Indians kept by the state were consolidated to form an Indian Register which today is maintained by the government Department of Indian and Northern Affairs. 2 bands to treaties and treaties to mathematical land allotments. People were essentially assigned to place, in the process initiating over one hundred years of Native management. Reserves supplanted a multiplicity of precolonial architectures.6 Canadian reserve communities represent fifty-two nations, or cultural groups, and more than fifty languages, yet they are essentially homogeneous. Repetition and monotony sprang from methods of production as a centralized bureaucracy mapped and regulated reserve development. Black Elk, a renowned Sioux medicine man born in 1863, predicted these spatial consequences.7 "You shall live in small gray houses in a barren land...," he told his people.8 Black Elk lived to see the spatial reorganization of the Sioux, narrating it to poet John Neirhardt in 1930. "All our people now were settling down in square gray houses, scattered here and there across the hungry land, and around them the Wasichus [Lakota reference to Europeans] had drawn a line to keep them in.9 They were going to pen us up and make us like Wasichus."10 For Black Elk facelessness and containment were the formal manifestations of a marginalized lifestyle that would transform his people. Reserves have endured. They house 60 percent of Canada's Registered Indian population - approximately half a million people in 633 reserve communities11 - and although rare, new reserve communities still occasionally emerge. And their forms, remote and concealed from Euro-Canadian life, bear a striking resemblance to those described by Black Elk. The reproduction of Native space in modern times amidst overwhelming evidence that the pattern has failed reflects a great deal about Aboriginal /state relations in Canada. I will speak of these relations. I use three essays to describe aspects of contemporary reserve space and in so doing, to reflect on Canadian Aboriginality. In particular, I have focused on various methods of spatial 6 See Nabokov and Easton, Native American Architecture, and Arnold Koerte, Toward The Design...Forms for a description of the wide variety of precolonial Aboriginal architectures in North America. 7 See Neirhardt, Black Elk Speaks. Black Elk is considered one of the greatest holy men of North America. He was born in Wyoming and made his home on the Pine Ridge reservation in South Dakota. His life spanned the U.S. - Sioux wars including the battle at Wounded Knee in South Dakota one of the last major battles of the U.S. wars against indigenous people. His words have application in Canada, as Canada's policies of establishing bounded tracts of land for indigenous people were similar to those across the U.S. border. The border was also a colonial construct unreal to migrating bands in southern Canada and the northern U.S. who often shared ancestry. 8 John Neirhardt, Black Elk Speaks mi, 10. 9 Ibid., 214. 1 0 Ibid., 146. 1 1 Community numbers were derived from the Assembly of First Nations. Population data is according to the Indian and Northern Affairs Canada and Canadian Polar Commission Performance Report for the period ending March 31, 2003. The entire Aboriginal reserve population is elusive. The data represents only the registered Indian population and does not include non-registered people who call themselves Aboriginal. 3 production. Native space and its production reveal forces that generally constrain Aboriginal life. Put another way, a description of reserves and their making manifests the qualities of a much broader socioeconomic context within which Aboriginal people live - a bounded, institutionalized space dominated by the state. Canadian reserve communities 4 Literature Review Housing and infrastructure supply have consumed almost all the public debate surrounding reserves, overshadowing considerations of reserve space and its production. Architectural education and practice is particularly silent about Aboriginal architecture12 except as nostalgic forms severed from the realities of reserve life. The discourse is further strangled by the highly inaccessible and bureaucratic arena of government reserve planning and by the scarcity of Aboriginal architects. The planning and design literature is correspondingly meager. Much of the literature on North American Aboriginal architecture comprises ethnographic accounts of traditional structures before the establishment of reserves. It describes forms such as the teepee, wigwam, longhouse and earthen lodge, which have survived in small numbers thanks to special ceremonies, museums, and ecotourism. The most comprehensive description I have found is Nabokov and Easton's Native American Architecture.™ Most Aboriginal ethnographies, such as Mandelbaum's The Plains Cree, contain short discussions of precolonial indigenous building types.14 There is also a literature dealing with new, monumental structures, particularly educational buildings that reveal new initiatives to represent culture. Carol Krinsky's Contemporary Native American Architecture15 is an excellent example. A variety of architectural journals since the late 1980s, notably the Canadian Architect, have been quick to document the rise of monumental Aboriginal structures. These are mainly visually striking examples that seek to generate symbols and do not typify reserve space.16 Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) and the Department of Indian and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC) have produced a sizable literature dealing with housing condition, administration, policy and financing on reserves. Numerous studies appearing in the 1980s revealed the backlogs, overcrowding and extreme physical limitations of reserve housing. Such 1 2 1 use the term "architecture" broadly to mean spatial form, organization and articulation at varying scales. It therefore denotes buildings, building arrangements, pathways, perimeters and landscape manipulation. 1 3 Nabokov and Easton, Native American Architecture. See also Arnold Koerte, Toward The Design.. .Forms. 1 4 Mandelbaum, The Plains Cree.. .Study. 1 5 Kinsky, Contemporary Native American Architecture. 1 6 See for example, Graft, "Seabird Island School," Weder, "Native Intelligence," Stewart, "Designing for Canada's Native Population." 5 studies range from examinations of mold and infrastructure failures to broader reports of Canadian reserve living conditions. Two sources from the 1990s, The Health Effects Of Housing And Community Infrastructure On Canadian Indian Reserve Communities by T. Kue Young et al. and Gathering Strength: Report Of The Royal Commission On Aboriginal Peoples, offer good overviews of reserve housing.17 INAC and CMHC have occasionally generated self-critical reports of reserve housing policies. INAC's Laying the Foundations of a New ON-Reserve Housing Program Discussion Paper 1990, for example, cites a lack of Aboriginal control, inadequate supply, poor quality, high costs, rising band debt, lack of security of tenure, and insufficient economic and employment benefits as the main on-reserve housing challenges. Housing administration, financing and research have tied both CMHC and INAC to housing design, and catalogues of approved designs are published regularly to satisfy departmental funding approvals for new projects.18 Consulting firms such as Sure-West Consulting have also produced catalogues of house designs from which Aboriginal communities can choose, offering designs of bungalow and bi-level homes that match CMHC and INAC's approved house plans.19 Both departments have also produced design recipes to answer a more conceptual Aboriginal-housing problem: that government house design may be ill suited to the needs of Aboriginal people. Introducing the Crofter House and Shelter House are among several pamphlet-style publications since the 1980s that aim to improve the government-approved house with a new and universal Aboriginal house design.20 David Reich's Design Criteria for Native Housing in Canada21 is a series of design steps written for the non-Aboriginal designer to improve reserve housing. It is a useful set of instructions for northern design that occasionally mentions Aboriginal people's needs, if in highly generalized terms. Other CMHC sources investigate improvements to Aboriginal housing through alternative building technologies. Sharing Successes in Native Housing: 1 1 See for example, Lithwick, et al., An Overview of Registered Indian Conditions In Canada, Young et al., The Health Effects of Housing..., Ark Research Associates, The Housing Conditions...Report, Canada, Report Of.. .Gathering Strength 365-431. 1 8 For example, Canada, Rural and Native.. .House Plans, Canada, House Designs. 1 9 Sure-West Consulting Services, Home Plans for First Nations. 2 0 Canada, Introducing the Crofter...Housing Needs, Canada, Shelter House...Design, 2 1 Reich, Design Criteria.. .Canada. 6 Highlights of the CMHC Housing Awards Symposium in Aboriginal Housing is a congratulatory description of the corporation's sporadic reserve housing experiments such as the "healthy house," the "EcoNomad" strawbale construction, and insulated structural panels.22 The search for improved design is evidence of a long-standing acknowledgment of problems with the design of reserve housing. In fact, the sociocultural and geographic inappropriateness of reserve housing is mentioned throughout the literature. Arnold Koerte's Toward the Design of Shelter Forms in the North, for example, studies the ingenuity and variety of indigenous shelter in Canada's North prior to colonization, set against the recent wide distribution of the southern suburban bungalow.23 In his view "The diversity of native shelter forms is a reflection of the considerable differences in life style and culture between native peoples, of the wide range of environmental variations contained in the term 'North' and the varying "degree to which man chooses to respond to them.... However, the white man's approach to the settlement of North America has often been questionable. He generally brought with him shelter forms that had evolved in a culture and environment entirely different from that used in Canada's northland.... The numerous suburban bungalows spread indiscriminately over Canada's North give testimony to his failure to recognize that he cannot simply transplant dwelling types from one environment to another. (This is entirely aside from the fact that many of these dwelling types are far from suitable even for 'southern' suburban areas where they were designed for use originally.)" 2 4 While such references to the poor cultural and geographic fit of reserve housing are numerous, few studies have been dedicated to these issues. In 1971, Thomas and Thompson's brief Eskimo Housing As Planned Culture Change first questioned the government house design among the Inuit.25 Shkilnyk's 1985 pivotal book, A Poison Stronger Than Love: The Destruction Of An Ojibway Community, uses the relocation of the Grassy Narrows band to link community design to social disintegration. Shkilnyk describes how the imposition of a reserve community plan paralleled the destruction of a way of life.26 Shaham Deirmenjian's Planning For Communities In The North and J.C Simon et al.'s A Culturally Sensitive Approach to Planning and Design with Native Canadians are both arguments for incorporating cultural values in the planning of Aboriginal communities by 2 2 Canada, Sharing Success Awards Symposium. See also Green, Building Communities...Sustainable Housing, and Canada, Self-Build Housing... Saskatchewan. 2 3 Koerte, Toward The Design ...Forms. 2 4 Ibid., 3, 6. 2 5 Thomas and Thompson, Eskimo Housing.. .Cliange. 2 6 Shkilnyk, A Poison Stronger...Ojibway Community 7 highl ight ing d i f ferences in w o r l d v i e w s / ' Cultural Approaches to Native Canadian Housing by G h a d e r A fshar i -M i rak ana l y zes the culture/planning conf l icts in four C r e e commun i t i es of Q u e b e c , 2 8 and finally, P i n Ma thews Arch i tects ' Planning Study of Native Northern Communities de s c r i be s the histor ica l set t lement inf luences of church, government and kinship patterns on commun i ty fo rm and organ izat ion in four Dene c ommun i t i e s . 2 9 A l l of these works add re s s the e thnocentr i sm of external ly gene ra ted Abor ig ina l space in C a n a d a and its result, a col l is ion of l i festyle and built form. A handfu l of communi ty p lann ing art ic les s ince the 1980s in journa ls such a s Plan Canada have ag reed . J a c k i e Wol fe 's "App roaches to P lann ing in Nat ive C a n a d i a n Commun i t i e s . . . " p rov ides an ove rv i ew of the historic pol icy context f rom wh ich contemporary Abor ig ina l commun i t i e s e m e r g e d and identi f ies va lue conf l icts cont inuing to p lague the commun i ty p lann ing p r o c e s s . 3 0 C. S t e ven s and J . Ac l and ' s "Bui ld ing Sovere ignty: The Arch i tectura l S o u r c e s of Ou je-B o u g o u m o u " is the only descr ipt ion of a communi ty des ign s u c c e s s story that I have found, and is representat ive of the p rocess advoca ted in the planning and des ign l i terature. 3 1 Fitting with the archi tectura l journa l publ icat ions, S t evens and Ac l and st ress the importance of des i gn in the p ro ces s of identity construct ion. They go farther, however , l inking spat ia l product ion to the asser t i on of sovere ignty. F o r the first t ime, communi ty fo rm is conce i ved a s a veh ic le for both representat ion and empowerment . In short, many signif icant p rob lems of reserve spa ce have been documen ted : its dep lo rab le phys i ca l condit ions, its cultural and geograph i c gaps and its inattention to Nat ive v i ews dur ing p lann ing and des ign ing. My study adds to this l iterature in severa l ways . First, it desc r i bes contemporary reserves , part icular ly the eve ryday forms s u ch a s hous ing , b and off ices, commun i ty hal ls, s choo l s , recreat iona l centers and l ands capes that mark reserve space . Mos t prev ious descr ip t ions have been p i e cemea l and focused on hous ing . I have a imed to render a more hol ist ic picture of rese rve 2 7 Deirmenjian and Jones, Planning For Communities...Territories, Simon et al. A Culturally Sensitive Approach.. .Canadians. The Simon study outlines the differences in Ojibvvay and western worldviews such as concepts of space/time that could inform the planning of communities. 2 8 Ghader, Cultural Approaches To.. .Housing. 2 9 Pin Mathews Architects, Planning Study...Communities. The "Dene" are the indigenous inhabitants of the western sub-arctic also known by the linguistic label "Athapaskan." 3 0 Wolfe, "Approaches to Planning.. .Communities." See also Boothroyd, "First Nations and...Profession," Aubrey, "Principles for Successful Community..." Brown, "Learning from First Nations," Chislett et al., "Housing Mismatch...Northern Saskatchewan." 3 1 Stevens and Acland, "Building Sovereignty...Ouje-Bougoumou." 8 s p a c e by ventur ing beyond the indiv idual house to the sett lement. I have a l so tried to m o v e reserve descr ip t ion f rom the demograph i c and the numer i ca l to the c lose and tangible. Second l y , whi le many fundamenta l prob lems o f reserve s p a c e have been identif ied in the l iterature, p lann ing faults repeat t hemse l ves . The literature l acks a descr ipt ion of the real s o c i o e conom i c and pol i t ical forces that en cou r age this repetition, name ly Abor ig ina l d i sempowerment , the bureaucrat ic me thods of government , market interests, C a n a d i a n myths and loca l att itudes. I have tried to exp lore s o m e of these on-the-ground forces that cont inue to limit the deve lopment of reserve space . It is often a s s u m e d that any writ ing related to Abor ig ina l peop le is automat ica l ly about cul ture. Th i s study is not. I have largely a c cep ted the prob lems of cultural i nappropr ia teness of reserve des i gn identif ied by others, inc luding Nat ive peop le t hemse l ves . A s Dr. Bil l Woodwor th , an archi tect and Hot inonshon:n i 3 2 tradit ionalist f rom Toronto, states: For me, the central pressing need is to have planners, heritage professionals and architects recognize and formally acknowledge the culture from which all their work is grounded. There is a profound ignoring of the cultural traditions and patterns that are Native, that is, from this place. What I see is the imposition of European architecture and planning forms that don't fit in this landscape, are out of step with the Native traditions. In my experience, ugly cities, bad design and plans come from confusion, imposition of foreign perspectives and ideas that have no home here, that will never be rooted in this place." 3 3 W o o d w o r m ' s ideas are held by many . I agree, and have not attempted to repeat this pos i t ion. Instead this study is a more genera l commenta ry about spat ia l product ion by non-Abor ig ina ls . It is less about Abor ig ina l people and culture than it is on the nature of s p a c e s that result w h e n states des i gn . Hontinonshon:ni is the name the people formerly referred to as Iroquois give themselves. Peters, "Aboriginal Perspectives...Aboriginal Practitioners." 9 Thesis structure I begin with three fledgling conversations. Chapter 2 is written as an observer encountering and reflecting on reserve architecture. It frames the following two chapters, which explore the forces behind the forms. Chapter 2 is an introspective musing about reserve architecture and is largely descriptive. It attempts to identify a pattern of building that is characteristic of Manitoba reserve communities. The observations for this chapter emerged slowly. Over a number of years I have visited more than fifteen reserves in different parts of the province and have recently photographed eight in southern Manitoba for the purpose of this study. I do not, however, refer to the entire sample of reserves to make my points. Nor does the writing reveal the many trips made to collect the data. Instead, the chapter is written as a one-day reconnaissance of a single reserve. It collapses the data into a single encounter. The structure is employed for several reasons. That one reserve can represent them all is a point the chapter makes, and so a description of one place seemed fitting. I chose the Hollow Water reserve for its ease of access but could have easily chosen any other. Their forms are interchangeable. Moreover, buildings and places are experienced through movement or a sequence of "frames," and a total sense of a place results from a cumulative set of these frames. Places are not mere collections of isolated buildings and spaces. They are the sum of these elements together. Short of filming a movie of people living in a place, I know of no better way of describing places than writing as though traveling through them. This overall impression is the point of chapter 2. Lastly, I felt the accessibility of narrative as a textual form far outweighed the need to reflect my research method. Many of the ideas that I use to assess and observe reserve space are derived from my own architectural education, practice and teaching over a period of fourteen years. Architecture, which is primarily a practice as opposed to a research profession, involves foundational ideas that emerge from designing and building buildings, as opposed to consuming literature (which explains why architectural theory is a thinly covered subject).34 Many of the concepts pertaining to space, 3 4 Western architecture emerged as a "profession" taught in schools with the introduction of the Beaux Arts School in France in the 1880s. At this time the state began credentialing architects. The profession was formerly propagated through the training of pupil by "master" builders in practice. While architectural education moved to schools it still remains 10 use a nd form u sed in this chapter c o m e from this apprent icesh ip-type p rocess of shar ing and d iscover ing in format ion. A n ana l y s i s of a p lanning p ro ce s s for a new reserve fol lows in chapter 3. T h e B lack S tu rgeon R e s e r v e l anded on the drawing boards of government bureaucrats in 1998 and , a s I w a s within earshot, I g rasped the opportunity to obse rve the process f i rsthand. Aga in , a s ing le commun i ty e x amp l e is used, partly by necess i ty . Ve ry few new reserve commun i t i es a re built in C a n a d a . The p ro ces s is r a r e . 3 5 A s ing le examp l e s e e m e d adequa te for two reasons . A l though sixty-two First Na t i ons bands with vary ing cultures and vast regional d i f ferences res ide in Man i toba , they interface uniformly with the C r own through its cent ra l i zed Depar tment of Indian and Northern Af fa i rs . The C r o w n ' s direct ives, pol icy, gu ide l ines, p r o c e s s e s and under ly ing att itudes a re in tended to app ly even ly to all bands. There fore examin ing the des i gn of one Abor ig ina l commun i ty revea l s fo rces affect ing others. Moreover, bui ld ing a commun i ty is a lways a signif icant act. Chap t e r 4 moves to the des ign of reserve hous ing , the main const i tuent of B lack S tu rgeon and of other r e se rves . C a n a d a Mor tgage and Hous ing Corporat ion ( C M H C ) is a C r own corporat ion that is largely respons ib le for current on-reserve hous ing des ign . The information for this short chap te r w a s co l l ec ted from two C M H C con fe rences ded i ca ted to on-reserve hous ing i s s u e s a n d from interv iews with Abor ig ina l peop le . Chap t e r s 3 and 4 both desc r ibe a des ign c l imate and unrave l des ign att itudes a m o n g the dec i s i on-mak ing groups: the Depar tment of Indian and Northern Affairs, C a n a d a ( INAC) , Pub l i c W o r k s ( P W G S C ) , C a n a d a Mor tgage and Hous ing Corporat ion ( C M H C ) , des ign consu l tants , and First Nat ions t hemse l ves . They il lustrate the context of ideas and attitudes that inf luence the current form and structure of reserve commun i t i es . The texture, fabric and tone of the chapters differ for one r eason . Wh i l e they all conce rn architecture, the chapters dea l with very different types of information. Fo l lowing my own app roach to archi tectura l des ign , I a l lowed the subject matter or content to guide the form of the writ ing. concentrated in the studio instruction intended to mimic practice (although many practitioners say it is an imperfect process that does not prepare students for the real world of practice). And although architectural education has moved to schools it has not evolved with a strong research orientation. See Stevens, The Favored Circle for a critique on architectural education. 3 5 Quebec's Ouje-Bougoumou community 1991-95, and Manitoba's Panguissi reserve 1988, are two rare and recent examples. 11 My background Th i s thes i s emerged from a persona l des i re to unders tand reserve s pa ce . T ransp l an ted from the W e s t Indies to the M o o s e Lake Re se r ve in 1968, my ear ly Canad i an life wa s on the edge of the rese rve wor ld . Much later, architectural educat ion, pract ice and teach ing ra ised ques t i ons about commun i t i es , and I revis i ted the ear ly Canad i an expe r i ences that had left indel ib le marks . In 1994, whi le teach ing in the Facu l ty of Arch i tecture at the Univers i ty of Man i toba , I p resen ted the idea of deve lop ing a course around Abor ig ina l commun i t i es that might better p repare future g radua tes and generate l i nkages be tween the des ign s choo l and Abor ig ina l commun i t i e s . In retrospect, the lack of interest with wh ich the idea wa s met w a s fortunate. It e n c ou r aged me to enter a doctora l p rogram to pursue the subject. I enro l led at the S choo l of Commun i t y and Reg i ona l P lann ing at the Univers i ty of Brit ish C o l u m b i a whe re I ga ined usefu l ins ights into wes tern p lann ing mode ls . O n e year later I t ransferred to the Depar tment of Geography , a move that vast ly enr i ched an exc lus ionary arch i tectura l educa t i on . G e o g r a p h y introduced post-colonia l and feminist d ia logues that a l tered my way of look ing at s p a c e s . They b e c a m e mul t id imens iona l polit ical constructs. They b e c a m e inhab i ted. G e o g r a p h y a l so curtai led my tendency towards an omnipotent style of looking and writ ing that cha rac te r i zes much of the archi tectura l l iterature. The e s s a y s are persona l stor ies written from both architectural and geograph i ca l van tage points. Both are pr ivi leged and safe pos i t ions that have enab led writing even w h e n they comp l i ca ted my relat ions with peop le . My architectural educat ion with its wes te rn lens w a s rel ied on heav i ly a s a point of departure and wa s one from wh i ch I cou ld not e s c ape . S tor ies have end less perspec t i ves and can be manipu la ted to suit many goa ls . Dur ing my writ ing about B l a ck Sturgeon, for instance, I w a s told that a band membe r be l ieved it is "their story" and shou ld be told by "their people". I thought about who owns such stor ies and w h o ha s a right to tell t h em for w h o m and for what ends , ref lect ions arous ing occas i ona l pangs that ground the writ ing to a halt. R emembe r i n g , however , that this thes is is l e s s about Abor ig ina l peop le than it is about wes te rn s y s t ems of des ign w a s a reason enough to cont inue. 1 2 Method T h e r e sea r ch for chapters 2 and 3 relied most ly on human informants, creat ing an unruly and unpred ic tab le research p rocess that i l luminated, by its very limits, the nature of the in format ion. Chap t e r two is an architectural descr ipt ion of a p lace, and its pr imary limitation wa s the inabil ity of peop le to s p eak about architecture. Th is prob lem is muit i faceted and warrants s o m e d i s cu s s i on . B e c a u s e I spend a lot of t ime thinking about bui ld ings and space s , I a m a lways surpr i sed at how difficult it is, general ly, to elicit architectural cr i t ic ism f rom peop le . Desp i te the p e r m a n e n c e of bui ld ings, they generate little publ ic debate. Pub l i c d i s cuss i on about architecture a lmost invar iably f o c u s e s on bui ld ings that are high profile, controvers ia l , large, and mostly publ ic . O n e cou ld not have a radio cal l- in show about archi tecture a s one might have about sports, enterta inment, or polit ics. W h e n there is d i s cuss i on about bui ld ings, it is genera l ly about appea rance , pol it ics or cost. It is not about how bui ld ings actual ly work to serve peop le and it is a lmos t never about space . Conve rsa t i on about, and cr i t ic ism of, archi tecture is found in certa in narrowly f o cused architectural literature written to a smal l pro fess iona l group (e.g. A s s e m b l a g e , F o r be s Magaz i n e , Archi tectura l Digest, Tradit ional Bu i ld ings and Set t lements Rev iew, n ewspape r editor ia ls). Th i s is not to say that peop le do not s ee what is wrong or right with bui ldings, and do not attempt to improve them, wh i ch is itself an act of cr i t ic ism, but rather, that bui ld ings are not thought about, con temp la ted , theor ized and genera l i zed about. Th i s make s discussion difficult. The re are var ious r e a son s for this lack of thinking about and cr i t ic ism of bui ld ings. W h e n a p lace b e c o m e s famil iar it l oses visibil ity, and bui ld ings eas i ly cont inue their l ives un seen . T h e streets that w e t raverse daily, for instance, c an be nav igated without not ic ing their a l ign ing fo rms. P eop l e a lso have a short attention span when it c o m e s to bui ld ings. If their ex i s tence is noted at all, they b e c ome impercept ib le over t ime. A pe r son from the C h e m a w a w i n rese rve in Man i t oba wa s as ton i shed when I obse rved that a lmost all h ou se s in C h e m a w a w i n we re vary ing s h a d e s of brown, a lmost indist inguishable f rom the surround ing earth. ( C h e m a w a w i n is a rock pile, inhosp i tab le even to grass.) A natural izat ion p ro ce s s a lso occu r s with bui ld ings. Bu i ld ings be come env i ronmenta l facts, l ike weather , and peop le eas i ly accept and endure them. O n c e it is const ructed, peop le often forget that their built env i ronment w a s designed, that dec i s i ons we re made that cou ld have been different, 13 and that it is changeab le . Built env i ronments be come first invis ible and then natura l i zed, and eventua l ly are a c cep ted as unchangeab l e facts. P eop l e do not cons ide r bui ld ings to have any signif icant effect on them. They certainly do not reflect that "this house is an assimi lat ionist, co lon ia l too l that is inhibit ing my pract ice of culture". Ne i ther do they notice the subt le way s that bui lding des ign affects their movemen t s and interact ions. Bu i ld ings and spa ce are eas i ly d e e m e d "benign," and therefore not worth contempla t ion . I once taught a Hong K o n g student who cr i t ic ized the l a rgeness of North A m e r i c a n h omes . He comp la i ned he rarely s aw his family and w a s lonely living in C a n a d i a n house s . It takes this type of arch i tectura l cultural shock, be ing sudden ly jolted by bui ld ings, for peop le to "feel" t hem and b e c ome crit ical of their des ign . The te rms "architecture" and "des ign" are a lso problemat ic . Wha t is arch i tecture? A n d what is the pract ice of arch i tecture? Peop l e do not def ine architecture a s the ordinary built wor ld a r ound t h em . They do not cons i de r that they are pract ic ing archi tecture when they renovate their k i tchen. They do not see archi tecture in their k i tchens at al l . Arch i tecture is more r emoved , more myth ica l , a nd re legated to those in the know - archi tects expe r i enced in the des ign of monumenta l , v i sua l ly g lar ing bui ld ings. W h e n I a s k e d peop le on reserve about their architecture they wou ld r e spond "what arch i tecture?" a s though they did not have any. W h e n I s tated that I w a s research ing rese rve archi tecture, an as sumpt i on w a s made that I referred to high-profi le, monumen ta l bu i ld ings. Squa r e , s imp le bui ld ings do not const itute architecture. Ordinary, everyday, util itarian bui ld ings do not have arch i tecture. Hous ing is not architecture. A n d l andscape manipu lat ion and des i gn are certa in ly not archi tecture. T h e s e categor ies of architecture ve rsus non-architecture s t em firstly f rom a c o m m o n p rem i se that architecture is a so l id rather than a vo id, and second ly , that it is how a thing looks rather than how it works . Arch i tecture is the form and appea rance of a thing. A n d a bui ld ing must have an extraord inary form and appea rance to "have architecture." It must s tand out and be different f rom the rest of the "undes igned" env i ronment. I have found these to be c o m m o n concept ions . S o by their very definit ion as non-architecture, the eve ryday utilitarian env i ronment and its s p a c e s are re legated to an insignif icant p lace, requir ing no des ign , ana lys i s or d i s cuss i on . It wa s , therefore, highly prob lemat ic to u s e the term "architecture," and I found it w i se to avo id it when ta lk ing with peop le about reserve s p a c e s and bui ld ings. 14 Whe the r a bui lding w a s cultural ly appropr iate w a s a particularly cha l leng ing ques t ion . I found that s tandard western architectural forms, bui ld ings that fo l low very spec i f i c concep t s e m b e d d e d in wes te rn lifestyle, were not seen a s cultural constructs at al l. The i r p lann ing and des ign we re v i ewed a s noncultural or "neutral," bl inding people 's ability to a cknow ledge a bui ld ing's ef fects. W h e n I a s k e d whether a new s choo l bui ld ing r e sponded to a commun i ty ' s cultural n e e d s its Abor ig ina l pr inc ipal repl ied: "We did not want a cultural s choo l . W e wanted a neutral school. Y ou will f ind no d rumming or regal ia here!" S h e desc r ibed a recently built s choo l with wes tern organ iza t iona l features: ce l lu lar c l a s s r ooms built a long a hall, min imal w indows , fortress- l ike construct ion, a nd desks that orient frontward. P eop l e often over looked that wes te rn f o rms are consc i ous l y designed and encou rage spec i f i c types of living. Simi lar ly, fo rms that are prevalent or c ommonp l a c e , forms that do not stand out and do not "wear culture on their s l eeves , " we r e easi ly d e e m e d un iversa l , acultural, and ben ign. The difficulty in speak ing about architecture is not iso lated to Abor ig ina l peop le l iving on reserve , but the reserve context intensi f ies the prob lem. A mere generat ion past, many Abor ig ina l g roups of Man i t oba were sem inomad i c . Peop l e knew col lect ively what and how to bui ld. Bui ld ing w a s a n unse l f consc ious act not so much ta lked about a s pract iced and bui ld ing informat ion w a s handed down primari ly through pract ice. Cr i t i c ism occurred in bui lding and rebui ld ing a s oppo sed to speak i ng . Speak i n g about bui ld ings is new in the wor ld of nomads , a s is the idea of archi tecture a s an inte l lectua l ized p rocess done by others. D i s cu s s i on s of reserve hous ing with on-reserve peop le had particularly ex t reme l imits that a r o se f rom loca l condit ions. A three-bedroom bunga low is some t imes home for s ix teen persons . P las t i c rep laces w indow g laz ing, buckets b e come toilets, and dr inking water s tands in large open d rums in k i tchens. T h e scarc i ty of hous ing in part icular is a commun i ty wound, and local hous ing d i s cu s s i on s have b e e n known to erupt in conf l i c t . 3 6 S u c h cond i t ions a l ter r e sea r ch . I w a s wa rned about "rais ing hopes " with my quest ions . "Peop le wou ld think they are getting a new house, " an e lder cau t i oned . A n invest igat ion of hous ing des ign preference w a s p lanned, but such ques t ions wou ld only tease , inflict more pain, and wou ld be const rued a s more u se l e s s resea rch . It wa s appropr iate ly s c r apped . 3 6 The Hollow Water people attempted to hold a community housing meeting in 1999. Discussion became so heated the meeting was adjourned. The position of "housing councilor" suffers a high turnover in many reserves as a result of frustration, burnout and feelings of helplessness. 15 B a s i c n e e d s o v e r s hadow all o thers . E v e n to t hose w h o have adequa t e hous ing , the f o remos t "arch i tectura l " p rob l em is the lack of hous ing and infrastructure within their commun i t y . In a c c o r d a n c e with the l aws of bas i c n e e d s grat i f icat ion, the arch i tectura l design of a p l a ce is mean i n g l e s s without its first attribute, s he l t e r . 3 7 De s i gn d i s c u s s i o n s a re tr iv ia l ized in con tex t s of ex t r eme need . My r e sea r ch p lans took i l luminat ing turns a s p l anned interv iews shi f ted to l end ing a n ea r to a hous i ng cr i s i s . 16 I encounte red a w i desp read lack of trust among First Nat ions, government depar tments and consu l tants . The result ing sec recy can be attributed partly to the nature of the subject matter. Invest igat ions of on-reserve bui ld ing revea l a spec t s of government tender ing of lucrat ive contracts . Loca l peop le and f irms comp la in of nepot i sm in the award ing of both bui ld ings (who gets a house or a school) and contracts (who gets to build). Occurr ing in a context of great phys i ca l need , bui ld ing is a de fens i ve subject all a round . M o r e genera l hes i tat ions about ta lk ing with outs iders a r o s e f rom the c o m m o n unders tand ing that knowledge has power. Information-gathering and, in particular, the record ing of s poken words were threatening act ivit ies and consequent ly , withhold ing information and exert ing control over the "right to write" wa s an effect ive m e a n s of both power and protect ion. Speak i n g to peop le on rese rves w a s further comprom i sed by my own nebu lous and , f rom their perspect ive, indec ipherab le role. Resea r che r , architect and student wa s a nebu lous bundle, and be ing emp l oyed by no one w a s a suspec t a r rangement f rom wh i ch I cou ld not e s c a p e . P eop l e a sked , "What s ide are you o n ? W h o is pay ing you? " A n d "Are you on our s i de? " Eventua l ly , I expec t ed susp i c ion , and greeted trust with surpr ise. S o information wa s genera l ly difficult to obtain, and my methods were convo lu ted . W h e r e I preferred to have much more commun i ty input, a s in e s s ay 1, I rely a lmost entirely on my own archi tectura l observat ions . I initially p lanned to offer des ign se rv i ces to a commun i ty in e x c h a n g e for des ign information. (The ac tua l act of design is an organ ic and direct route to retr ieving archi tectura l information f rom people.) A fair t rade, I thought. A bui ld ing or commun i ty de s i gn end product may prove more usefu l and tangib le than s o m e indec ipherab le text. The ch ie f and counc i l of Ho l low Wa te r referred me to others, initiating a p r o ce s s of "negot iat ions to des ign." I met many peop le over a per iod of w e e k s but pers istent efforts to es tab l i sh a d e s i gn commit tee p roved futile for a numbe r of r easons . C y n i c i s m c i rcu lated about commi t tees . P rev i ous attempts had been unsuccess fu l . It w a s occas iona l l y sugges ted that I work independent ly and present a comp le ted des ign a s "people need to be led." (I res is ted this a s it de feated the pu rpose of des ign a s invest igat ion and might be const rued a s job hunting.) M y fa i lures to es tab l i sh a commit tee mot ivated partial ag reement and I prepared a s l ide presentat ion to clarify my posit ion and introduce the idea of architecture a s a subject of importance. T h e presentat ion f o cused on the var iety and creativity of historic ind igenous architecture, the borrowing of Abor ig ina l 17 fo rms by others and government bui lding approaches . I reluctantly introduced s o m e architectural ca r i ca tures in an attempt to elicit interest and il lustrate what may be poss ib le . T h e ske t ches genera ted d i s cuss i on about the possibi l i ty of projects and many peop le s e e m e d genu ine ly interested in improv ing their communi ty through architecture. A s pa c e to house repatr iated artifacts was one recommendat i on . Ques t i ons sur faced a round government fund ing. Wha t wou ld they do with the de s i gn ? Wou l d I personal ly seek funding for the project? D id I know how to write fund ing p roposa l s ? W h y des i gn a bui ld ing before fund ing is g ran ted? I a l so s ugges t ed that des ign w a s a vehic le for funding by il lustrating a project and mak ing it conv inc ing . A l so , s ou r ce s of capi ta l may reach beyond government, and commun i ty v i s ions shou ld instigate projects rather than government programs. Unfortunately, conce iv ing a project outs ide the government fund ing box w a s a foreign concept . W h y was te t ime, s o m e felt. The communi ty had no money for projects. A handfu l of prior i deas amounted to little. The mean i ng l e s sne s s of concep tua l des ign w a s revea led . I hadn't cons ide red the frustration of government projects and the futility of d ream ing in Ho l low Water . A l though I ant ic ipated the prob lems of present ing a bui lding des ign and at tempted to min imize its importance, my worst fears were met when a band m e m b e r a sked at the meet ing 's end "How m u c h will the project cos t? " W h e n I r e sponded that it w a s not a project but w a s just an idea he added that "a s a l e sman a lways knows what he is se l l ing" and summar i ly left the room. Shi f t ing gears , I a r ranged to write a m u s e u m funding proposa l over the next few w e e k s to initiate a commun i ty des ign p rocess . U p o n complet ion I traveled to Ho l low Wa te r to f ind that all the counc i l m e m b e r s were in W inn ipeg . At tempts to estab l i sh a des ign group took months and proved fruit less. Eventua l ly I was app roached to des ign a heal ing center. I ag reed to do so if a commun i ty des i gn commi t tee w a s es tab l i shed . The des ign c o m m e n c e d under the direct ion of one indiv idual . Desp i te cont inua l p ress ing for commun i ty meet ings they never mater ia l i zed, and the project d rew to comp le t ion . T h e building des ign abso rbed a few months and l ies in my office a m o n g a pile of unused notes. Many people spoke of the desire to have a "turtle building," which generated these sketches. 18 T h e shor tcomings of this p rocess lay in my own mis read ings and inexper ience a s much a s in other factors . Wha t I interpreted a s d isorgan izat ion and distrust, for examp le , cou ld have been c on s c i ou s fo rms of res is tance. The p rocess wa s not a loss but the beg inn ing of my comp l i ca ted read ing of on- reserve building p r o ce s se s and of their capac i ty to strangle local creativity. D i sappo in ted and en l ightened, I abandoned the idea of architectural des ign a s a resea r ch tool for chapte r 2. Instead I t rave led to communi t ies , recorded notes and photographs, conduc ted interv iews, a t tended con fe rences and other events, spent t ime with people, and engaged in c a sua l conversa t i on with anyone w h o wou ld speak at all about reserve s pa ce s . Information eventua l ly f i l tered through the most unl ikely p l a ces and "research" amoun ted to an untidy p ro ce s s of s tumbl ings , fumbl ings , d e ad end s a n d restarts. Chap t e r 3 is a descr ipt ion of a p lanning p rocess for a new reserve, and it too rel ied on human in formants. L imitat ions aga in invo lved the difficulty of el icit ing conversa t i ons about rese rve p lann ing, the pr imary di f ference be ing that these diff iculties a r o se f rom unwi l l ingness more than f rom inabil ity. P eop l e were carefu l about speak ing of the B lack S tu rgeon Re se r ve . The reserve is a raw and ongo ing creat ion and , sitting on the edge of the future, its fate can be af fected by stor ies. S o , caut ion s t e m m e d from currency. It a l so c a m e from other p laces . T h e p lann ing of the B lack S turgeon R e s e r v e is s i tuated in the post industr ia l min ing town of Lynn Lake , whe re information is careful ly managed for at least two reasons . Firstly, the townspeop l e and the Marce l C o l o m b First Nat ion res id ing at Lynn Lake have long-stand ing turbulent re lat ions and are engaged in current negot iat ions. A c cusa t i on s of rac i sm and injustice have s t e m m e d f rom the particularly wre tched condi t ions of this Abor ig ina l communi ty . S i n c e 1982, an e ighty-year-o ld native t rapper w a s murdered and muti lated in a Lynn Lake park, a f ema l e band e lder h a s d i sappea red , and two fatal hit-and-runs have been recorded by the band. T h e s e and other v io lent ac t s remain unso lved , and the inc idence of cr ime cont inues to s o a r . 3 8 My ques t ions unear thed pol it ics of race re lat ions that were barely on the mend . 3 8 Although Lynn Lake's population never exceeded 3,500 and had shrunk to 700 by 2001, since 1986 there has been almost one homicide per year, a rate that has grown to 80 times the national average. (Canada's homicide rate has been at a steady 1.8 per 100,000 since 1998.) In the year 2000 Lynn's population of 836 endured one homicide, one attempted murder 240 assaults and nine sexual assaults. The total crimes against persons was 253 or 30 percent of the population, approximately 30 times the national average. (Crime statistics from Statistics Canada and the RCMP. Population from Manitoba's Regional Health Authority.) 2 0 Secondly, mining and violence have disfigured a landscape that is now being remarketed. Struggling to maintain its tenuous existence, the town is reinventing itself from industrial boom town to tourist haven, a challenging metamorphosis. A July 2005 Winnipeg Free Press article for example, "Spectacular fishing a constant at Lynn Lake," is part of the town's overall marketing strategy.39 This dichotomy between Lynn's reality and its aspirations has generated a "management of information." Conversations with outsiders are measured and polished. The band was also silent about its stories, and questions about history often prompted distrust and intentional amnesia. A wariness of strangers and of telling stories hinted at a harsh history of disempowerment and exclusion.40 Storytelling has also been unkind. Many injurious myths continue to circulate about the Aboriginal people at Lynn Lake. At least two 1980 articles published in Lynn Lake's Northern Breeze claimed the Aboriginals residing at the outskirts of town were trapping and eating town pets, allegations that attacked their dignity and humanity by conjuring up images of savagery. (The articles finally sparked a human rights probe.) Band members still refer to these articles with anger. Others such as "Tent people' violence feared" (Winnipeg Free Press, 1985), "Squatters concern town" (Winnipeg Tribune, 1976), "Townspeople up in arms over alcoholism violence" (Winnipeg Free Press, 1983), and "Town under Siege" (Winnipeg Sun, 1994) proved equally damning characterizations of the Marcel Colomb band. Writing was potentially injurious, and outsiders could not be trusted with stories. The Canadian government was most cautious about information, and some of my interactions with officials bordered on the bizarre. Given the primary role of government in reserve construction and the powers of individual bureaucrats with whom I spoke - the Regional Director of Public Works overseeing all Manitoba reserve construction - I will illustrate these interactions, albeit laboriously. On one occasion I sought a sample of the design guidelines consulting firms must follow to ensure Treasury Board project funding, in this case "School Space Guidelines" governing reserve schools. An INAC official claimed these were "privileged and required an access ' T e n t p e o p l e ' v i o l e n c e feared LYNN LAKE (Sufi) -ism and violence could • [he Lynn Ukc walk-in officials say. Vi ;aid there ii drinking and noise in block almost every night and hallways i getting badly damaged. He predicted that If the situation eontinu people will go back to ibeir tents II* said his biggest coneer" "Al! they around the healthy situ - Kit Va[ir* ' ^dz Coh<>hsm violence nose to vv^terjuPPiV J^sssst z-&§~sr i ^5S2S ^a^z *e9£z&& ^wyrt l *^ , tr*t^" i U i S i ! * ^ " ' 3 9 Lynn Lake's rail connection was cut in 2003 yet its beckoning website brags of sport fishing and Native culture. See, Lamont, "Spectacular fishing..." 4 0 The Marcel Colomb people still suffer extreme social challenges. In the year 2003 the band comprised 280 individuals and about fourteen families. In the year 2000 there were about 18 employed adults. Thirty-two percent of the population is below the age of seventeen. High rates of alcoholism, teen suicide and domestic violence are related. The average level of education in 2000 was grade three. 21 to informat ion app l i cat ion." 4 1 The gu ide l ines we re eventual ly r e l eased after m u c h argument . I reques ted a s amp l e "Terms of Re ference . " a document def in ing a project su ch a s a schoo l or feasib i l i ty study and distr ibuted when a project is tendered. INAC off ic ials wou ld not re l ease even a samp le , stat ing that it wa s "pr iv i leged information." W h e n I inquired about a listing of major capita l projects done on reserves, many off ic ials sugges ted that First Nat ions bands be contac ted indiv idual ly a s "bands have autonomy." Off ic ia ls exp la ined repeated ly that any information involv ing a b and is cons i de red third-party information and is thereby protected under the P r i vacy A c t . 4 2 Def lec t ions a n d reroutes to INAC ' s commun ica t i ons department were a l so cus tomary yet, notwi thstand ing its title, the depar tment cou ld not answer most quest ions . After my fifth inquiry a depar tment off ic ial offered his own as ses smen t : "I don't know why they keep send ing peop le to us . W e don't know anything." Con fus i on surrounding the publ ic ve r sus private nature of First Nat ions projects s t e m m e d f rom a comb ina t ion of contrary bel iefs: that reserve projects are "publ ic projects" subject to publ ic scrut iny, and that bands have autonomy. W h e n a s ked why First Nat ions cannot hire consu l tants directly without government invo lvement, for examp le , an INAC bureaucrat repl ied " be cause it's not their money . Y o u have to unders tand th is is a large amount of publ ic money we are ta lk ing about." W h e n a s k e d to def ine INAC ' s mandate 4 3 the commun ica t i ons depar tment stated, "Actual ly, I have a deg ree in Nat ive studies but after I started work ing here I a m totally con fused . C a n y ou bel ieve there a re peop le work ing here that don't know what the Indian A c t i s? " P robab ly many off icials er red on the s ide of caut ion a s a result of confus ion and the pol i t ic ized nature of First Nat ions i s sues , but not a lways . O n another occas i on I sought the fo l lowing information: INAC ' s 2002 budget for the sixty-two Man i t oba bands , a list of Man i toba on-reserve projects s ince 1999 with contract va lue and firm n a m e s (ava i lab le on two webs i tes , Merx and Contracts Canada, a l though not in comprehens i v e 4 1 The Access to Information Act stipulates a thirty-day government response time to reply to an initial access request without guarantee any information will be forwarded within this time. The government can also charge an hourly rate for research that can require an unspecified amount of time. 4 2 The Privacy Act contains provisions requiring that information about identifiable individuals or third parties be protected. INAC officials maintained that both a First Nation and a consultant contracted by government are third parties, broadly protecting data concerning reserve development. 4 3 INAC has a mandate to fulfill the Crown's fiduciary obligations to First Nations. 22 f o rmat s ) 4 4 , the number of First Nat ions f i rms w inn ing contracts, a nd the wait ing list for projects on Man i t oba r e se rves . A l though , a s I d i s cove red later, s o m e of this information appea r s on w e b s i t e s , 4 5 the fo l lowing p r o ce s s ensued . I NAC officials d i rected me to Pub l i c W o r k s and Gove rnmen t Se r v i c e s C a n a d a ( P W G S C ) which is c omm i s s i o ned to manage INAC bui lding contracts on-reserve. D w a y n e Wi l lmer ' s office (the Reg iona l Director of P W G S C western region in Edmonton) adv i sed that R o n P a y n e (Reg iona l Director of the Pub l i c Wo r k s a rm in Man i toba operat ing under INAC) cou ld prov ide the information. Mr. P a y n e directs a smal l d iv is ion of nine peop le that o ve r s ee s all capita l projects on Man i t oba reserves inc luding the B lack S turgeon project. I te lephoned Mr. P a y n e in February of 2 0 0 3 ask ing for a listing of Man i toba on-reserve capi ta l projects s i n ce 1999. T h e quest ion y i e l ded a barrage of quest ions . I exp la ined the information w a s for the purpose of univers ity r e sea r ch and informed Mr. P a y n e of my cons is tent research diff iculties inc lud ing be ing constant ly rerouted to the commun i ca t i ons department. He responded that "this p rocess is in p lace so that depar tments do not have to dea l with fr ivolous requests" and a s ked if "there is s o m e o n e e l se on the line." No information wa s d ivu lged dur ing this conversat ion , but Mr. P a y n e readi ly a g r eed to mee t in person . W e met the fol lowing morn ing and Mr. P a y n e spent most of his t ime attempting to col lect informat ion about me . My name, the nature and pu rpose of the resea rch and the Univers i ty of Brit ish C o l u m b i a w a s either insuff icient information or not be l ievab le. He ins isted that I "be more open. " W h e n I d ivu lged little more, R o n Payne c l a imed I wa s "unl ike any student [he had] encoun te red a s most students share pe rsona l information out of courtesy." I exp la ined that the A c c e s s to Information Act did not require more persona l detai ls than I had a l ready of fered, or cour tesy, a s a prerequis i te for the government ' s re lease of publ ic information. Mr. P a y n e repl ied "No, but your mother does." He warned , "I could just bump you to the commun i ca t i ons department , and many other departments wou ld do the s ame . Th i s is likely to happen if you are not more open, " in so do ing conf i rming that the commun i ca t i ons depar tment was less an information sou r ce than a front a nd an effect ive threat. At tempt ing another angle, I d i s cu s sed the publ ic nature of the 44 Merx is an online government tendering system. It is a vehicle whereby government can advertise projects and call for proposals from firms both nationally and internationally. 45 Merx contains an archive identifying both firms awarded contracts and the value of these contracts. Contracts Canada is a similar vehicle for smaller contracts with an accessible archive. Unfortunately, online searching uses search "engines" that fail to yield complete project lists. 23 in format ion a nd sugges ted that government had a responsibi l i ty to its e lectorate towards t ransparency . I pointed out that I w a s a student and a l so a membe r of the publ ic for w h o m , through a v e n u e s su ch a s the A c c e s s to Information Act, s u ch information is intended to be ava i lab le . H e repl ied, "I do not work for you . I work for the c o m m o n good," e laborat ing with a pecu l iar m iss ionary z e a l . W h e n I p r e s sed that the publ ic had rights to a c c e s s information pertaining to gove rnmen t spend ing he repl ied, "Yes, but you a re be ing very private right now." I a s k e d finally, "So y ou are not wi l l ing to sha re this information with m e ? " He exp la ined, "Yes, but this wil l d epend on your pe rsona l in format ion. Y o u don't just offer c ommen t to whoeve r wa lks in the door." W h e n I finally reminded R o n P a y n e that the Reg iona l Director 's off ice had d irected me to this d iv is ion, he ag reed to col lect the da ta but "at a cost, b e c au se it wou ld take s o m e time, and if you want the depar tment to b e coopera t i ve you must reciprocate." Mr. P a y n e did not c l a im the information w a s sens i t ive or difficult to retrieve. W e did not d i s c u s s the sensit iv ity of the information at al l . Nor d id he d i s cuss the spec ia l status of Abor ig ina l commun i t i e s . H i s wi l l ingness to divulge information w a s dependent on who I was rather than the nature of the information itself. N o information w a s forwarded by Mr. Payne , who ignored all e-mai ls d i rec ted to h im in the fol lowing months . I contac ted D w a y n e Wi l lmer aga in , w h o recan ted h is off ice's p romise . He adv ised that I forward an A c c e s s to Information appl icat ion a s my ques t i ons "were deta i led and cons idered sensi t ive." I contacted Heather Peden ' s off ice (Reg iona l Director Gene r a l of Pub l i c Works ) for a ss i s tance , but she did not reply. O v e r these s ix months, I contac ted a number of government information of f icers w h o conf i rmed that a project name, contract va lue and winn ing firm w a s not pr ivi leged informat ion. A n informat ion off icer at INAC's off ice in W inn i peg finally ag reed to forward the list of projects, but ma in ta ined that if firm names and costs were reques ted an official a c c e s s request to O t t awa shou ld be comp le ted . I surrendered. Rece i v i ng my appl icat ion, INAC ' s Ot tawa information officer informed me that acco rd ing to the department , the data regard ing projects and f irms had to be "compi led" and wou ld cost an unspec i f i ed amoun t because it must be retr ieved from var ious "zones." No such list ex i s ted and its a s s emb l y wou ld be arduous. The cost est imate for compi lat ion w a s one hundred work-hours total ing $1,000 and the government 's thirty-day r e sponse t ime w a s put on hold pend ing clar i f icat ion of the ques t ions . I have s een INAC budget information often in the publ ic sphere, informat ion imposs ib le to comp i l e without a list of projects and costs . B a n d s customar i ly refer to INAC ' s wait ing 24 list for projects. Pub l i c Wo rk s has a list of f i rms f rom wh i ch they buy serv i ces . Bu reauc ra c i e s list, compi le , o rgan i ze and add up. They are data mach ines with efficient new tools, c ompu te r s and sp readshee t p rog rams . I w a s surpr i sed. O v e r t ime the information request shifted farther away f rom its source: f rom W inn ipeg , whe re it is located, to Edmonton , to Ot tawa and back to W inn ipeg . The b lockade t rans fo rmed from "insuff ic ient pe r sona l information" to "sens i t ive a nd deta i led information" to "difficulty in track ing informat ion." T h e final b lockade w a s cost. Ult imately, if one wants information one must pay. I c omp l a i ned about the hefty fee to Ottawa's information off icer who adv i sed a library s ea r ch or l imiting the request, asking for less information. I consu l ted Winn ipeg 's informat ion off icer o n ce aga in (a lso a s s i gned to my "case") ask ing for the list without the bill and de lays . H e consu l t ed the depar tment bureaucrats w h o c la imed a sp readshee t cou ld be generated with project names , va l ues and e v e n band names , but consul tants ' n a m e s added inordinate "search t ime and costs." I finally c on sen t ed to the firm n a m e omiss i on and the depar tment retr ieved the informat ion at no cost, mos t probab ly f rom Ron Payne ' s d iv is ion. The list of f irms w a s the obstruct ion. S u c h negot iat ions for facts typif ied my dea l ings with government and under lay the writ ing of chapte r 3. Pub l i c Works and INAC officials inc luding Reg i ona l Directors res is ted d i sc losure , cit ing band autonomy, the commun i ca t i ons department, the government ' s P r ivacy Act , a nd the A c c e s s to Information Act a s effective forms of res i s tance . (The A c c e s s to Information A c t h a s part icular i ronies. T h e act doe s not st ipulate what information is ava i lab le for publ ic consumpt i on . It st ipulates, however , what information c an be withheld by government and for what r easons , and these r ea sons are sufficiently broad to g ive depar tments sweep ing powers of s i l ence . The appl i cat ion p r o ce s s a l so enab l e s government to s end a resea r che r on arduous jou rneys through pape r and t ime. Worsen ing matters, the peop le respons ib le for shar ing the information do not have the informat ion, and located far f rom its source , most ly do not unders tand its nature, or how eas i ly it c an be retr ieved. A bureaucrat c an thereby es t imate a retr ieval t ime that den ies a c c e s s through ou t rageous cos t s . Importantly, the act e a s e s the obl igat ion of government pe rsonne l to share informat ion and many quickly refer to its appl icat ion procedure, supplant ing formerly a c ce s s i b l e forms of informat ion provided by bureaucrats themse lves . ) The s e c r e cy is a mean ingfu l reflection of the nature of the reserve construct ion wor ld . The federa l depar tment of Pub l i c W o r k s and Gove rnmen t Se r v i c e s C a n a d a ( P W G S C ) awa rd s 60 ,000 contracts total ing $9.2 bil l ion annual ly. A s C a n a d a ' s largest purchas ing organ iza t ion the 25 depar tment tenders and awards work to a variety of consu l tants . Pub l i c Wo r k s is c omm i s s i o ned by Indian and Northern Affa irs to tender and ove r see the depar tment 's reserve initiatives and in the yea r 2002 a lone, $44 mill ion w a s ded ica ted to Man i toba reserves . Approx imate ly $300 mil l ion ha s been s la ted for reserve capital projects over a four-year per iod (2001-2005), boost ing const ruct ion init iat ives in the province. Compet i t ion is intense g iven the s i z e s of con t r a c t s , 4 6 the reliabil ity of gove rnment payers , and the snowba l l effect of land ing a s ing le project. F i rms that win tend to w in aga in a s def ined by government pol icy. "Prev ious First Nat ions work is an asse t to winn ing contracts." S o compet i t ion is stiff. With in s u ch an opportunist ic context, Pub l i c W o r k s and INAC tender ing po l i c ies a re intended to en su r e compet i t ion among private contractors. Acco rd ing INAC ' s Co rpo ra te M a n u a l S y s t e m , only projects va lued be low $100 ,000 can be awa rded without compet i t ion. T h o s e be tween $100 ,000 a n d $500 ,000 must be open tenders o r invited with at least three compet ing f i rms, a n d those ove r $500 ,00 must be open tenders and publ ic ly adve r t i s ed . 4 7 The p ro ce s s of award ing contracts, however, is fact ious. The se lect ion p rocess is murky, over ly subject ive and var iab le by many accounts . A se lect ion commit tee is es tab l i shed by INAC compr i s i ng I N A C representat ives, Pub l i c W o r k s representat ives, band counc i l representa t ives a n d Tr iba l Counc i l representat ives. Its const itut ion var ies for r ea sons I cou ld not determine. T h e T e r m s of Re f e r en ce Documen t descr ib ing a project, wh ich is, distr ibuted in proposa l cal ls, usua l ly lists eva luat ion criteria es tab l i shed by INAC . E a c h commit tee m e m b e r a s s i gns a numer i ca l va lue to e a c h cr i ter ion, totaled to give a score to each compet i tor. Wh i l e this numer ica l p rocedure renders an aura of objectivity, se lect ion results f rom the pre ferences of a smal l commit tee. In addit ion, the depar tment ha s an approved list of f i rms f rom wh i ch it buys and es tab l i shes short lists for invited compet i t ions . Not all profess ional ly l i censed and bonded f irms pos ses s i ng adequate i n su rance are inc luded in compet i t ions, and s o m e comp la in of exc lus ionary tact ics. Unjust pract i ces are somet imes emp loyed to win. The department boasts of a "cost dr iven app roach that g i ves First Nat ions the biggest bang for their buck" and a genera l unders tand ing ex is ts that the lowest b idder is favored to win. A p rocess known a s "lowbal l ing," however , 4 6 Garden Hill First Nation school project is estimated at $27.7 million, Sapotaweyak school and teacher's housing at $17.8 million and Opaskwayak high school expansion $14 million, for example. 4 7 From INAC's "Corporate Manuals Systems" available online under "infrastructure and Housing." I was referred to this website when I asked the department for its tendering policies. 26 cap i ta l i zes on this department pol icy in order to win a contract. A consu l tant p l a ces a bid that is too low to meet the contract. The bid is won on that bas i s and either se rv i ce is cut or fees are added later. S o m e f irms lobby both bureaucrats and bands prior to se lec t ion. "I know I have the INAC and P W vote," one architect c la imed, exp la in ing his many persona l trips to Ot tawa to lobby bureaucra ts prior to a compet i t ion. Individuals f rom all g roups invo lved in bui ld ing, inc lud ing consu l tants , government bureaucra ts and First Nat ions, a l so desc r i bed "k ickbacks" or "buy ing" the j ob a s a known method of w inn ing contracts. "You can't get a job without $10,000 in you r pocket" c l a ims another architect. He exp la ined that such gifts somet imes a s s u m e the form of tax-deduct ib le donat ions . Ano the r exp la ined graft w a s a ". . .standard way of do ing bus iness a m o n g s o m e of our First Nat ion c l ients and un ique to First Nat ions work. . . Y o u are dea l ing with commun i t i e s that are com ing out of a situation of incredib le graft and corrupt ion. It is genera l ly w idesp read but what w e cal l graft and corrupt ion s ome t imes they cal l the rights of the chief and the way cultural ly they do bus iness . It is tradit ionally how they see their ro les. . .what white peop le cons ider graft they cons i de r pol i t icking. T h e p rob lem is that they s ee this a s their duty a s the l eaders but there is no money in the budget for it. S o oftent imes it is taken out of a project budget." A top ranking INAC official a c know l edged the preva lence o f "job buying" and stated that "the depar tment w a s attempt ing to c l ean up the p rocess . " Arch i tec tura l firm su rveys revea led a genera l c yn i c i sm abou t INAC a n d Pub l i c W o r k s tender ing of First Nat ions projects that reverberate in the des ign and construct ion f ie ld. O f seven teen arch i tectura l f irms su rveyed , for examp le , only two perce ived the tender ing and se lec t ion p r o ce s s a s transparent whi le twelve d e e m e d it o b s c u r e . 4 8 The bewi lderment and apathy of f i rms is ref lected in the fol lowing remarks . "I don't r e spond to those (government 's ca l l for p roposa l s for rese rve contracts). Wouldn ' t get it anyway." "Life's too short." "There is a genera l p rob lem with t ransparency." "P roposa l ca l ls have nothing to do with who wins or l oses . The re is another a g e n d a . It's a mystery to us." " INAC has their own preferences." "A lot of this is pol it ics and 4 8 Seventeen of Winnipeg's 57 architectural firms were surveyed. Those that participated ranged in size from small to very large. The majority of respondents had either completed First Nations projects or had participated in government proposal calls. Many that declined the survey did not participate in First Nations projects. Firms successful at winning contracts appeared to be medium to large in size and a number of small firms expressed difficulties in participating in competitions that demanded of a firm's time without assurances of work. There was a general perception that it was hard to "get one's foot in the door." 27 w h o you know. Not a lways the best qual i f ied w ins the bid." "There is a lack of t ransparency in p roposa l cal ls ." "We feel the p rocess is very inequitable." "F i rms are usua l ly c ho sen before the p r o ce s s is under taken. The se lect ion p rocess is only conduc ted a s a required polit ical formality." Wi th in this context of lucrative contracts, extreme compet i t ive tact ics and cha rges of corrupt ion, depar tment bureaucra ts were predictably mute. T h e s e contextua l forces exp la in the depar tment ' s unwi l l i ngness to s p eak of government p r o ce s se s e ven off the record, and the fear of r epe r cuss i on w h e n they d id. T h e information for chapter 3 w a s gathered from a variety of sou r ces inc luding interv iews, part ic ipant observat ion , su rveys , the p lanning documen t s for the new reserve, informal conve r sa t i ons with people, espec ia l l y H e a d m a n J ohn Co l omb of the Marce l C o l o m b First Nat ion, newspape r s , minutes to meet ings , and letters. In many c a se s , a s I have shown, ask ing for informat ion genera ted res i s tance and y ie lded little. Instead this story w a s const ruc ted from a p ro ce s s of peer ing through the c r a cks of a tightly control led wor ld . Overa l l , the process of read ing reserves and writing about them revea led a s m u c h about Abor ig ina l i ty in C a n a d a as about the s p a c e s themse lves . Information arr ived neither in bund les nor h e a p s but in the s c raps that peop le , a lmost a lways, shared caut ious ly . Th i s ove rwhe lm ing caut ion s poke vo l umes . Re la t ions be tween C a n a d a ' s ind igenous peop les and newcomer s rema in t ense and apprehens ive , and is certainly af fected by the spat ia l propert ies of C a n a d a ' s reserve s y s t em . Th i s resea rch ex tended over four years , and the methods ranged widely, in good part b e c a u s e different quest ions and subjects required this. Enter ing an architectural f i rm or a gove rnmen t off ice with a quest ionna i re or interview schedu le is one thing. Enter ing a rese rve in this way is quite another. Chap t e r two make s a harsh judgement of the Man i toba reserve l andscape and this is substant ia ted largely through photographs and my verba l descr ipt ion. Th is a s s e s s m e n t is b a s e d on substant ia l f ie ldwork. In 2000 I t rave led to eight Man i toba commun i t i es , shot 700 pho tographs , in terv iewed s e v en local hous ing authorit ies and made field notes of my observa t ions about bu i ld ings and spa ce . I have a l so vis i ted The Pas , Norway house , F i she r R iver, Pegu i s , S a g k e e n g , 28 Pe l i c an Rap i d s and Moose L a k e rese rves throughout my life in Man i toba , and my a s s e s s m e n t of rese rve archi tecture is informed by memor i e s of all these p laces . In al l , I made nine separa te trips to the Ho l low Wate r reserve. Wha t began a s a formal interview p r o ce s s with local peop le later moved to more informal conversa t ions about rese rve life with anyone wi l l ing to speak of it. I a l so attempted to initiate a des ign project and wrote a p roposa l for a m u s e u m a s veh ic les to d i s cu s s loca l des ign app roaches . T h e s e vis its enab l ed observa t i ons about space , and people warmly offered me opportunit ies to attend loca l events su ch a s a sweat l odge c e r emony and con ference pertaining to regional deve lopment . Ray R a v e n a loca l e lder and past hous ing counc i lo r was my ma in contact, f rom whom, I ga ined a wea l th of information about the commun i ty . Reg i ona l resource information w a s co l lected f rom the deve lopment con ference , interv iews with the Depar tment of Conse rva t i on and Man i toba Hydro officials, a rev iew of Man i toba ' s l i cense renewa l app l i cat ions for t imber cutting, and scann ing maps from var ious government depar tments . H istor ica l informat ion was co l lec ted f rom a handful of writers su ch a s G e o r g e Barker , No rman W i l l i amson and Kather ine Pet t ipas a s wel l a s Ray R a v e n . 4 9 T h e s e trips to commun i t i es we re used to identify s o m e c o m m o n architectural features of r e se r ves that, a l though not present in every community, do charac ter i ze the majority. I u se the Ho l low Wa te r reserve as representat ive of a pattern of building about wh ich I then offer archi tectura l ana lys i s or "judgment." Arch i tectura l dec i s ion-mak ing or "des ign" invo lves an ongo ing p rocess of judgment - of a s s e s s i n g this solution versus that. Pe te r Co l l ins in his book "Architectural Judgement " c ompa r e s des i gn judgments to those m a d e in the legal profess ion based on precedent, pr inc ip les o r laws, r eason and rationality. The evolut ion of the architectural pro fess ion has enta i led an evo lut ion of pr inc ip les perta in ing to how peop le have so l ved the prob lems of human relat ionship to one another and to sur round ing space . Arch i tectura l dec i s ion-mak ing is a l so m a d e within a soc ia l , h istor ica l and env i ronmenta l context, which a l s o directs bui lding so lu t i ons . 5 0 Th is rat ional p rocess is over la in with restr ict ions p l a ced on des ign by bui lding codes , funct ional requi rements, env i ronmenta l condi t ions, techno log i ca l l imits and other measu rab l e criteria. In other words des ign eva luat ion is not entirely Barker, Forty Years a Chief, Williamson, Black Island...Never was, Pettipas, Severing the Ties...Prairies. Collins, Architectural Judgement. 29 subject ive. A s s e s s m e n t s are not s imp le matters of op in ion, interpretation or taste a s is c ommon l y unders tood . Th i s is why des ign c an be taught and intelligibly exp la ined. U s i ng disc ip l inary pr inc ip les f rom my own study, pract ice and teach ing of archi tecture, in chapte r 2 I a s s e s s the des ign character is t ics of the built env i ronment in Ho l l ow Water . Mapp i ng , i l lustrat ions and annotated photographs are used a s ev idence . Whe r eve r poss ib le , I o b s e r v ed space- in -use to measu re "form against funct ion." In large part these are my judgments , but I have a l so incorporated cr i t ic isms of bui ld ings a nd s p a c e s from Abor ig ina l people who live in reserve commun i t i e s . Wh i l e there is a western orientat ion to the ana lys i s der ived from my own educat ion , not all attr ibutes of bui ld ing des ign a nd p lann ing are culture-speci f ic. Env i ronmenta l r e spons i venes s , const ruct ion feasibi l i ty, practical ity of bui lding techno log ies , funct ional eff ic iency, and hea l th and safety a re e x a m p l e s of des ign requ i rements that c an be eva luated without emp loy ing a cultural lens . Wh i l e architectural cr i t ic ism of "Abor ig ina l arch i tectures" h a s often f o cu sed on difference, there are many commona l t i e s in the so lut ions found by different peop le dea l ing with s imi lar p rob l ems of env i ronmenta l a nd human interact ion. Furthermore, ove remphas i z i ng d i f ference in archi tectura l cr i t ic ism in relation to health, safety and other s tandards c an lead to the s a m e s tereotypes , reduct ion ism and d iscr iminat ion cultural theory s e e k s to remedy and to a re lax ing of c ommon l y a c cep t ed s tandards of des ign wes te rners expec t for themse lves . S o m e differentiation needs to be made between peop le and the archi tecture with in wh i ch they l ive. Chap t e r 2 is an a s s e s s m e n t of the reserve built env i ronment not of communities of people. It se t s the stage for an examinat ion of the factors that g ive r ise to such fo rms in the fo l lowing two chapters . R e s e a r c h for chapter 3 c o m m e n c e d between M a y and De cembe r 2 0 0 0 whi le I part ic ipated in a des ign p rocess for a new reserve. I ac ted as a des i gn consu l tant for the Ma r c e l C o l o m b band exchang ing my serv i ces for permiss ion to write about the p rocess of rese rve p lann ing . S e v e r a l tr ips were m a d e to Lynn L a k e whe r e the p lann ing s e s s i on s took p lace . H e a d m a n J o h n C o l o m b and Ch ie f And r ew C o l o m b were my main contacts. They escor ted me to the new reserve site and seven former v i l lage sites, wh i ch I recorded in photos and m a p s . J ohn ' s storytel l ing w o v e into my trips to Lynn Lake and his trips to W inn ipeg . 30 Be tween the s u m m e r of 2000 and 2001 at Lynn Lake and W inn ipeg interv iews we re conduc ted to contextua l ize the B lack S tu rgeon Re se r ve p lann ing p rocess . They invo lved key townspeop le , band members , former band consul tants, a resea rche r hired by the Northwest Fu tu res Deve l o pmen t Corporat ion, representat ives f rom the Prov inc ia l Depar tment of Hea l th , the Depar tment of Conserva t ion , the Man i toba Outfitter's Assoc ia t i on , the Lynn Lake R C M P , and a P u k a t a w a g a n elder. Many documents were a lso ana l y zed inc luding letters, minutes to meet ings , n e w s p a p e r art ic les, and government and min ing reports. In Oc tobe r 2000 , I at tended a Min is ters ' con fe rence at Lynn Lake involv ing the Prov inc ia l M in is ter of Conserva t i on , the Prov inc ia l M in is ter of Nor thern Af fa i rs, the Tr ibal Counc i l , the B and Counc i l and the Town Counc i l of Lynn Lake . Here I co l l e c ted reg iona l deve lopment information. Histor ica l information about Sherritt Go r don min ing was obta ined in 2001 f rom do cumen t s at the Hud son ' s Bay arch ives in W inn ipeg , the W inn ipeg Pub l i c Library, the Conse rva t i on L ibrary and the L ynn L a k e Min ing M u s e u m . S e v e n t e e n architectural f irms were interv iewed and su rveyed in W inn ipeg in J anua ry 2002 to f r ame the B l a ck Sturgeon project within a larger context of "Abor ig ina l projects" and industry att i tudes. K e y Indian and Northern Af fa i rs off ic ials a n d Pub l i c W o r k s off ic ials we re in terv iewed be tween J anua ry 2002 and February 2003 . Chap t e r 3 offers a cr i t ic ism of the B lack S tu rgeon reserve des ign process a nd its end product. A s in chapter 2, I a s s e s s both, in relation to pr inc ip les of commun i ty des ign and p lann ing that are s tandard in the f ield. I read, for examp le , the relat ionship between des ign consu l tant (eng ineer ing firm) and client (a band) a s it c ompa r e s to typica l c l ient/designer re lat ions in the marke tp lace . F r o m these read ings eme rge a n ana lys i s o f the un i queness of r e se rve p lann ing a n d an exp lanat ion of its unusua l ou tcome. R e s e r v e s compr i se mainly hous ing , wh i ch is the focus of chapter 4. Information w a s co l lec ted be tween 1999 and 2001 from interv iews with hous ing counc i lors at s even commun i t i es , f rom band m e m b e r s at Hol low water, f rom e lders at an e lder 's con fe rence in W inn ipeg , and f rom C a n a d a Mor tgage and Hous ing officials. Gove rnmen t pol icy documents f rom the 1960s onwards we r e u s e d a s re ference a s we l l a s reports by the Aud i to r Gene ra l , the Repor t o f the R o y a l C o m m i s s i o n on Abor ig ina l P e o p l e s and the A s s e m b l y of Man i toba Ch ie f s annua l hous ing reports. Th is chapte r was built around two C a n a d a Mor tgage and Hous i ng Corpora t ion ( C M H C ) rese rve hous ing con fe rences I at tended, one in Ca l ga ry in 1999 and the other in W inn i peg in 2000 . 31 The con f e r ences enab led me to obse rve the interact ions be tween Abor ig ina l de legates , gove rnment representat ives and industry goods and serv i ce providers. I recorded the p roceed ings , co l l ec ted distr ibuted material and ta lked informally with band representat ives, government off ic ials and industry representat ives about C a n a d i a n reserve hous ing . The partic ipant observat ion p rocess engaged throughout this writ ing enab led a g l impse at an o therw ise off-limits world of p lanning, yet had l imitations. The c l o s ene s s of the subject matter i n c r eased potent ia ls for b ias. L a p s e s be tween the col lect ing of information and in the writ ing of e a c h chap te r b e c a m e a necessa ry mean s of mainta in ing d is tance. T h e methodo log ica l cha l l enges of a non-Abor ig ina l pe r son studying and mak ing j udgmen t s about reserve s p a c e are immense , and this brief account ing of my methods and data s ou r c e s d o e s not do just ice to them. Th is is but a first attempt to add ress these t hemes and I return to them repeated ly in the context of render ing my judgments and exp lanat ions. 32 3 <D CD 13 O n Pho tog raphy Th i s e s s a y is about the architectural nature of a p lace. L iv ing in p l aces is probab ly the most ef fect ive m e a n s towards this end . Fa i l ing this possibi l i ty, however, travel ing to t h em must suff ice. In the fall of 2000 I t rave led to eight rese rves in south and centra l Man i toba: Ho l low Water , B r okenhead , C h e m a w a w i n , G r and Rap ids , Kee seekoowen i n , W a w a y s e e c a p p o , Dako ta Tipi a nd R o s e a u R iver , a nd shot over 700 photos. I could have eas i ly c ho sen eight other commun i t i e s but sett led on these for their var iety and access ib i l i ty . T h e s e communi t i es lay within a day 's dr ive f rom W inn i peg and il lustrate a variety of landforms, cultures, l anguage g roups and resource base , h ou s ed in a s imi lar architectural form - the r ese rve . 5 1 It is not incidental terminology that photographs are "taken" or "shot." Pho tog raphy cap tu res a n d kil ls a good dea l . It c a n take a w a y more than peop le wou ld be wi l l ing to g ive if they we re fami l iar with its powers . It c an be ac comp l i s hed without peop le 's know ledge . It stil ls movemen t s , act iv it ies and l ives. It is rude. It is a m e a n s of star ing and giving p e r m a n e n c e to that stare. S o , to "take" and to shoot" are fitting ph rases for a camera , wh ich easi ly t rans fo rms tool to weapon , and resea r che r to hunter and thief. I emp l o yed the c ame ra with su ch an outlook and used its powers with restraint. Mos t of the photos, for examp le , do not inc lude peop le . On ly once is the ins ide of a home reco rded . S u c h tact ics g ive the ana lys i s an unfortunate object ive rather than exper ient ia l quality but we re ne ce s sa r y to respec t the pr ivacy of peop le w h o s e homes and communi t i es had b e c ome the objects of an outs ider 's ga ze . , 1 These communities are varied in ways that reveal their Nation-ness and distinction. The language groups include Cree, Ojibway, and Sioux. The landscape is widely varied including flat prairie, rolling farmland, rocky Canadian Shield, and boreal forest regions. The resource base includes agriculture, hunting, trapping, wild rice farming, commercial fishing, Manitoba Hydro employment, building construction, berry farming, forestry, bison ranching and others. 34 Borders May 13, 2000 Hollow Water Reserve Th is trip w a s one of many that I took to Ho l low W a t e r 5 2 to try to unders tand the arch i tecture of the p lace. Dur ing su c ceed i ng trips, my impress i ons r ema ined the s a m e . Shor t ly after sett ing out I began to feel the city of W inn i peg fal l ing away beh ind the car. A new feel ing engu l fed me, one of enter ing an expans i ve and rich wor ld. It is e a s y to understand why Abor ig ina l people sett led in this p lace. H ighway 304, wh i ch b y p a s s e s the Ho l low Water Rese rve , cuts through P re cambr i an Sh ie ld , a l andscape of d ramat i c rock outc ropp ings and meander ing r ivers. The a rea is habitat for a variety of eag le spec i e s , moose , bear and beaver . W i l d rice and b lueberr ies are abundant. L a k e W inn ipeg br ims with p ickere l , their numbe r s ind icated by the cormorants and pe l i cans that swa rm in f ishing f renz ies dur ing the s u m m e r months . B lack Island, in Lake W inn ipeg , is just a few ki lometers to the west. It is high, rocky and vast, with sandy beaches , coves , artes ian wel ls, var ious medic ina l hea l ing plants, and a rich borea l forest. Hol low Wa t e r is a mere 190 k i lometers f rom W inn i peg but the d i s tance may a s wel l be half a wor ld . 5- Also known as Hole River and Wanipagow. The English translation for Wanipagow is "a hole in the land where water collects to form a lake or river." Manitoba reserve communities 35 Acco rd i ng to the map, I a m approach ing the reserve. R e s e r v e s are new c reat ions . Wh i l e the rese rve at Ho l l ow Wate r w a s set as ide in 1875 for the A n i s h i n a b e 5 3 peop le known a s the B ig Is land band , the band l ived in s ea sona l e n c ampmen t s throughout the L a k e W inn i peg a r ea into the ear ly 1 9 0 0 s . 5 4 "At that t ime they did not know t hemse l ve s by a geograph i c locat ion but by the name of their h e a d m a n . " 5 5 But with the arr ival of the s choo l and m iss i ons at this s a m e t ime, and the pressu re of outs ide interests to cont inue to deve lop the resources of B lack Island, the peop le sett led, reluctantly, many c la im, at the present townsi te of Ho l low Wa t e r . 5 6 Ho l low Wa te r w a s not an unfami l iar p lace, but it had been redrawn. The a b s e n c e of rese rves on official h ighway m a p s until recent yea r s attests to this newness . L ike mos t travelers, I look for the boundary of the p lace, the demarcat ing l ine, s o m e ind icat ions that a sett lement is approach ing . Arch i tecture dea l s with div iding l ines or wal l s , different types of wal l s , wa l l s with vary ing deg rees of subtlety, wa l l s that separate , protect, d emar ca t e and o rgan i ze , and wa l l s that def ine the, relation be tween peop le and env i ronment. At its mos t bas ic , archi tecture es tab l i shes what is ins ide and what is outs ide, and the nature of the div iding l ine. S o , whe re doe s Ho l low Wa te r beg in? T h e historic boundary of the B ig Island peop l e wa s not a town with a perimeter, a smal l eas i ly dec iphered p lace. It w a s a territory def ined by r e sou r ce s that sus ta ined the group. The ances tors of the peop le of Ho l low Wate r r oamed a vas t a r e a a round Lake W inn i peg with boundar ies that wou ld require mapp ing to be d i s ce rned . The Indian a nd Northern Af fa i rs of C a n a d a ( INAC) reserve boundary, de l ineated in the yea r s fol lowing the s ign ing of Treaty 5 in 1875, is minuscu le in compar i son . It is a meage r four thousand ac res , a territory b a s e d on a ca lcu la t ion of seventy-two band membe r s at the t ime the treaty w a s s i gned . Current band act ivit ies, inc luding hunting, trapping, berry-picking, ce remon ies , recreat ion, co l lect ing med ic ina l p lants, and env i ronmenta l training, still e n c o m p a s s large a reas outs ide this rese rve bounda r y . 5 7 T h e reserve boundary bears little relat ion to historic or current use . Nor is it an obv ious 5 3 A term the people use to describe themselves meaning First Peoples. They are Algonquian-speaking people who migrated from the Great Lakes region, also known as Saulteaux, and Ojibway. 5 4 See Barker, Forty Years A Chief Williamson. Black Island.. .Never Was for a description of the regional patterns of occupation in the 1800s until the 1885 controversial signing of Treaty 5 that encouraged settlement at the present townsite. 5 5 Williamson, Black Island...Never was, 27. 5 6 Ibid. NormanWilliamson discusses the various outside forces that ensured Black Island would not become a reserve. 5 7 The band is in the process of mapping this expanded terrain according to the stories of the elders, archaeological findings and written historical accounts. A current land claims process is also underway to address this land grievance. 36 l ine fo l lowing the natural lie of the land. It has the c rude arbi trar iness of its origin in a bureaucrat ' s off ice far r emoved from the ac tua l site. Y e t the rese rve boundary is powerfu l . The boundary separa tes the three surround ing commun i t i es of Seymourv i l l e , Man i go t agan and A g h a m i n g f rom the Ho l low Wate r Rese rve . It d is t ingu ishes these a s Met is communi t ies , a demarca t i on that spl its fami l ies and fr iends, united otherwise by language, b lood, proximity and signi f icant soc i a l contact. The boundary a lso de termines government funding. Opera t ing and capita l do l la rs a re ba sed upon on-reserve membersh ip . S o the band cont inues to a c commoda t e its expand ing popu lat ion within the conf ines o f the r e se rve whe re ac tua l bu i ldab le land is becom ing s ca r ce . The rese rve boundary/tradit ional territory d i s c repancy has c reated confl icts over land use . The federa l gove rnment has a responsibi l i ty to upho ld its treat ies with Abor ig ina l peop le w h e r e a s the prov inces have no such treat ies. Nei ther do the prov inces have any fiduciary58 responsib i l i ty to First Nat ions . S o the "Mani toba Natural R e sou r c e s Land Trans fer Act" of 1930, whe reby C a n a d a t ransferred to the Prov ince of Man i toba jur isdict ion of " lands, waters and natural r esources " outs ide reserve boundar ies , formal ized an exploitat ion of "non-reserve lands" by private interests that w a s a l ready underway . Abor ig ina l rights a l low the peop le of Ho l low Wa te r to pract ice subs i s tence act ivit ies s u ch a s hunting, f ish ing and trapping within their terr i tor ies, 5 9 but the P rov ince of Man i toba h a s never protected t he se rights f rom other compet ing interests. Mos t recently, provincia l permits for deve l opmen t h a v e b e e n granted to Pe l i c an Harbor, a pr ivate rea l es ta te deve lopment built b e tween Ho l low Wa te r a nd Man igo tagan and within Abor ig ina l t rapping territories. The result ing mons te r s umme r - home deve lopment is a wa l led , recreat ional commun i ty for part-time res idents f rom W inn i peg . Its contrast ing spirit, form and interests create an uneasy relat ionship with the nearby Abor ig ina l commun i t i es , he ightening fee l ings of enc roachment and margina l izat ion. Pe l i c an Harbor ' s recreat iona l land use confl icts with commerc i a l and subs i s tence f ishing on and a round the lake. F i she r s a n d tradit ional ists fear s peed boat ing, water-sk i ing, and other activit ies will affect their y ie lds . O f the jobs promised to Abor ig ina l people, the deve lopment y ie lded one posit ion - a secur i ty pe r son w a s emp l oyed to guard aga inst t respassers , giving Pe l i can Harbor a guarded posture. 5 8 Trustee relationship, guardianship. The federal government has a fiduciary responsibility to First Nations established through the Royal Proclamation of 1763. 5 9 Treaty rights have been recognized and affirmed by Canada's 1982 Constitution Act. 37 The reserve border shown in black on this Indian Affairs map is a constricted and mathematical space with rectilinear borders and grid lines that allow precision in location and management. The traditional use area overlaid in gray does not follow a grid but the geography of the land. Its expansiveness responds to the resource needs of the band and territories of other bands. It too has a precision not given justice in my crude drawing. 38 The communities of Hollow Water, Aghaming, Seymourville and Manigotagan comprise descendants of the Big Island band. But they are separated by the Indian Act definitions of Metis and Indian and the powerful reserve line. The land between the communities further disintegrates with the placement of Pelican Harbor and timber cutting contingency areas of a large paper company (shown in black dashed lines) If timber becomes scarce in the "license areas" contingency areas may be used. Aerial photo from Manitoba Hydro digital files. 39 Lumbe r and mining c ompan i e s have had long-term interests in the a rea . T imbe r w a s cut on B l a ck Is land a s far back a s the late 1 8 0 0 s . 6 0 P ine Fal ls P a p e r C o m p a n y ( P F P C O ) 6 1 currently harves ts 450 ,000 cub ic meters annua l ly in Man i toba, inc luding t imber directly border ing the rese rve . T h e pract ice has affected subs i s t ence activit ies by d imin ish ing forest inventor ies. T h e P rov i n ce is in the p rocess of cons ider ing P F P C O ' s bid to doub le its quota in the reg ion. Wh i l e the l i cense to cut outs ide the reserve boundary (where the best s tocks lie) has been awa rded by the P rov i n ce to the paper company , the Abor ig ina l peop le cont inue to harvest t rees f rom their own minuscu le townsi te. There is present ly no t imber awarded to the communi ty . Man i t oba Hydro a l so has interests in the territory border ing the reserve. T h e c o m p a n y is cons ider ing the construct ion of a t ransmiss ion corr idor a long the east s ide of Lake W inn i peg f rom the Ne l s on R ive r sys tem to the city of W inn ipeg . The high-voltage line wil l bring power f rom three new d a m s . 6 2 The deve lopment ga ins momen tum a s the U.S. energy cr is is i n c reases and the Kyoto A c c o r d 6 3 ratif ication popu lar i zes c l eane r power. The deve lopment will affect at least eight Abor ig ina l commun i t i es , inc lud ing Hol low Water . Wi th deve lopment , road bui ld ing b e comes necessa ry . The provinc ia l Depar tment of H ighways is contemplat ing an al l -weather road stretching north on the eas t s ide of the lake. In s o do ing the P rov ince will support both Hydro and lumber cutt ing initiatives, enhance deve l opment in Man i toba , and spur tour ism. P ine Fa l l s P a p e r has a l ready begun the construct ion of a lumber road f rom Ho l low Wa t e r to the Be r en s R iver Rese rve , s i tuated directly north. It is uncerta in how these deve l opmen t s wil l affect e c o sy s t ems and Abor ig ina l l i festyles. The provinc ia l government ' s posit ion on deve lopment has encou raged Abor ig ina l peop le to s e e k unl ikely measu r e s to protect their tradit ional territories, measu r e s involving the "des ignat ion game. " B lack Is land is currently a part of Gr inds tone Prov inc ia l Pa rk and Abor ig ina l peop le a re permitted to use it for tradit ional, but noncommerc i a l ac t iv i t i es . 6 4 S i n ce 1997, however , the federa l 6 0 In fact it was largely the socioeconomic interests of various industries that ensured the Island of the Big Island band was not included in the reserve boundary despite the Band's request. See Williamson, Black Island.. .Never Was for more.. 6 1 Smaller subsidiary of Tembec, formerly Abitibi-Price. 6 2 Manitoba currently generates more power than it uses and exports a large portion of its power to the state of Minnesota. ^ An agreement between countries to reduce global warming which is partially due to greenhouse gas emissions and the burning of fossil fuels. Canada ratified the agreement in December 2002. M As an example, the band has been gathering blueberries on the island ever since they roamed the region. The Province currently permits the practice but prohibits the controlled forest burning that is required to maintain a healthy harvest into the future. 40 g o v e r n m e n t h a s b e e n negot ia t ing wi th Ho l l ow W a t e r to c h a n g e the s ta tus o f B l a c k Is land into na t i ona l p a r k l a nd . T h e band is c on s i d e r i n g the c h a n g e a s a m e a n s of pro tec t ing the i r terr i tor ies f r om e n c r o a c h m e n t by t rans fe r r ing jur i sd i c t ion f r om the P r o v i n c e o f Man i t o ba , b a c k to C a n a d a . B a n d s h a v e a l s o a p p e a l e d to the Un i t ed Na t i on s Edu ca t i o na l , Sc i en t i f i c a n d Cu l t u ra l O r gan i z a t i o n ( U N E S C O ) to d e s i g n a t e l and on the eas t s i de a s a W o r l d He r i t age s i t e . 6 5 WATER HOLLOW WATER AND STUDY AREA TRADITIONAL USE BOUNDARIES According to registered trapline boundaries and including the island. The actual area may be larger but has not yet been mapped. Shaded segment shows the caribou's southern range of migration. TIMBER CUTTING BORDERS The Provincial "Forest Management License" area. 6 5 The strategy has paid off. Under substantial pressure from Manitoba Hydro, political opponents and the business community, in May 2005 Manitoba's Energy Minister, Dave Chomiak rejected Hydro's proposal on the basis an east-side transmission corridor would bisect a tract of wilderness being considered as a World Heritage site. The Hydro company still claims it has not given up. See Lett "Hydro won't get cheapest route." 41 S o wh i l e the r e se r ve l ine might be thought of a s a n arb i t rary a n d a n u n s e e n p a p e r border , it is a power fu l l ine that c o m p r e s s e s a n d spl i ts the c o m m u n i t y wh i le enab l i ng devas t a t i ng e n c r o a c h m e n t o f the band ' s t rad i t iona l terr i tor ies. U n s e e n l ines on pape r have i n e s c a p a b l e e f fects . T h e y a re inv is ib le but power fu l a r ch i tec tu ra l e l emen t s de f in ing r e s e r ve c ommun i t i e s . A n impor tant two-day c o n f e r e n c e beg i n s t oday in Ho l l ow W a t e r to d i s c u s s t h e s e p lans for the terr i tor ies immed ia t e l y b e y o n d the border . M y trip wi l l be t imely. MINING BORDERS PROVINCIAL P A R K BORDERS COMPOSITE PLAN OF BORDERS Shows gold mining town of Bissett Black Island is included and its surrounding waters. The reserve is spatially compressed. 4 2 T h e p a ved prov inc ia l r oad to Ho l l ow Wa t e r ha s abrupt ly ended , s u s p e n d i n g my con temp la t i ons . I encoun te r g rave l at a n uncomfor tab le s p e e d . I p a s s the turnoff to the r e se rve a n d doub le back to not ice a modes t s ign t u cked back in the forest . T he r e the arch i tecture of Ho l l ow W a t e r beg ins . T h e s ign is e a s y to m i s s . S t and i ng a lone , it is a w e a k arch i tectura l a nnouncemen t . M o r e important ly, however , the s ign is a g r o s s unders ta tement relat ive to what it p roc la ims: "Ho l low W a t e r First Nat ion." O n s u c c e ed i n g tr ips to Ho l low W a t e r I did not look for the s ign to mark my arr iva l in Ho l l ow Wate r , but rather for the e n d of the pavement . T h e federa l road into the r e se rve ha s a soft grave l ly top layer that ra i ses e n o u g h dust to h a m p e r visibi l i ty. It h a s a w a s h b o a r d su r f ace punc tua ted with potho les . T h e c omb i ned effect m a k e s my truck fee l a s t hough it's fa l l ing apart . T r e e s on e i ther s i de a re a dul l g reen , chok i ng in their mul t i l ayered coa t i ngs of dust. W h e n it ra ins in Ho l l ow W a t e r this road literally melts, t rans fo rming itself into a s e a of mud . T h e year ly federa l cap i ta l do l lars a l l o ca ted to the rese rve cannot c o v e r the co s t s of br ing ing the road up to requ i red de s i gn s p e e d s a n d the P rov i n ce of Man i t oba d o e s not c on s i de r itself r e spons i b l e b e c a u s e r e s e r ve s lie within " federa l jur isd ic t ion." S o the road b e c o m e s a dai ly top ic o f d i s cu s s i on within the commun i t y . A s I t rave l d own this r oad a satel l i te tower a p p e a r s a n d then the first lone ly hou se . I w o n d e r if I a m in Ho l l ow Water . T he r e is little in the w a y of g reet ings . T h e arch i tecture ne i ther prohib i ts entry nor e sco r t s me in. T h e r e is noth ing ind icat ing arr iva l , noth ing demarca t i ng " ins ide" f rom "outs ide." Fo r a newcomer , it is difficult to asce r ta in whe the r one ha s actua l ly ar r ived. 43 Plan showing settlement pattern The Hollow Water reserve is roughly six and one half km in length and two km in width. The Wanipagow River passes through the reserve where it meets Lake Winnipeg at its northern limit. A main road follows the river and then makes its way west and south through two Metis communities before it meets Highway 304. The terrain within the reserve is uneven and punctuated with granite outcrops. Aside from its built areas, the community is forested. Buildings are scattered along the road, the first few houses appearing directly inside the reserve's southern border. At Lake Winnipeg the population density increases. A school, two churches, two stores and a gas station are at this location in close proximity to the lake. I am told that the overall development of the reserve roughly follows an Indian and Northern Affairs community plan drawn many years ago. Housing A little farther up the road is a scat ter ing of h o m e s spr ink led here a n d there. I c a n read that they h a v e been built be fore wa te r and s ewe r s ar r ived . Infrastructure h a s a w a y of o rder ing , of mak i ng un i fo rm patterns in the l a nd s c ape , and the lack of it permi ts both r a n d o m n e s s and d i s t ance . T h e h o m e s a re two- or t h r ee -bed room bunga l ow sty le, pa in ted in pas te l s h a d e s , wi th p icture w i n d o w s that f a ce the ma i n road . Bui lt with pre fabr i ca ted c o m p o n e n t s and s t anda rd i z ed p l ans , they c ou l d h a v e b e e n uprooted f rom any s ubu rban city deve l opmen t . T h e s e a r e re ferred to a s band h o u s e s , a re fe rence to h ow they a re f i n anced and o w n e d . B a n d h o u s e s we r e built by the b and be fore gove rnmen t hous i ng l oans ex i s ted and s o carry no mo r t gages . They a re adm in i s t e r ed by the band . A s late a s the 1890s the peop l e of Ho l l ow W a t e r w e r e l iving in w i g w a m s , w i n d o w l e s s s t ruc tures m a d e of bent w o o d sap l i ng s a n d c ove r ed with bark o r sk ins . F l oo r s w e r e c o v e r e d with s p r u c e bough s . They we r e eas i l y built a n d rebuilt. A f ew log c ab i n s ex i s ted at that t ime. T h e ear ly c ab i n s had c l ay joints, m o s s for insu la t ion a n d rough s a w n t imber- f ramed roofs. T h e gove rnmen t p rov ided a f ew sma l l w i ndows , ta r -paper and w o o d sh i ng l e s . B y the 1950s mos t peop l e w e r e l iv ing in log c a b i n s and res i ded pe rmanen t l y at the new r e s e r ve of Ho l l ow Wa te r . In the 1950 s the Depa r tmen t of Indian a n d Nor thern Af fa i rs b egan prov id ing fund ing for h o m e bu i ld ing. T h e band 46 built app rox imate l y th ree h o u s e s per y ea r a nd the pre fabr i ca ted b and h o u s e s s lowly b egan to rep l a ce the log c a b i n s . 6 6 A l o n g the ma in road I enter wha t is referred to a s "the subd iv i s ion . " It w a s built wi th in the last f i f teen y ea r s fo l lowing a preex i s t ing Indian a nd Nor thern Af fa i rs p lan . Wi th a gove rnmen t hous i ng subs i dy of $27 ,500 a f igure una l te red f rom the 1970s , and a const ruc t ion rate of three or four h o u s e s per year , the band cou ld not k e e p up with the d e m a n d for new homes . F o r the first t ime Ho l l ow W a t e r b egan bui ld ing on credit. T he r e are f i f teen h o u s e s in the subd iv i s i on built with C a n a d a Mo r t g age a nd Hous i ng Co rpo ra t i on ( C M H C ) 6 7 l oans . A stead i ly i nc reas ing n u m b e r of C M H C h o u s e s built e a c h yea r ident i f ies the c o m p a n y a s the n e w pa inter of the l a nd s cape . T h e subd i v i s i on is a subu rban a r r angemen t of objects , introverted and turning in on itself. T h e h o u s e s h a v e a proximity a n d regular i ty d ic tated by sewer , wa te r a n d the nove l i dea of "subd iv id ing" r e se rve land. Ind iv idua l i zed b o x e s contro l an equa l s ha r e of property. S u c h repet i t ion e a s e s the insta l lat ion of infrastructure but l ays n e w patterns of tenure onto o ld one s . Histor ica l ly , peop l e a r r anged t h e m s e l v e s in fami ly g r o u p i n g s . 6 8 A fami ly 's ya rd w a s de te rm ined by wha t it ma in ta ined and u s ed , es tab l i sh ing a l oo se s y s t e m of territorial bounda r i e s . T h e s y s t e m c rea ted natura l var ia t ions in property s i ze . A c c o r d i n g to a loca l e lder, there w e r e no internal property d i spu tes ove r land. T o regu la r i ze this o rgan i c s y s t e m of a l lo tment wou l d imply that s o m e fami l i e s might be a s s i g n e d ya rd s b igge r than they cou l d m a n a g e wh i le o thers might h a v e ya rd s sma l l e r t han they des i r ed . Infrastructure c a n be a power fu l d i s rupter of tradit ional p rac t i ces . T h e subd i v i s i on is an ind iv idua l i zed repet i t ion of fo rms, un i form in s i ze and type. T h e r e are no sma l l c l us te r s of bu i ld ing. The re are no g r a n d m a su i tes . T h e r e a re no mult ip le-fami ly s t ruc tures whe re a la rge fami ly or ex t ended fami ly cou l d res ide . The r e are no a t tached or s e m i d e t a c h e d a r r angemen t s . A lmos t al l the h o u s e s are n e w two-story d e s i g n s cut f r om the s a m e temp la te . M i n o r var ia t ions resu l t f rom more or f ewer b ed r o oms , essent ia l l y var ia t i ons in s i z e . S o m e t i m e s mirror re f lect ions a re u s e d to c rea te a n au ra of spec i f ic i ty or cus tom i za t i on , a des igne r ' s shortcut to of fer ing c ho i c e without r edes ign ing anyth ing at al l . S i x t een peop l e l ive in one of these , yet it is 6 6 From Barker, Forty Years a Chief and Ray Raven, Hollow Water elder, in conversation with the author. 6 7 Canada Mortgage and Housing is a Crown Corporation whose mandate is to "improve the housing conditions of Canadians." It provides loans and grants for reserve housing. 6 8 If last names are a measure. Hollow Water is made up of about ten families. 47 imposs i b l e to identify it f rom the rest. T hey a re h o u s e s built in a s ing le b r oad s t roke, al l very regu lar and all very equa l . But the subd i v i s i on h o u s e s are la rger than most , an env i ab l e fact in Ho l l ow Water . P e o p l e often refer to their h o m e s by its d imens i on a n d h o u s e s i ze is a c o m m o n m e a n s of d i f ferent iat ion, "We built a 2 4 X 36," c l a imed a band m e m b e r . T h e impor tance of s c a l e is a t es tament to o ve r c r owded cond i t ions . G e n e r i c d e s i g n s a l s o exagge ra t e s c a l e d i f f e rences that stratify the commun i t y . T h e subd iv i s i on has b e c o m e the p l a ce "where the rich fo lks l ive." Dr iv ing th rough t h e s e streets I fee l s t range ly c on sp i c uou s . T h e fee l ing is brought on by the cur ious or ientat ion of the h ou se s . Or ientat ion refers to the p l a cemen t of w i n d o w s and doo r s in a s t ructure wh i ch w h e n one - s i ded e s t ab l i s hes a " face." Wi th f ew excep t i ons , the h o u s e s in Ho l l ow W a t e r f a ce the street. I look at the h o u s e s a n d the h o u s e s s tare back. T h e y a re myop i c , C y c l o p s -type c rea tu res with s i ngu la r ga z i ng p icture w i ndows . S u c h myop i a c r ea t e s a f ine s y s t e m of su rve i l l ance but is cost ly . O n e - e y e d h o m e s a re fitting for o ne - eyed env i r onments , d en se l y p a c k e d s i tes with b a c k s i d e se rv i ce l anes , a n d border ing v ibrant s t reets for e x amp l e . O n e - s i d e d n e s s e m e r g e s w h e n " look ing out" is restr ic ted to a s ingu la r v i ew a s a matter of contex tua l necess i t y . O n e - e y e d s i tes a re often found in u rban and s ubu rban env i r onmen t s . But in Ho l l ow W a t e r there are f ew s u c h cond i t ions . Bu i ld ing s i tes have usab l e f ronts b a c k s and s i des . T h e s e a re low-densi ty, w o o d e d set t ings whe r e m u c h wou l d be ga i ned by deve l op i ng bu i ld ings wi th a mul t i - faced aspec t . A n d no o n e mee t s on the street or s p e n d s t ime there . S t r ee t s a re w indswep t , v a c an t tho rough fa res ut i l ized for c ommut i ng by car. E v e n so , Ho l l ow W a t e r rep l i ca tes an u rban or ientat ion in the midst of the forest. 48 Or ientat ion a f fects a bui ld ing's inter ior by es tab l i sh ing cer ta in opt ics: h o w a bui ld ing l ooks out, h ow it f a c e s its env i ronment , and how it o p e n s itself up. W i n d o w and doo r p l a c emen t s c onnec t a bui ld ing to the wor ld . T h e y fit bu i ld ings into a context by prior it iz ing e l emen t s of that context and thus a re s igni f icant arch i tec tura l ac ts . T o f a ce a forest c l ear ing , a n ove rg rown t ree or an e xpan s i v e l ake m a y de te rm ine whe the r a s p a c e is s e r ene a n d med i ta t ive or an imate a n d d is t ract ing. A n d the v i ew f rom ins ide s h a p e s wha t is re levant a n d wor th con temp la t i ng . Ho l l ow W a t e r bu i ld ings m a k e a cr i t ical c ho i c e . T h e y look to the street for their connec t i on to the wor ld wh i le turn ing their b a c k s to the forest. E v e n w h e n indoors there is no e s c ap i n g the p r o c e s s i o n of ca r s . T h e commun i t y ' s f undamen ta l forest ex i s t ence is i gnored . T h e subd iv i s i on is a recreat ion of s ubu rban North A m e r i c a e v e n in deta i l s . E s t ab l i s hed front f a c a d e s d i sp lay f ake shut ters and s ymbo l i c en t r ance c anop i e s . V i ny l s id ing , aspha l t roof ing a n d sma l l s t anda rd i z ed w i n d o w s c reate an image of " ca ta logue arch i tecture." T h e inter iors a re d rywa l l ed with v inyl f loor ing a n d carpet ing . K i t c hens are pre fabr i ca ted and e lectr ic heat ing is rep lac ing the w o o d s tove of the o lder band hous i ng . It is a dist inct sty le of bu i ld ing bo r rowed f rom city bui lders, a l though a poo r copy . W i n d o w s a re dua l -pane s l id ing pane l s that offer m in ima l insu lat ion. P e o p l e c omp l a i n of p r ob l ems with c ra f t smansh ip , mo ld a n d v apo r barr iers . M i n i m u m leve l s of insulat ion a re p rov ided in 2x4 f r amed wa l l s a n d f in ish ing carpentry is of ten c rude . I l e ave the subd iv i s i on and t rave l far ther up the road . S t r e t ched a l ong this road is a scat ter ing of mo re b and h o u s e s . W h e r e v e r h o u s e s have been built, the l a n d s c a p e a round ha s a resu l tant b a r ene s s , a k ind of i nvas i ve s cou r i ng that d i s c l o s e s too m u c h . O v e r c r o w d e d h o m e s c rea te an ove r c rowd ing of pe r sona l i tems wh i c h f ind l i ves in the ya r d . Bomba rd i e r s , sk i doos , boats , c a r s b a r b e c u e s a n d o ld app l i ances , all t he se take their p l a c e s outs ide the h o u s e in an uno rde red a r r angemen t of e f fects b e c a u s e h o u s e s and y a r d s do not s e r ve the subs tant ia l ou tdoor g e a r that c o m e s with outdoor life. Y e t the s tor ing of i t ems requ i red for l iv ing in a part icu lar p l a ce c a n be a s t rong arch i tectura l de terminant . S o m e commun i t i e s de r i ve an ent ire aes the t i c f rom the n eed s of stor ing part i cu lar t ypes of i tems. S o m e coas ta l c ommun i t i e s , for examp l e , a re arch i tectura l ly de f i ned by boat s to rage st ructures, wh i c h m a k e the se t t l ements r e cogn i zab l e and dist inct. But in Ho l l ow W a t e r the art ic les that m a k e l iv ing in the p l a ce un ique do not t rans fo rm the s ubu rban sty le hous i ng . Instead peop l e have adap t ed n e e d s to structure. It wou l d be imposs i b l e to r ead for i ns tance whe r e the twenty f i s he rmen l ive. A doub l e ga r age comp l e t e with ga r age doo r and 4 9 remote o pene r is u s e d for mea t s to rage and fi l ing cab i ne t s wh i l e ca rs a re pa rked on impor ted Ken tu cky b l ueg ra s s l a w n s 6 9 . T h i s exter ior ca rpet ing , p u r c h a s e d by the squa r e foot, t rans fo rms y a r d s f rom sandy knol ls , rock ou tc ropp ings a n d a var iety of sh rubs a n d g r a s s e s into one s ing le co lo r and texture. A n d there a re no sk idoo s hed s , co ld s to rage r o oms a t tached to the h o u s e for wi ld g a m e , or racks outs ide on wh i ch to mount a c anoe . Ou tdoo r s p a c e b e c o m e s l ittered with th ings that require h o m e s of their o w n . O the rw i se y a r d s a re bar ren p l a ces . E l e m e n t s that cou l d t rans fo rm t h em into u sab l e s p a c e s s u ch a s outbu i ld ings, per iphera l vegeta t ion , sea t i ng , furniture, fire pits a n d c anop i e s a re nonex is tent . T h e border b e tween ins ide and ou ts ide is ma in ta i ned a s abso lu te a n d brutal . O n e is e i ther ins ide or outs ide . O n e is e i ther in the h o u s e w h e r e one is protected a n d one ' s act iv i t ies are a c c o m m o d a t e d or out of the h o u s e whe r e there is no protect ion, a c c o m m o d a t i o n or invitat ion to do anyth ing at al l . Th i s abrupt jux tapos i t ion of bu i ld ing a n d env i r onmen t is felt a s o n e enters l iving s p a c e s f rom all manne r s of wea the r . C a n a d a Mo r t gage a n d Hous i ng Co rpo ra t i on d o e s not a l low for the prov i s ion of s u ch e l emen t s ou ts ide the "s tandard unit," e l emen t s re fer red to a s "extras" or non-essen t i a l s . T h e corpora t ion ' s regu la t ions for h o u s e de s i gn must be met to s e cu r e fund ing and de s i gn ex t ras wou l d on ly h inder app rova l of l oans . But wi thout t he se "extras," h o u s e s r ema in unc l ad a n d e x p o s e d . A var iety of spat ia l oppor tun i t ies ex is t b e tween the ex t r emes of ins ide a nd outs ide. P o r c h e s a re s u c h opportun i t ies . A porch sp i l l s a bu i ld ing onto its site. It turns arch i tec ture ins ide out. P o r c h e s a re a bui ld ing 's greet ing , mak i ng it mo r e fr iendly and sa fe . A po r ch u she r s one in. A porch is p l a ce whe re o n e c a n d e c i d e if a gues t ga i n s admi t t ance or not. A n d a po r ch is a p l ace that e nab l e s the t rans fo rmat ion of env i r onmen ta l d i s comfor t s , l ike rain, into a w e l c o m e expe r i en ce . In Man i t o ba they are e s sen t i a l . M o s t important ly, p o r c he s a re a m e a n s of enter ing a bu i ld ing without the wea t he r at one ' s hee l s . A n d it is poss i b l e to des i gn a s t anda rd "unit" onto wh i ch peop l e c a n m a k e s u ch ad jus tments , onto wh i ch c a n be over la id t he se "ext ras" that spec i fy , c u s t om i z e and add comfort to a bu i ld ing. But the initial d e s i gn mus t ant ic ipate t h e m . It mus t m a k e s o m e prepara t ion and invitation 6 9 Kentucky bluegrass was imported to North America by Europeans and their animals. It was, and is, used as a pasture grass due to its density, fodder quality and longevity. With proper grazing management no reseeding may be necessary. It has been cultivated for hundreds of years for usage in North America as pastures, lawns, and sports turf. It is popular due to its density, resistance to damage and impact (it forms tough sod), its uniform appearance, color and fine texture. Years of genetic breeding have produce varieties with specific disease and insect tolerance. It has recommended mowing heights. 50 for c h a n g e . Bu i l d ing adapta t i ons often h inge on roof d e s i gn or how a roof c a n be gracefu l ly and pract ica l ly e x t ended . But the b and h o u s e and C M H C h o u s e a re d e s i g ned a s comp l e t e p a c k a g e s . T h e y do not ant i c ipate adapta t ion wh i ch , w h e n it happens , o c c u r s in sp i te of the de s i gn rather than b e c a u s e of it. P e o p l e attempt to c reate their o w n makesh i f t s t ruc tures to soften the jolt o f env i ronment . P o r c h e s a n d d e c k s a re a d d e d to the s t anda rd i z ed unit. E v e n indoor furniture is p l a c ed ou tdoo r s a s a m e a n s o f g iv ing l ivabil ity to the s p a c e s a round bu i ld ings. But there is genera l l y a crudity abou t t h e s e add-ons . They a re often meage r , w i ndow l e s s p l ywood b o x e s for wea the r -b reaks , or d e c k s that a re too sma l l a nd e x p o s e d . T h e y are t a cked on . A n d hav ing no invitation to be there in the first p lace , they fit the bui ld ing poor iy, s l a m m i n g into the s i de of a wa l l rather than merg ing with it. N e c e s s a r y e l emen t s b e c o m e arch i tectura l a f terthoughts. Ho l l ow Wa t e r hous ing is a n arch i tec ture of inter iors wi thout externa l d e ve l o pmen t or gradat ion . A s I p a s s h o u s e s o n e by one , I s e n s e this arch i tectura l ab rup tness wh i c h c a n be attr ibuted not on ly to the lack of arch i tec tura l embe l l i s hmen t but to the preva lent roof d e s i gn . She l t e r beg ins with a roof. A roof is the first ges tu re of protect ion, r e s i dency a n d d o m a i n . S t ruc ture is b a s e d on roof l oad . A bui ld ing c an be mere l y a roof. W a l l s are not s o e l emen ta l . Wa l l s ex is t to suppor t roofs. Wa l l s a re en c l o su r e but not she l te rs . A n d peop l e must be she l t e red . S o the te rm "shelter" ha s b e c o m e s y n o n y m o u s wi th roof. Roo f s a re a l s o the mos t cha l l enged e l emen t s in a bu i ld ing. T h e y w i ths tand ex t r eme fo rces , bear ing the beat ing sun , and shedd i ng s n o w a n d ra in. S o they beg in to d i s c l o se the c l imate o f a reg ion. F lat roofs r evea l l imited prec ip i tat ion and soa r ing t empera tu res , l ike deser t arch i tec ture . H igh-p i t ched roofs a n d fantast i c o v e r h ang s d i s c l o s e the need to s h e d s n o w and rain and protect wa l l s f rom m idday s u n . S o roofs a s s u m e part icu lar a s p e c t s in spec i f i c r eg i ons and e v e n beg in to de f ine a p lace by their f o rms . Man i t oba prec ip i tat ion o c c u r s in snow, s leet, ra in, hai l a nd in their e n d l e s s permuta t ions . F lat roofs a re p rob lemat i c cons t ruc t i ons that require all m a n n e r s of spec i a l i z ed t e chn ique to m a k e t h em work b e c a u s e they do not s h e d t he se l oads . S t e e p roofs with o v e r h ang s a re log ica l . T h e y are a l so arch i tectura l ly dominant . L o c a l peop l e s e n s e this logic, a s so c i a t i ng p i t ched roo fs with res ident ia l a rch i tec ture a nd domest i c i t y a n d flat roofs with inst i tut ional bu i ld ings. T h e more preva len t the p i tch, the more "home l i ke . " I A roof extension can become a porch and fit a building Minimal and awkward porches added for necessary weather protection • i * 1 p M i i -11 '-•'-^Jimtmm \ 51 S e n s i b l e loca l f o rms are sweep i ng cons t ruc t ions , she l ter ing a n d s hedd i ng like the br im of a great 5 2 But the h o u s e s in Ho l l ow W a t e r a re not hats. In form they a re a lmos t contrary to the wea ther . Roo f s are t imid ha l f -gestures that re luctant ly s l ope to s h e d their l oads with the sma l l e s t ang le poss ib l e . It is a roof des i gn that m in im i z e s mater ia l s and cost . T hey a re a lways gab led , neve r hip, and carry un i form low p i t ches of 1 in 3, the m i n imum s l ope for sh i ng l ed aspha l t . R oo f s a re bare ly evident, a nd s o they do not e xagge ra t e the reality of the wea t he r m u c h less e xp r e s s it boastful ly. A n d there is a n a b s e n c e of o ve r hang s . T h e low-p i tched roofs s top reso lute ly at the wa l l , p ronounc ing the wa l l . G a b l e f o rms further e x a g g e r a t e the wa l l at e a c h end . A s roo fs a n d o v e r h a n g s d i sappear , bu i ld ings b e c o m e wal l s , a nd wa l l s with m in ima l open i ngs relat ive to their p lanar a r ea . Ho l l ow W a t e r hous i ng is a n arch i tecture of wa l l s rather than roofs, a d ramat i c depar ture f rom its w i g w a m p redece s so r . But wa l l s a re not she l ters . T hey are enc l o su re s , d e s i g ned to k eep out a n d keep in. A n d s o their p r eva l ence g i v e s the bu i ld ings an unapp r oa chab l e aspec t . H o u s e s in Ho l l ow W a t e r a re not v isua l ly be ckon i ng a n d emb ra c i ng c rea tu res that ex t end their a r m s into the wor ld a s they s h e d their l oads . Instead they h a v e a n abrupt, s to ic att i tude inher i ted f rom their wa l l a nd roof des i gn . A c lus ter of tra i lers unexpec ted l y e m e r g e s a l ong the road a n d I sw ing in to take a c l o s e r look. In 1999 the b and pu r c ha s ed ten tra i lers on a bank loan to e a s e an ongo i ng hous ing ba ck l og . They we r e in tended to be temporary e m e r g e n c y hous i ng . But on r e se rve the tempora ry ha s a w a y of b e c o m i n g pe rmanen t . E m e r g e n c y rel ief s t ruc tures part ial ly de f ine the arch i tec ture of the p lace . T h e tra i lers a r e uti l itarian and min ima l i s t with a sit ing to ma t ch . T h e g round ha s b e e n l eve led and t r ees r e m o v e d to c rea te s u c h a s c o u r e d l a nd s c ape that the sma l l e s t and mos t un in tended objec ts b e c o m e signi f icant. Th i s env i r onmenta l f lattening and s impl i f i cat ion ampl i f i es the p r e s en ce of t e l ephone po les , s t o rage s h e d s and ga r bage r e cep tac l e s . Un l ike ly ob jec ts t ake on a new p reva lence , rep lac ing the forest l a n d s c a p e with a c rude ly uti l i tarian aes thet i c . T h e trai ler court is remin i scen t of work c a m p hous ing , env i r onmen t s of s a m e n e s s ref lect ing the mono tony of a work cyc l e and the t empo ra r i n e s s of the s e a s o n a l laborer . 53 54 C l ea r i ng t rees and leve l ing vas t a r e a s a p p e a r to p r e c ede the cons t ruc t ion of most bu i ld ings in Ho l l ow Water . S i te a c c e s s and const ruc t ion is m a d e eas ie r . E qu i pmen t c a n move u n e n c u m b e r e d , espec ia l l y w h e n bu i ld ing mult ip le s t ruc tures in c l o s e proximity. It is a bu i ld ing me thod d e s i g ned for s p e e d and ef f i c iency. N o negot iat ing be tween t rees . N o f igur ing out how a bui ld ing c a n be best fitted to a s l ope . N o tamper ing with the gene r i c de s i gn temp la te . T o f latten a site is to m a k e it we l l su i ted for repet i t ion in arch i tecture, and with mode rn heavy equ ipment , r emov ing huge a r ea s of forest requ i res little con temp la t i on . Dev ia t i ons in g eog r aphy a re eas i ly s m o o t h e d to a c c o m m o d a t e the mos t un i form and repet i t ive d e s i gn a r r angemen t s . S i te leve l ing is d one be fore bui ld ing de s i gn s a re gene ra t ed and we l l be fo re a spec i f i c bu i ld ing c a n instruct wha t ought to be r e m o v e d and wha t ought to rema in a round itself. S o , few t rees ex i s t a round bu i ld ings whe r e they a re most n e e d e d . A n d there are obv ious l y no rep lant ing p rog rams . W h a t is c l e a r ed r ema i n s c l ea red . Ho l l ow W a t e r h a s no t rees with in its built a r ea s . T h e ob jec t ive of l a nd s c ape a l terat ion is to m a k e way for cons t ruc t ion rather than to e n h a n c e de s i gn . It is a n env i ronmenta l l y devas ta t i ng s y s t e m of r emova l . S i t e s a r e m a d e to ma t ch the anonym i t y of bu i ld ings. I of ten try to read bu i ld ings, to bend an ea r to their wh i spe r s , to l isten to their s tor ies . W h o l ived in th is house , for how l ong? H o w do they m a k e a l iv ing? W h a t do they d e e m impor tan t? Is it a pa inter 's h o u s e ? D id h is great -grandfa ther l ive in this h o u s e ? A n d s o on . De ta i l ed s tor ies have been cons t ruc ted of pas t c iv i l i zat ions th rough mere s c r a p s of bu i ld ing mater ia l . A r c haeo l og i s t s rely on t he se arch i tectura l cont inu i t ies a n d evo lut ions . But the hou s i ng in Ho l l ow W a t e r is s i lent about any past. It is s i lent b e c a u s e it is instant. H o u s e s are d e s i g n e d for overn ight a s s e m b l a g e and built f r om a pre fabr i ca ted "kit of parts" manu fac tu red e l s ewhe re . S o m e bu i ld ings arr ive at their s i tes in one p i e ce . " Ready to Move s , " o r R T M ' s a s they are ca l l ed , litter the l a nd s cape . R T M ' s a re store-bought rather t han h o m e m a d e bu i ld ings . T h e y a re off-the-rack rather than c u s t o m d e s i g n e d . T h e y a re s e l e c t ed f rom a handfu l of d e s i g n s p rov ided by bu i ld ing mater ia l c o m p a n i e s a s g o o d s a re bought f r om a store. A n d so the p l a ce is g i ven an au ra of just be ing a s s e m b l e d . A n d it h a s b een . M o s t of the bu i ld ings in Ho l l ow W a t e r we re built in the last fifty y ea r s . P e o p l e a l s o m a k e f ew c h a n g e s to the exter ior o f the ir h o m e s that might r e co rd th is f i f ty-year p a s s a g e . If any c h a n g e s a re m a d e they a re m in ima l funct iona l e l emen t s s u ch a s p o r c he s and d e c k s to so f ten the wea the r ex t r emes . 55 Ho l l ow W a t e r arch i tecture is an unl ike ly mar r iage be tween f l imsy, instant bu i ld ings and two-hundred-year-o ld o c cupa t i on . T h e n e w and the tempora ry have over la in the o ld, a nd occupa t i on ha s b een m a d e to fee l brief, al l through bu i ld ings. T h e arch i tecture of Ho l l ow W a t e r s p e a k s of a peop l e without a past, a s though they just ar r ived. 56 Materials If one we re to construct a house from the things that are found nearby, the h o u s e wou ld have certa in unders tandab le propert ies. It wou ld be recogn i zab le and c lose . It wou ld have a certa in immed ia te famil iar ity. "I recogn ize this or that mater ia l , hav ing encountered it a mil l ion t imes on my way home." But the houses in Ho l low Wa t e r p o s s e s s no su ch familiarity. Instead they have an "otherwor ld l iness" der ived from their form and organizat ion and exaggera ted by their mater ia ls . T h e h o u s e s are prefabr icated w o o d e n f r ames c lad with vinyl s id ing, aspha l t roof ing, drywal l interiors, carpet ing and vinyl f loor ing. Wi th the except ion of the invisible wa l l and roof f raming, t hese are imported mater ia ls. They have distr ibutors in W inn ipeg and a re often manufac tu red even farther away. W h e n they do not c ome from afar, mater ia ls are man ipu la ted to the extent that they no longer be long to the surround ings . Drywal l (also known as Sheet rock , g y p s u m wa l lboard and p lasterboard), for examp l e , is w ide ly u sed b e c a u s e it is the least expens i ve of all the interior f in ishing mater ia ls. It is a subst i tute for plaster, requir ing less ski l led workers and enab l ing faster instal lat ion. Drywal l is m a d e of g y p s u m or hydrated sulfate of ca l c ium, found in sed imentary rock. Th is minera l is m ixed with va r i ous harden ing agents . It is then sandw i ched be tween spec ia l paper and p a s s ed be tween rol lers to a a ch i eve certa in w i d th s . 7 0 Drywal l is a "synthetic" mater ia l , not unnatura l or artificial (all mater ia l s c o m e f rom nature), but synthesized, c o m p o u n d e d f rom sma l l e r e l ementa l parts . A n d it is highly man ipu la ted . A high deg ree of manipu lat ion often c rea tes an abstract mater ia l , the or ig ins and propert ies of wh i ch are not eas i ly a cknow ledged or read intuitively. Wha t is it? W h e r e d o e s it c o m e f rom? H o w is it m a d e ? For what c an it be u sed? O n e cannot look at drywal l and say, "I have s e en that s o m e w h e r e outs ide in the natural wor ld." It is not harvested and grown. It doe s not have a readi ly recogn i zab le organic nature like a grain, e ven though it is most ly organic . Y o u cannot read it a nd say "I think it is strong or weak or that it c an be u sed in s u ch a manner." A n d s o e ven its care b e c o m e s a mystery. How can it be c l e aned? C a n it w i ths tand s oap and wa te r ? H o w do I repair that c rack in the wa l l ? W h a t is patch ing c o m p o u n d ? A n d whe re do I get For a description of drywall usage see Allen, Fundamentals of Building Construction. 57 it? P e r h a p s this task requires an expert. Drywal l feels fore ign even when its const i tuent parts may very we l l be found nearby . 7 1 Drywal l ' s otherwor ld l iness c o m e s from its stubborn character . It cannot a ge b e c a u s e it d oe s not have an aging p rocess that improves its propert ies. Rather, drywal l must be kept f rom ag ing . It must not look old and worn b e cau se it d o e s not accep t wea r with grace. Imperfect ions do not add charac ter . Instead it must have an appea rance of hav ing just been insta l led. A n d proper ly execu ted , drywal l repairs require skillful p laster ing be cause joints must be perfectly smoo thened . Wa l l s must be spot less , devo id of dents and sc ra tches , t ime less and inert. Drywa l l is a l so a s t reaml ined mater ia l . 4x8-foot shee t s a r e ava i lab le for spec i f i c a n d predetermined purposes . Drywal l pane ls do not invite improv isat ion. P ane l s are instal led and one may ca tch a g l impse of its internal structure when ends are briefly exposed , but upon instal lat ion, interact ion ends . Moreover , interaction is undes i rab le b e c a u s e drywal l lacks tactility. The re is no part icular feel or a r oma to drywal l . Its nature is nebu lous . O n e e lder remin i sced about the sp ruce a r o m a of the old style cab in and w igwam, a famil iar longing a m o n g e lders. W o o d is aromat ic. It is a mater ia l that one wants to approach and touch, to run one ' s hand a long its gra in. But drywal l d o e s not beckon . Nor d o e s drywal l have a grain l ike wood that a l lows for fasten ing. S o it must be b y p a s s e d w h e n a s k e d to bea r the weight of househo ld effects such a s pictures and she lv ing. It is mere ly an obs tac l e to gett ing to the rea l structure, effect ively c on c ea l e d beh ind its prist ine sur face . In short, it is an awkward mater ia l in this forest context. Abst rac t and without materiality, it is more su i ted to large publ ic s p a c e s than those c l ose at hand. Pr ist ine and non-aging, it is eas i ly o f fended by a lifestyle that me rge s indoors and out. V iny l s id ing, asphal t sh ingl ing, and vinyl f looring are a lso heavi ly manufac tured non-ag ing mater ia ls that a re difficult to understand, have nebu lous natures, and originate f rom afar. E v e n compos i t e e l emen t s in the home are prefabr icated and a s s e m b l e d on-site. K i t chens are most ly cons t ruc ted f rom a part ic leboard structure onto wh i ch is g lued laminate veneers . Pa r t i c l eboard is m a d e f rom w o o d ch ips and shav ings , g lued us ing urea fo rma ldehyde resin a s a binding agent . 7 11 have borrowed ideas on materiality from Michael Benedikt who discusses "fakery" in architecture in For an Architecture of Reality. Benedikt proposes an architecture of "reality" that responds to "direct aesthetic experience" as a partial response to the fakery of historicism, neoclassicism, postmodernism and other architectural movements. 58 (Sea l ing the e dge s is r e c ommended to prevent res in emiss i ons , a p r o ce s s known as off-gassing.) T h e su r faces are covered with laminates su ch as Arbor i te or F o r m i c a 7 2 constructed of pape r s and res in that a l so uti l ize fo rma ldehyde in their manufacture. L o ca l mater ia ls are not prevalent in the bui ld ings of Ho l low Water . W o o d is main ly u sed in rough f raming whe re it is invis ible, and after it has b een harvested and manipu la ted e l sewhere . But mater ia ls a bound all round. A t one t ime s i l ica sand , abundant on B lack Island, w a s mined to supp ly a g l a s s -mak ing factory in the town of Selk i rk near W inn ipeg . T imber has been harves ted al l a round the rese rve for more than one hundred yea rs . The reserve sits on the edge of the C a n a d i a n Sh ie ld with its vas t granite base . The re is no shortage of bui lding mater ia ls . Y e t when one enters a house in Ho l l ow Wa t e r one leaves the forest beh ind . Imported mater ia ls import a know ledge base that requires no apprec ia t ion of the immed ia te env i ronment . Drywal l requires spec ia l sc rews, spec ia l tape, spec ia l p laster, and of c ou r se insta l lers with spec ia l know ledge . It rep laces local know ledge su ch a s carpentry. (Ho l low Wa t e r is h ome to a handful of unemp loyed carpenters.) I wonde r what b e c a m e of loca l bui ld ing know ledge with the onset of prefabr icat ion and new mater ia ls . I wonde r about how the u s e of new mater ia ls and techn iques might have c hanged peop le 's relat ion to the forest. I wonde r about the unders tand ing of spruce, cutting and dry ing t imes, forest managemen t techn iques that wou l d have been emp l o yed to ensure the most appropr iate l umber w a s used and the ongo ing forest inventory that t ied together subs i s tence act ivit ies such a s m o o s e hunting and house-bui ld ing. I w o n d e r about the p r o c e s s e s that c e a s e to be b e c a u s e of new mater ia ls . T h e importation of mater ia ls exp la ins the new i r re levance of the forest and the new i r reverence for t rees . W h e n sp ruce boards are rep laced with vinyl, and logs with prefabr icated 2x4 f r amed wal ls , there is no need to unders tand a forest 's natural rhythms, no need to unders tand its propert ies, a nd no need to exe r c i se its ca re . Chang i ng bui lding mater ia ls c hanges know ledge and ult imately c h a n g e s people 's re lat ionship to the p l aces in wh ich they l ive. In Hol low Water , she l ter is not der ived f rom the forest. T h e forest is s imply c leared to make way for a new set of fore ign mater ia ls . N o longer a necess i ty for bui ld ing, the forest is an obstac le . T rees just get in the way , hence their ind iscr iminate remova l . Common product names. 59 A s I t ravel farther a long the road in sea r ch of the communi ty hal l , no hint of a center or towns i te eme rge s . Mo re house s appea r and I feel the d iscomfort of d isor ientat ion, of not be ing ab le to locate myse l f through multiple f rames of re ference. Nav igat ion dev i ces are hard to locate . E a c h t ime I v is i ted Ho l l ow Water, I expe r i enced a s imi lar d isor ientat ion. Of cou r se mine is a v is i tor 's v i ew of Ho l l ow Water . T h e local peop le have no navigat ing diff iculties b e c au se their wayf ind ing d o e s not rely on archi tecture. Travers ing Ho l low Water ' s paths t housands of t imes have commit ted the p lan to memory , and env i ronmenta l c u e s are unnecessa ry . My difficulty in navigat ion ar i ses , partly, f rom the des ign and p lacement of house s . A bui ld ing ought to fee l its p lacement like a tree. It cannot be moved be cau se it g rows out o f its site and me rge s with its surroundings. One shou ld be ab le to look at it and read someth ing about its env i rons , wh i ch way the wind b lows, whe re the sun travels, in wh ich direct ion the lake rests and so on . But Ho l low Wa te r houses are not tree-l ike. The s a m e houses with the s a m e mater ia ls in the s a m e style scatter the l andscape with the r andomnes s of a roll ing die. They float h igh a bove the land. They do not ca re where they are. They cou ld have any background and any site. T hey are su i ted for anyp l a ce and nop lace . They have a l ightness and are character ist ica l ly t ranspor tab le . Ho l low Wa t e r h ou s e s may be w renched f rom their s ites, d ragged down the street and rep lanted without effect b e c a u s e such activity wou ld alter neither bui ld ing or site. A n d b e c a u s e they do not tell you whe re they are, they cannot tell you whe re y ou are . O n e cannot look at a bui lding and read a locat ion from it. The districts and z o n e s based on l oca l i zed charac te r result f rom hous ing "programs" a s opposed to geography and use . E a c h gove rnmen t p rog ram (the subd iv i s ion and the trailer court) es tab l i shes overal l forms and part icular d e s i gn s that a id in nav igat ion. Otherwise, there are no methods of d ist inguishing one house f rom the next. T h e band hou se s are identical and repeated throughout the reserve, offering the most ex t reme c a s e s of bu i ld ings lost in s pa ce . The result is d i sordered s p a c e that is unnav igab le . I cannot imag ine how to direct a person to a speci f ic h ou se desp i te the sma l l ne s s of Ho l low Water . A s I l eave the hous ing behind, the rattling in the car r eaches new peaks and I s l ow down for fear of los ing a whee l . Th is 4x4 truck w a s pu r chased antic ipat ing su ch roads, but c lear ly without an unders tand ing of the re lat ionship be tween tires, potho les and whee l base . I beg in to d read the Ho l low Wa t e r road . A chance is approach ing to end the rattling in my head . T h e band off ice l ies a h e a d . 60 Band office and community hall A band off ice a ppea r s a long the ma in road dotted with h o u s e s . Wi thout ant ic ipatory ges tu res , f ind ing the bui ld ing wou ld require a m a p or acc ident . M a n y Ho l l ow W a t e r s t ructures are s imi lar ly p l a ced without apparent logic. T h e bu i ld ing s i ts on a bar ren site retreat ing away f rom the road to a l low a large park ing lot. O n w e e k d a y s , a s e a of veh i c l e s dom ina t e s the v i ew with the bui ld ing squat t ing beh ind . A n y natural wea the r protect ion of fered by the forest is e l im inated. T h e sit ing is shopp i ng mal l sty le, exaggera t i ng the way that peop l e cus tomar i l y arr ive, by car. The band off ice is the cen te r of loca l gove rnmen t and a p l a ce of admin is t rat ion. T h e bui ld ing 's g o ve r nan c e funct ion is c lear ly ref lected in its p lan , a boa r d r oom su r r ounded by a hal l with ce l lu lar d rywa l led of f i ces, pa inted white. T h e boa r d r oom is formal , a n d w h e n c l o s ed its large doub l e doo r s lend an ex c l u s i v e aura . It is the off ic ial meet ing p lace, a w i n dow l e s s s p a c e lit with f luorescent l ights. T h e r oom has a s ymmet r i c a l a r r angemen t of doo rways , and a great tab le at the cen te r enc i r c l ed with cha i r s . T h e only e l emen t s that b reak its auster i ty a re s o m e na ive ly d r awn image s on 8 1/2 x 11- inch pape r moun ted on a wa l l . T hey p roc l a im the band ' s f undamen ta l t each ings of honesty , shar ing , love and other c a n o n s and, p r e sen ted without aes thet i c f u s s or p re tens ions , offer a stark contrast to the r oom. T h e band of f ice is more than Ho l l ow Wa te r ' s cen te r of g ove rnan ce . It h a s b e c o m e a ma i n gather ing p l a ce whe r e peop l e gravi tate th roughout any day for n e w s and soc ia l i z ing , a n d the arch i tecture 's sever i ty d o e s not h inder t he se f requent meande r i ngs . Dur ing my o w n presentat ion in the boa rd room, for examp l e , the meet ing c h a n g e d persona l i ty a few t imes . S t r e a m s of peop l e w a n d e r through the bu i ld ing dai ly. S o m e c a n be found chatt ing in the e m p l o y e e cof fee r oom. Peop l e and their ch i ld ren soc i a l i ze in the c r a m m e d en t rance fu rn i shed with too few cha i r s . The i r arch i tectura l "occupa t i on " h a s little a c c o m m o d a t i o n . T h e s p a c e b e g s mo r e generos i ty . A scat ter ing of furniture, ins ide a n d outs ide, and ten feet of add i t iona l lobby s pa c e , for examp le , wou ld have e a s e d the s o m e t i m e s p rob lemat i c juxtapos i t ion of g ove rnan ce func t ions and ma in commun i t y water ing hole, but the of f i ces ' arch i tecture d id not ant ic ipate nor eventua l l y w e l c o m e its inev i tab le gather ing funct ion. T h e bui ld ing 's des i gn is un comprom i s i ng . Wh i l e this unp l anned coex i s t ence of act iv i t ies has b e c o m e an integral part of the bui ld ing 's life, o c cas i ona l l y admin is t ra t ive mee t i ngs a re he ld in W inn i peg , to avo id dev ia t i ons f rom the bui ld ing's "p lanned use." A band m e m b e r exp l a i ned that an important counc i l meet ing in J u n e 2 0 0 0 61 w a s he ld in W inn i peg to c i rcumvent the distract ing effects of peop le 's movements . T h e entire counc i l c o nvened in a city hotel . A n d peop le ' s act iv it ies are eros ive, hav ing a posit ive, destab i l i z ing effect on the centra l i zat ion of power, softening the prob lemat ic relat ions between the commun i ty a nd local government . Un l i ke typical government architecture, peop le regular ly ming le at the band of f ice with those who exe r c i se power ove r them, and use the bui ld ing a s though they too be long to its o rgan i zed work force . N e w territorial c l a ims have been made desp i te a lack of arch i tectura l s t rateg ies for p o s s e s s i o n . 7 3 The band office i l lustrates s o m e important a b s e n c e s in Ho l low Water . A commun i ty c an be def ined a s a p lace where peop le gather to do things together, usual ly work and s p e n d le isure t ime. O n e band m e m b e r ob se r ved , however , that in Ho l low Wa t e r "the bui ld ings w e h a v e c rea te barr iers. W e want to break down the wal ls be tween us. A bui lding that insp i res network ing a nd shar ing wou ld help fix what is wrong be tween us." H e env i s ioned a bui ld ing that housed a mult itude of funct ions inc lud ing band office, shopp ing cultural center and recreat ion center under one roof a s a m e a n s towards communi ty hea l ing. Ano the r band m e m b e r spoke of the compar tmenta l i za t ion of the band off ice. "We are all in little ce l ls . The bui lding is awful for network ing. Y o u c o m e out to talk to s o m e o n e a n d m i s s your phone ca l l . " 7 4 A Seymourv i l l e res ident cr it ic iz ing the spat ia l ru les o f res ident ia l s choo l i ng stated, "You had to eat here, s l eep here and study there. T h e s e we re not in te rchangeab le . The space w a s not free to al low you to do as you w ish in i t . " 7 5 A des i re c lear ly ex i s ts for more fluid and organ ic spat ia l relat ions, in part to facil itate a communi ty toge therness that has van i shed . The band office's awkward u sage is only symptomat i c of a larger prob lem. Regu l a r c a sua l interact ion in th is tightly knit commun i ty i s cultural ly important, and the need for s u ch v e n u e s is i n c reased with high levels of unemployment . But Ho l low Water ' s rigid architectural o rder d o e s not respond . The town's main c ommuna l faci l i t ies compr i se band office, s choo l , church and commun i ty hal l . Wh i l e they "gather people," the first three are p lanned a s institutional s t ructures with institutional pu rposes , governance , schoo l ing and formal rel igion. The band off ice is the commun i ty 7 3 See Hertzberger, Lessons for Students in Architecture for specific design strategies to enable people's occupation of space. 7 4 Both quotes from band members, Hollow Water June 27, 2000. 7 3 Seymourville resident, conversation with author, August 5, 2000. 62 l ocus b e c a u s e it is a p lace of communi ty governance , land c la ims, soc ia l and cultural p rograms, wel fare administrat ion and other band affairs. But it is a l so a locus b e cau se of a lack of other opportuni t ies for an informal co l lect ive life to take p lace. The recent ly built commun i ty hall is the except ion . It is a noninstitut ional structure u sed for feasts , wedd ings , meet ings and other o rgan i zed gather ings. The hall w a s initially equ ipped with g a m e d for the youth, but it too has be come guarded after inc idents of vanda l i sm. Importantly, the occupat ion of the band office, schoo l , church and commun i ty hall is contro l led, and with the except ion of the band office, none are truly publ ic p laces, places that can be possessed at the will of people and whenever it suits them. E v e n the pos se s s i on of the band off ice is marg ina l , a bit of spat ia l borrowing at its fr inges. T h e random dai ly des i res of peop le to interact informal ly with their ne ighbors do not have p lanned architectural outlets. Consequen t l y one cannot see the Ho l low Wate r peop le a s one might s e e the peop le of a communi ty by tak ing a trip to its cen te r of gravity. Never the less peop le cont inue their activit ies desp i te bui ld ings and defy ing bui ld ings. They gather without architectural invitat ions. V is i t ing within h omes rema ins signif icant, and it is l ikely the primary m e a n s whereby peop le meet and spend ca sua l t ime. P eop l e compla in of a genera l lack of recreat ional faci l i t ies. E v e n week ly b ingo is he ld in Man i go t agan and P i ne Fa l l s . O n e pe r son attributed the r ise in youth v io lence to an a b s e n c e of commun i t y structures that might focus idle youngsters . No hotels, restaurants, transit stat ions, shopp ing mal ls , publ ic parks, histor ical and cultural s i tes or recreat ional amen i t ies ex ist in Ho l low Water . T w o lone ga s stat ions have at tached shops for necess i t i es . So , weekend s inst igate a m a s s e xodu s of peop le f rom Hol low Wa te r for shopp ing , recreat ion and bingo, un load ing cruc ia l do l lars e l sewhe re . S p e a k e r s and a t tendees of the two-day conference, beg inn ing today, have rese rved rooms in P ine Fa l l s one hour away. They do not stay on the reserve b e c a u s e no publ ic a c c ommoda t i o n ex is ts . Lack ing a communi ty interface with wh ich to interact with outs iders, s t rangers are suspec t in Ho l l ow Water . The re is no p lace for t hem to be naturally. A l though the band off ice offers a p lace for loca l s to ming le, an outs ider is a s s u m e d to be a pe rson "on bus iness " who must want someth ing . (Whi le I w a s s tand ing casua l ly in its lobby, a band membe r a s ked if I w a s app ly ing for a job. Ho l l ow Wa t e r ha s an internal ized character without a publ ic interface. 63 Inherit ing the prob lems of s t anda rd wes te rn p lann ing m o d e l s whe r eby " . . .so lut ions to arch i tectura l p r ob l ems have been h a m p e r e d by segregat ion of func t ions ins tead of i n teg ra t i on , " 7 6 Ho l low W a t e r a l so s eg rega te s its bu i ld ings. E a c h bui ld ing has a so l e in tended funct ion. The r e a re no intent ional ly mu l t ipurpose bui ld ings, no m e s s y mix ing of funct ions with in bu i ld ings and be tween bu i ld ings. T h e band off ice and c ommun i t y hal l a re e x a m p l e s of compar tmenta l i za t i ons . T hey s tand apart, yet subs tant ia l bor row ings ex ist b e tween t hem. Informal a nd a w k w a r d ga ther ings o c cu r in the band off ice wh i le the commun i t y hal l is u s e d for big pol it ical mee t i ngs . P e op l e often re ferred to the d i s junc tures in Ho l l ow Wa t e r a n d their des i r e to br ing their c ommun i t y "back together." O n e band m e m b e r r e c o m m e n d e d ". . .one b ig bu i ld ing w h e r e every th ing c a n h a p p e n under o n e b ig roof. Every th ing wou l d be here inc lud ing a r e sea r ch center , hea l ing center , gather ing p lace , a n d band off ice, al l unde r o n e b ig roof." 7 7 T h e rain h a s begun , a nd I mus t f ind the e lus i ve commun i t y hal l . A l t hough the structure must be s i zab le , I cannot locate it and a sk for d i rect ions. Ho l l ow W a t e r is a mere four t h ou sand a c r e s and yet o n e c a n eas i ly m i sp l a ce bu i ld ings. W h e n I do f ind the structure, t imidly s i tuated off the ma in road, there a re ch i ldren p lay ing in the mud that su r r ounds its en t rance . T h e doo r s a re l o cked . A n irony ex i s t s about its title "Commun i t y Ha l l . " L i ke s imi la r bu i ld ings eve rywhe re , it is most ly unava i l ab l e to the commun i ty un l e s s spec i f i c funct ions, s u ch a s a con fe rence , are p l anned I at tempt to park the ca r on the s ink ing g round and o b s e r v e s o m e peop l e cons t ruc t ing a s idewa lk f r om the bui ld ing to the park ing a r ea . T h e structure is be ing m a d e f rom p i e ce s o f r e cyc l ed lumber and w o o d e n crates , b r idges on wh i ch to wa lk to avo id the m u d that wou l d swa l l ow one ' s foot. I unde r ra ted the sur face t reatment o f outdoor s p a c e s . T h e y are more than deta i ls , beaut i f i cat ion, a n d ext ras . The i r necess i t y is obv i ous a s I ob s e r v e this l abor ious p r o ce s s . Bu i l d ings shou ld not requ i re s u ch repea ted structura l p repara t i ons to m a k e t h em usab le . I w o n d e r h ow often s imi lar p repara t i ons a re made . Is w o o d s tockp i l ed s o m e w h e r e to p repa re the hal l for u s e in su ch 7 6 Herman Hertzberger argues for "Functionality, flexibility and polyvalence." and against "prescriptive" architectural solutions that dictate human use. See, Hertzberger, Lessons For Students In Architecture, 146. See also Jacobs The Death .. .American Cities and Newman's Defensible Space for discussions about the mertis of multiuse design solutions. Combining functions can extend the daily life of buildings, reduce maintenance and administration by sharing space and personnel, and reduce vandalism by increasing occupancy and surveillance. Segregated and away from watchful eyes, the community hall vandalism is not surprising. 7 7 Band member. Hollow Water Reserve, July 27, 2000. 64 wea the r ? M a n y bu i ld ings in Ho l l ow W a t e r suf fer th is s a m e fate, the a b s e n c e of deta i l s that m a k e t h em comfor tab le and ab l e to w i ths tand nature 's var iab le forces . T h e rain is wor th c o m m e n t b e c a u s e of the deg r ee to wh i ch it c h a n g e s the cha rac te r of Ho l l ow Wa t e r - for the wo r se . Throughout the s u m m e r months I of ten con temp la t ed the wea the r carefu l ly be fore t rave l ing to the reserve . W i t h rain, the p l a ce b e c o m e s inhosp i tab le b e c a u s e r o ad s and trai ls b e c o m e impas sab l e , turning the s imp les t t a s k s into He r cu l ean feats . Env i r onmen ta l e f fects c a n be e x agge r a t e d or muted by arch i tecture. A rch i tec tu re c a n f o cus and extract the u se fu l nes s and beauty of a p l a ce and offer s i tes of re fuge f rom wh i ch to expe r i en ce nature 's fo rces . Arch i tec ture c a n e xagge r a t e the pos i t ive a s p e c t s of a p lace, the r e a son s why one c h o s e it a s a h o m e in the first p lace , whi le so f ten ing its ha r she r qual i t ies. T h e s e two arch i tectura l ac t s a r e at the heart o f l ivabil ity. Bu t in Ho l l ow W a t e r the rain is ne i ther so f tened nor posi t ive ly e xagge r a t ed b e c a u s e there a re no f ie lds to be wa te red , p o n d s to fill for p layfu l ch i ldren, nor c o z y p o r c h e s on wh i ch to sit a n d e xpe r i e n c e its d ramat i c a cous t i c s . The re is noth ing about the de s i gn of Ho l l ow W a t e r that e a s e s a life with rain, only bad ly d e s i g ned roads and bu i ld ings that a r e w o r s e n e d by its fa l l ing. Nature ' s gifts b e c o m e u n n e c e s s a r y e n e m i e s . 65 The commun i ty hall is a large, open , w indow less form, with wood pane l ing a nd vinyl f loor ing. T h e hal l is an anyth ing and a nothing bui ld ing. It has no specif ic ity. A lack of embe l l i shment contr ibutes to its gener i c feel ing. L oo se chairs are ava i lab le and var ious presentat ions a re organ ized on tab les a round the per imeter, inc luding information about s a c r ed scro l l s at the Smi thson ian Institute in Wash ing ton , D C , that or iginate from B lack Island. A ra ised plat form is at one end , backed by a ki tchen. W e must remove our footwear upon enter ing, pe rhaps to reduce the mud, pe rhaps to fol low s o m e predef ined protocol . The r easons did not matter. The co ld vinyl f looring s i phoned the heat out of my body over the cou r se of a day of presentat ions, and I feel the beg inn ings of i l lness, all b e c a u s e of sur face mater ia ls. (I a m invited to a sweat c e r emony this even ing that may prov ide a cure.) The con fe rence is intended to enab le interest g roups to d i s cuss signif icant deve l opmen t s p lanned for Lake Winn ipeg ' s eas tern s ide, inc luding their impact on the surround ing Abor ig ina l commun i t i es , on the geography of the region and on the Man i toba e conomy . Abor ig ina l peop le f rom Hol low Wa t e r and other rese rves are in at tendance a s are peop le f rom the Univers i ty of W inn i peg and Univers i ty of Man i toba , Sw i s s visitors research ing C a n a d i a n Abor ig ina l cul ture and others . Important peop le have a s s e m b l e d to engage in weighty d i s cuss i ons . The con fe rence beg ins with a pipe ce remony , d rumming, prayers and s m u d g i n g 7 8 wh i le peop le sit in a grand circle. T h e First Nat ions peop le open the con fe rence by stating that the fo l lowing p roceed ings are not to be const rued a s "consultat ions" to avo id the legal impl icat ions of giv ing "consent" to deve lopment p lans. P resenta t ions are made by the Prov inc ia l M inster of Indian and Northern Affairs, the Min is ter of Conserva t i on , Deputy Min is ter of Industry, T rade and M ines , Prov inc ia l H ighways , Pa rks C a n a d a , Cul ture, Her i tage and Tour i sm, P ine Fa l l s Pape r C o m p a n y , and ch ie fs f r om the region. The p roceed ings have the aura of a treaty negot iat ion. The P ine Fa l l s P ape r C o m p a n y e n g a g e d at least two Abor ig ina l peop le to pedd le their p roposa l for a joint ly-owned sawmi l l to be run by the c o m p a n y and the Abor ig ina l bands in the region. The dea l wou ld cement and paci fy a 7 8 Smudging refers to the burning of herbs to purify people and places. It uses the energy and power of the plant to create positive psychic energy. Sweetgrass, cedar, sage and tobacco are common plants used. Smoke is wafted around the body. Smudging is used in ceremonies, by healers and commonly by people. 66 re lat ionship that has a lways been turbulent, and would help the company ' s bid to expand its harvest l i cense in the region. Both industry and government are promoting the idea of deve lopment a s a publ ic "good." The n ew h ighway is presented a s though it will be "good for Abor ig ina l peop le" and industry is mere ly a spin-off. (Yet an al l -weather road wa s not a cons iderat ion before Hydro and P i ne Fa l l s P a p e r had interests in the region.) P resen te rs have e laborate and fully deve l oped p lans . The bands do not have a s ing le spokespe r son . No r do they have a comprehens i ve plan for the reg ion. It is s imply their h ome . No legal counse l represents the bands . Impact s tud ies have not been done to ascer ta in , for ins tance, the effects of altering the lake water levels, o r the effects of c lear-cutt ing on m o o s e herds, or the effects on Abor ig ina l l i festyle a s peop le f rom the more northern rese rves obta in eas i e r a c c e s s to the city. T h e mood is often ser ious and intense, and some t imes b reaks down into a rgumen t s between Abor ig ina l people. Many compla in about the pace of deve lopment and a lack of consul tat ion before prev ious deve lopments . The conf lat ion of bui ld ing form and interior happen ings is str iking. Throughout history c iv i l i zat ions have marked bui ld ings and p laces, estab l i sh ing v is ib le h ierarch ica l structure, soc ia l purpose, and m e a n i n g s . 7 9 S igni f icant th ings tend to happen in signif icant p l a ces that a re we l l -marked . O j ibway mark ings of p laces of s ign i f i cance are evident in petroforms and rock paint ing s i tes found a round Lake W inn ipeg . Ye t today, an important con fe rence takes p lace in the most ind is t ingu ishab le form. Band membe r s obse rved the unmarked nature of most Ho l low Wa t e r archi tecture. "Al l our bui ldings look the s ame , just boxes," sa id a resident. Another added "...al l our h ou s e s are c loned . " W h e n a s k e d to desc r ibe their architecture a band membe r repl ied "square h ou s e s with p last ic w indows. That 's Nat ive arch i tecture." 8 0 B and membe r s ' des i res for highly iconic fo rms su ch a s "turtle structures" a l so revea l a need among the commun i ty for forms that convey mean i ng s and for bui ld ings that "speak." 7 9 The relationship of a building's/or/n to what it does - form follows function - is an established concept in architecture found in abundant literature sources. Notwithstanding its title, Enrico Guidoni's book Primitive Architecture illustrates the sophisticated meanings associated with building ornament, form and organization across the globe. Included are discussions about the symbolism displayed in the architecture of the Northwest Coast Haida villages. Symbolic structures were prevalent even among nomads. Nabakov and Easton's Native American Architecture contains a good discussion of the symbolism of the Plains Cree painted teepee, for example. 8 0 Band members, Hollow Water Reserve, conversations with author, September 7, 2000. 67 I m u s e about o ther ma in bu i ld ings on the rese rve s u ch a s the band off ice with its sma l l ce l lu lar of f ices. A l l sorts of th ings happen in the band off ice, important th ings, land c la ims, h istor ica l r e sea r ch a n d mapp i ng , artifact rec l amat ion , add i c t i ons p r og ramming , hous i ng admin is t ra t ion , f inances , and highly important pol it ical mee t i ngs . Y e t e a c h off ice is fu rn i shed with a de sk and a chair. T hey a re stark d rywa l l ed interiors, pa in ted whi te with s ome t imes on ly a map on a wal l . T h e C o m m u n i t y Hol is t ic C i r c l e Hea l i ng ( C H C H ) bui ld ing is ano the r s igni f icant bu i ld ing. C H C H is a nat iona l ly r enowned p rog ram that treats v ic t ims and perpetrators of s exua l a b u s e . 8 1 T h e prog ram w a s the bra inch i ld of Ho l l ow W a t e r peop le . It is be l i eved to be one of the most con tempora ry a l te rnat ives to the t reatment of s e xua l a b u s e within the wes te rn cr imina l just i ce s y s t em , a n d it h a s b e e n referred to in n u m e r o u s jou rna l s and ar t i c les s i n c e its incept ion. Ho l l ow Wa t e r ha s b e c o m e a mode l commun i t y b e c a u s e o f the evo lut ion of C H C H . Ye t the C H C H bui ld ing is just another pre fabr i ca ted fo rm I p a s s e d many t imes a l ong the road , a s s u m i n g it to be a house . S ign i f i cant th ings o c cu r within ins igni f icant fo rms . A n a b s e n c e of art iculat ion cont r ibu tes to the un important d e m e a n o r of bu i ld ings. Art icu lat ion is not decora t i on . T o art icu late is to def ine or m a k e c lear, to c ommun i c a t e m e a n i n g s s u ch a s h ie rarchy and pu rpose . A n d o n e a c h i e v e s this partial ly th rough the man ipu la t ion of deta i l . A heavi ly de ta i l ed bui ld ing, for examp l e , e x p r e s s e s a leve l of ca re a n d attent ion that c o m m u n i c a t e s impor tance . In s o m e c a s e s these deta i l s enta i l the re f inement of s u ch bas i c th ings a s joints. But in Ho l l ow W a t e r there is no indicat ion that o n e bui ld ing is more important than another . The re is no read ing the pu rpo se of a structure. T h e r e is no d i s ce rn ing how a bui ld ing might s tand in the s c h e m e of th ings, b e c a u s e deta i l ing is absen t . Ho l l ow W a t e r arch i tecture is a l s o cha rac t e r i z ed by a not i ceab le a b s e n c e of art i facts, art, a nd cultural ma t e r i a l . 8 2 E v e n hou se inter iors lack art icu lat ion. P e o p l e h a v e f ew po s s e s s i o n s . Y e t al l 8 1 Hollow Water people have suffered a high incidence of sexual abuse for several generations. 75 percent of the community have been victims and 30 percent of community have been victimizers. Almost everyone in the community has been directly affected. CHCH offers an alternative to the western criminal justice system. Accountability is sought through admission, healing circles and community work, versus jail time. The offender is offered a choice. He/she may enter the criminal justice system and take his chances, or he can be charged, plead guilty, be placed on probation, and begin the healing circle work of reintegrating into the community. The program is based on restorative justice or putting the community back together. The western justice system fails in Hollow Water because of this community's tightly knit character and many kinship connections. After serving sentences, offenders reenter the community and relationships continue. For more see Canada, The Four Circles.. .Water, and Canada, A Cost Benefit.. Healing Process. 8 2 Black Island birch bark scrolls depicting the Midewiwin (Medicine Dance) Lodge and ceremony were recently discovered at the Smithsonian in Washington. DC. The community has begun a repatriation process. See Barker, Forty 68 cu l tures have signif icant objects that a re co l lected, p reserved and d i sp layed , a nd objec ts that c ommun i c a t e i deas about what peop le d e e m important, o r how they s pend their t ime, bel l hooks , a lead ing cultural critic, states that "...no matter how poor the surround ings, ind iv iduals c reate beaut i fu l ob jec t s . " 8 3 But I cannot f ind signif icant objects in Hol low Water , large or sma l l . A n e lder in forms me, "Eu ropeans out lawed our ce remon ies and stole our art i facts and m u s e u m i z e d our th ings . " 8 4 Ne i ther the bui ld ings nor their contents convey to an outs ider "Who are the B ig Island peop l e ? W h e r e did they c o m e f rom?" The re is little to "read" f rom bui ld ings. T h e s e are illiterate s pa ce s , gener i c and unart iculated, lack ing a language that c ommun i ca t e s who l ives ins ide. P l a c e s whe re peop le res ide a re full o f informat ion. Bu i ld ings a n d s p a c e s c ommun i c a t e by their forms, deta i ls and contents and so be c ome "legible," a term u sed by Kev in L y n c h . 8 5 A n d as ide f rom bui ld ings, information appea r s profusely in the form of s ignage, b i l lboards, newspape r s , f lyers and bul let ins pos ted at every ava i lab le opportunity, all so that people c an read what is happen ing in a p lace . In s u ch w ay s information about p laces be come vis ib le and retr ievable e ven for the passe rby . But I rea l ize that the work ings of Hol low Wate r are invisible to an outs ider. It is a lmost imposs i b l e to ascer ta in how th ings work, where peop le do things, what occurs in what bui ld ings, and when . Information travels invisibly by te lephones that ring incessant ly, and there is an anarchy of activity beh ind b land and hypocr i t ical f a cades . Years a Chief, Pettipas, Severing The Ties...Prairies, and Johnston, Ojibway Ceremonies for more on the Midewiwin ceremony. 8 3 bell hooks, Art On My Mind, 121. 8 4 Ray Raven, Hollow Water Reserve, conversation with author, June 14, 2000. 8 5 Kevin Lynch, The Image Of The City. 69 The center: church, school and petroforms The first day of the conference has ended and I resume my relationship with the main reserve road with a dissatisfaction of not yet having reached "the place" Hollow Water. I look for a center when in a new town, the locus of attraction, the center of gravity, the heart. Clustering is the first act of community. It is also the means whereby third spaces evolve, offering opportunities for social contact. Clustering binds entire cities together by creating spatial summations that are usable, summations that no building could create alone. Because there is a kind of expectation of maps, I refer to my map, which is actually an old INAC development plan, to find such a place. I presume there will be some three-dimensional reality that responds to its basic two-dimensional structure. According to the plan, the main townsite lies ahead. There is greater density of structures and a variation of building types: a school, teacherages (a grouping of teachers' residences), two churches, two stores, a gas station and a fish cleaning station. School Church ^ Aerial photo from Manitoba Hydro digital files 70 Arriving at this "center," I am surprised. The Indian Affairs plan drawn by J.A. Reiber in 1976 and later revised in 1985 differs wildly from its reality. No sum emerges from the parts. It is a lost space, more barren than the road from which I came, unmaintained and windswept. Three trees left standing are the only survivors of the forces of development. The plan arrangement is merely an idea for a center because the space itself does not cohere. It is leftover space, used for passing through rather than for spending time. An obvious discrepancy exists between the planner's vision and reality. I realize that converging lines on a 1:1,000 plan do not create a place. At 10,000 feet above ground level, places cannot be deciphered, and so cannot be designed in totality. There will be gaps, aspects that cannot be considered due to the scale of the drawings. Such drawings are just beginnings. They are organizational charts that require filling in, people getting involved, appropriating and making their own markings. A place is born in the final resolution, in the details, in the human scale perspective that makes it comfortable and fitted to people moving about and spending time. But this center is a development plan without development. It is just a sketch. Church missions and schooling were part of the settlement and relocation process of the Big Island People, and Chief George Barker records attending school at Hollow Water as early as 1910.8 6 In the fall of 1967 the present school was built expanding to a high school in 1981. Between the planner's 1976 schematic and a later 1984 plan, future proposals for the center were added including a recreation center, laundromat, seniors residence, commercial development, marina, dock, tourist parking and an increase in housing density. None of them materialized, and the band office once located close to the Anglican church was moved to its current location Barker. Forty Years A Chief. 71 farther a l ong the road . P e op l e c omp l a i n of the a rea ' s env i r onmenta l b a r r ennes s a n d h igh dens i ty . T h e loca l peop l e ' s image of the s p a c e a s over ly c r owded without pr ivacy a nd env i r onmen ta l protect ion cont ras t s with the p lanner ' s v i ew of deve lop ing a "town center." P e o p l e m o v e d a w a y f rom the p l anned cen te r a s dens i ty g r ew and other parts of the commun i t y we r e se rv i c ed . T h e planner's center w a s neve r r e a l i z e d . 8 7 Wh i l e the a rea c lear ly d o e s not sat is fy the ru les o f g o o d wes te rn town p lann ing mo r e s igni f icant ly, it fai ls to appea l to loca l peop l e a s the publ ic heart of their c ommun i t y or a s an appea l i ng p l a ce to l ive. T h e hous i ng at the cen te r is o l de r b and hous ing , built be fo re the hous i ng a l ong the road . P e r m a n e n t hous i ng b egan at the l ake and later s p r e ad towards the ma i n h ighway. Mo s t h o u s e s a r e two- to th ree -bed room bunga l ows ind i s t ingu i shab le f rom one another , e v e n in their m o n o c h r o m e gray co lor . T h e h o u s e s are p lunked onto rock outc ropp ings , ignor ing their geog raphy . They do not nest le into s i d e s o f s l o pe s aga ins t the w i nd but f a ce the w ind off the l ake without f l inch ing. The r e is no ter rac ing o f s p a c e s that r e spond to c h a n g e s in g round leve l . H o u s e s sit a s though on flat s i tes . T h e overa l l a r r angemen t is more o rgan i c than that of the n ewe r subd iv i s ion a nd trai ler court, a result of p i e c emea l d eve l opmen t a n d lack of infrastructure. T h e h o u s e s in e a c h growth spurt h ave a s imi lar i ty that r evea l s their e ra . E a c h y ea r there a r e two or three d e s i g n s f rom wh i ch a fami ly c a n c h o o s e . But over the y e a r s the a r r angemen t s in Ho l l ow W a t e r have t ended t owards greater regular i ty a n d mo re rigid p lann ing with newe r d e ve l o pmen t s tend ing to more geome t r i c o rder ing . I look aga i n at the d eve l opmen t p lan a n d note the n e a r n e s s of the lake. Ye t no lake is s e e n or felt. T h e m a p a l so ind icates a river runn ing a l ong the road just t rave led . T h e W a n i p a g o w R i ve r d ra ins into L a k e W inn i p eg at Ho l l ow Wa te r . Ye t I have b e e n t rave l ing a l ong this road without e v e n a hint of its ex i s t ence . Ho l l ow W a t e r is actua l ly a river and lake c ommun i t y with abundan t a c c e s s to water . But the arch i tecture d o e s not revea l s u ch a geog raphy . S o m e h o u s e s a re wi th in thirty feet of the l ake without fac ing the water . T he r e a re f ew de ck s , pr ivate d o c k s or l akes i de she l ter ing. Wh i l e in Ho l l ow W a t e r I mus t refer to a m a p to con f i rm the locat ion of L a k e W i nn i p eg . 8 7 Anastasia Shkilnyk in A Poison Stronger.. .Ojibway Community, discusses the strong resistance of the Grassy Narrows Ojibway community to the reordering of a new community plan that increased density. In Simon et al., A Culturally Sentisitive.. .Canadians, the writers describe the preference among the Ojibway and traditional hunting gathering societies throughout North America towards dispersed low-density settlement patterns. 7 2 S c h o o l a nd c hu r c he s o c cupy this non-cente r and sugges t a history of re l ig ious and state contro l . J udg i ng by s c a l e and locat ion, they are the most arch i tectura l ly s ign i f icant fo rms in the commun i t y O n e canno t avo id the c hu r che s a n d their g r aveya rd s w h e n mov i ng through the commun i t y . A n d ch i ld ren must p a s s t h em dai ly on their w a y to s choo l , a subt le part of s choo l i ng itself. T h e s c hoo l is built on a pen insu l a , a p i e ce of l and that r e a che s into L a k e W i nn i p eg . It c o n s u m e s pr ime waterfront. A chain- l ink f ence enc i r c l e s the s i te a n d protects ch i ldren f rom the water . It is an i ronic mar r i age of bui ld ing to s ite. T h e s choo l is of the pen in su l a but d o e s not wan t to belong to the pen i n su l a . It s its on the pen in su l a a n d s imu l t aneous l y cuts itself off f rom the lake. It c l a ims the pen insu l a yet g i ves up the water . T h e bu i ld ing invites ch i ld ren to the lake only to protect t h em f rom it. A n d s o it t e a se s , an introverted, c l o s e d f o rm p l a ced on the mos t o p en of s i tes . Wes t e r n s c hoo l s are c ommon l y introverted s p a c e s , hermet i ca l ly s e a l e d f rom their soc i a l a nd phys i ca l l a n d s c a p e s . Enter ing m e a n s leav ing the outs ide wor ld beh i nd . S o they do not require s i tes that are part icu lar ly an imate , interact ive, or breathtak ing . T h e Ho l l ow W a t e r s choo l ep i t om i zes s u ch p lann ing . It s i ts a l one with its ya rd , bu i ld ings a n d park ing, c o m m a n d i n g an i m m e n s e a rea . 73 Sma l l i s h w i ndows are p l a c ed in vanda l -proo f mason r y wa l l s . T h e structure is a s tead fas t monol i th that ne i ther revea l s itself or interacts with its env i r ons . T h e chain- l ink f ence contr ibutes to the bu i ld ing 's exc lus i ona ry aspec t . On ly w h e n the s choo l ya rd is full of ch i ld ren (twice dai ly at r e cess ) d o e s the ya rd c o m e a l ive. O the rw i se - mos t of the t ime - the s choo l a nd its cont ro l l ed prec inct are eer i ly si lent. The s choo l d o e s more than ignore the lake . It s e v e r s the commun i t y f r om its l ines of force, the water ' s edge . The r e are no g rand d o c k s o r mar i nas , no e labora te cab in deve l opmen t s , no v i ews a n d v i s tas carefu l ly man ipu l a ted a n d f r amed . T h e pos i t ion ing of the s choo l t ranforms an oppor tune site into a lost opportunity. A n d yet the s choo l cou ld have been eas i l y s i tuated on the oppos i t e s ide of the road . It ga i n s little f rom its l a k e sho r e pe r ch . I wa lk a round the f en ced ya rd in order to e xpe r i e n c e the d ramat i c lake. F ight ing thorough four-foot b rush , I eventua l l y m a k e my way to the o b s cu r e shore l i ne whe r e the s c ene r y b roadens . T h e s ho r e canno t be s e e n or a c c e s s e d eas i l y f r om any pub l i c a r ena in Ho l l ow Wa te r . But the wa te r v iew, e xpan s i v e and ca lm ing , is we l l worth the s t rugg le to r each . L a k e W i nn i p eg is so large that, if not for i s lands, its oppos i t e sho re is usua l ly inv is ib le. S o m e birds are f i sh ing a n d B l a c k Is land is in the d i s tance , dark and s e r ene . He r e l ies Ho l l ow Wa te r . I h ave f inal ly a r r i ved . 74 T h e f ish plant a n d its sma l l jetty are l oca ted on the south s ide of the pen in su l a . T h e p lann ing i gnores the fact that ch i ld ren u s e the lake for recreat ion; this m e a g e r do ck mus t suf f ice a s a sp r i ngboa rd for all k inds of wa te r ant i cs . I s tumb le a c r o s s two petro forms at the shore l ine . T h e turtle a n d s n a k e are a s so c i a t ed with centur ies-o ld O j ibway l e gend s and creat ion stor ies, but today t h e s e are s l ighted forms, ove rg rown a n d forgotten. The i r m a s k i n g g ives the s i te a for lorn fee l ing. T h e pen in su l a w a s on ce a n important p lace, c a r ed for and ma rked with ba ckb r eak i ng bou lders . T h e urge a r i ses to s e c u r e a l awn m o w e r and cut s o m e g rass , just to p rove how eas i ly a t rans fo rmat ion c an take p lace . S o m e t i m e s arch i tecture is a s s imp le a s mak i ng v i s ib le wha t is a l r eady there, unear th ing a n d uncove r i ng m e a n i n g s i m b e d d e d in a l ands cape . H e r e lie mark ings wor th d i s c l o s i ng . S o m e say the s choo l is s i tuated on a burial g round . P robab l y so, g i ven that the pen insu l a w a s o n c e an e n c a m p m e n t and ga ther ing p lace . In the s u m m e r peop l e m o v e d here f rom va r i ous l oca t ions b e c a u s e it w a s w indy and f ree of mosqu i t oes . But the pen insu l a is no l onger a c ommun i t y p lace . P e o p l e are not f ound here . T h e cen te r of Ho l l ow W a t e r is o rgan i zed by re l ig ion and state-run educa t i on , not by loca l peop le . It h a s rewritten a re la t ionsh ip wi th l and a n d wa te r that ex i s ted before the r e se rve c a m e into be ing . T h e pen in su l a has b een m a r k e d wi th dif ferent mean i ng s . W a t e r w a y s we r e cent ra l to set t lement in the reg ion. L a k e W i nn i p eg prov ided t ranspor tat ion a n d food . L o c a l mytho logy and l egends a re na tu re -based , der i ved f rom the spec i f i c g e og r aph i c features of the a r ea . Y e t there is no ce lebra t ion of t he se natura l features , no v i s tas , no v i ews and no important l akes i de p l a c e s that s p eak of the water ' s impor tance . T h e l ake is a n inv is ib le g iant that in f luences ne i ther the form nor the o rgan i za t i on of bu i ld ings. Instead the commun i t y , ep i t om i zed by the pen in su l a , turns inward, a w a y f rom the wa t e rways reject ing its past and p e r hap s its qu in tessent ia l be ing 75 The center: church, school and petroforms The first day of the conference has ended and I resume my relationship with the main reserve road with a dissatisfaction of not yet having reached "the place" Hollow Water. I look for a center when in a new town, the locus of attraction, the center of gravity, the heart. Clustering is the first act of community. It is also the means whereby third spaces evolve, offering opportunities for social contact. Clustering binds entire cities together by creating spatial summations that are usable, summations that no building could create alone. Because there is a kind of expectation of maps, I refer to my map, which is actually an old INAC development plan, to find such a place. I presume there will be some three-dimensional reality that responds to its basic two-dimensional structure. According to the plan, the main townsite lies ahead. There is greater density of structures and a variation of building types: a school, teacherages (a grouping of teachers' residences), two churches, two stores, a gas station and a fish cleaning station. Pathways and In-betweens Although I have been speaking mostly about material objects, people live in the in-betweens. Architects work with materials, but it is what the materials have framed, the void, that is of use. In the words of Fritjof Capra, "The reality underlying all phenomenon is beyond all forms and defies description and specification. It is therefore said to be formless, empty or void. But this emptiness is not to be taken for mere nothingness. It is, on the contrary, the essences of all forms and the sources of all life."88 In architectural terms, life takes place within interstices. The larger interstices, those occurring between whole buildings and groups of buildings, are often understood to be the job of planning and landscape architecture. Roads, paths and open spaces are such in-betweens. They create necessary connectivity. They define relations between buildings. They are the means whereby people move about. They are opportunities to spend enjoyable time while in transit. And they themselves are destinations. These interstices require consideration. One really needs to walk a place to acknowledge the nature of these fissures and joints. At a meager four thousand acres, one hundred homes and six hundred people, Hollow Water is a small place. It ought to be walkable. So I leave my car and engage in some useful wandering. But there are colossal gaps between buildings that do not invite walking at all, and I have to resist the temptation to return to the truck. Both the distance and the nature of the distance resist my inclination to walk. I endure these spaces and hasten through them, as there is nothing to stop and enjoy, nothing that offers a distraction from the actual work of walking. They are blank spaces without comfort. They are not spaces to be enjoyed but tolerated. They are not spaces to be in, but to pass through and at as fast a pace as is possible. And even when buildings are near, the nature of these in-betweens render an illusion of famess. Design distorts reality. Well-worn footpaths occasionally appear, cutting through terrain and tall grasses. But they are accidentals. There are no pedestrian paths, designed in accordance with such human considerations as lighting, safety, acoustics, scale, weather protection and surface treatments. The roads laid out on the Indian Affairs community plan are utilitarian spaces, meant for cars, water, sewer and hydro lines. Drawn with the broad sweep of a planner's pen, they are grossly overscaled Capra, The Tao Of Physics, 222. 77 for the pedes t r i an a n d a re cha rac t e r i z ed by dust, ca r s , m u d and a lack of o ther peop le . I fee l o ve rpowe red , unprotec ted and m inuscu l e . I canno t imag ine wa lk ing this road with a co ld w ind b low ing off the lake, or on a gus ty day that r a i ses the dust, or on a rainy day with deepen i ng po tho l es and a s ink ing sur face , or on a hot sunny day without s hade . E v e n idea l wea the r wou ld m a k e this road barely wa lkab le . S o m e ch i ld ren a re inch ing a l ong , barefoot and equ i pped with sw imm ing gear . T h e y a re tiny f igures, swa l l owed by the s c a l e of their su r round ings , s imu l taneous l y lost and on d isp lay. I mus t a p p e a r the s a m e on t he se twenty-f ive-foot-wide g rave l way s . T h e g rave l is l oose and uns teady , but a l e s se r d i scomfor t than the ove rg rown d i tch a longs ide . E v e r y o n e inc lud ing ch i ldren a n d the infirm must s ha r e this path with c a r s and negot ia te their own route. Hyd ro is brought to eve ry home, yet there is no street l ighting. Lit on ly by the moon , Ho l l ow W a t e r b e c o m e s an o m i n o u s p lace for t rave l at night. W h e n e v e r I s e e peop l e on the road at any t ime of day or night, they s e e m e d not to be long there, out of p l ace , out of s ca l e , out of s y n c a n d in the dark. 7 8 I fee l a s though eve r yone is wa t ch ing me and wonde r i ng why I a m wa lk ing on this road . Af ter al l , I o w n a veh i c l e . T h e p r e s su r e to move f rom ins ide to ins ide is ind icat ive of a p lace d e s i g ned a s " ins ides" only, wi thout cons ide ra t i on of the interst ices, whe r e outdoor s p a c e s are mere ly lef tover g ap s resu l t ing f rom the p l acement of bu i ld ings rather than d e s i g n e d s p a c e s t h emse l v e s . Ho l l ow W a t e r is a co l lec t ion of unconnec t ed internal env i r onments . S o , natural ly, the m a n y t imes I t rave led through the rese rve I rarely left the truck. L o ca l s do l i kewise . P e o p l e dr ive to work, dr ive their ch i ldren to s c hoo l a nd dr ive to e a c h other 's h o m e s . T h e sma l l e s t m o v e m e n t is a c c o m p l i s h e d by car. Ho l l ow W a t e r is e xpe r i en ced through an au tomob i l e w i ndow f rom whe re it ga i n s an i l lus ionary l a r genes s . Wa l k i ng ha s b een m a d e so undes i r ab l e that peop le w h o a re i m m e n s e l y comfor tab le out of doo r s a re not s e en there. 79 Sweat lodges and teepee villages The sweat ceremony begins shortly, and so I must hasten to locate it, by car of course. The ceremony is a recent revival in the community and is often held at important events. It is a cleansing and healing ritual intended to extract physical, emotional and social toxins, offer thanks, prepare for anticipated challenges and build solidarity. The location of such rituals can hardly be detected in Hollow Water. The sweat lodges have a distinct invisibility. Vigilant scanning may reveal a lodge in a family's backyard, but they are humble, ephemeral structures that mostly disappear in the surrounding woods. The sweat was a banned ceremony, as was the Midewiwin or medicine dance of the Grand Medicine Society held at Drumming Point on Black Island's eastern end. 8 9 As Katherine Pettipas writes, the Midewiwin in particular was part of a larger strategy of government suppression of religious ceremonies on the prairies from roughly the 1880s to the 1940s, and was subject to police surveillance. As late as 1921 "...Joseph Black's giveaway drum from the Hollow Water Reserve was seized by the local police detachment." 9 0 The government's 1885 Potlatch law banning Native religious ceremonies throughout Canada was one leverage used to encourage the Big Island people to relocate permanently to the mainland reserve. 9 1 But well into the 1920s people continued to travel off reserve to traditional places including the island, conducting ceremonies well out of sight of the state. 9 2 The evolution of the sweat lodge relative to other on-reserve structures is worthy of note. The Big Island people have been settled within the last one hundred years, and most buildings became permanent to suit the new sedentary lifestyle, but the sweat lodge remains subversively temporary and elusive. It can be constructed in a day and deconstructed in minutes. It is light and 8 9 The Grand Medicine Society was an elite group of healers or Shamans that held healing ceremonies known as the Midewiwin at various sites around Lake Winnipeg. Black Island was one of the more regionally significant sites according to community elders and was one of the last known sites where the ceremony was practiced. The healers came every summer to Drumming Point (the eastern end of Black Island). They came from the Great Lakes region where the Ojibway people originated. The event lasted eight days. (Barker. Forty Years A Chief, Pettipas, Severing The Ties...Prairies and Johnston, Ojibway Ceremonies.) 9 0 Pettipas, Severing The Ties.. .Prairies, 156. " Williamson, Black Island..Mever Was, 38. 9 2 Barker. Forty Years A Chief. frivate sweat lodge 80 m a d e f rom found items. It is s i ted without announcemen t or fuss and difficult to detect. Importantly, it h a s not e vo l v ed with added decora t ion o r pe rmanence . Conve r se l y , the chu r ches have a betraying pe rmanence , visibility and a loo fness . Both church and swea t bear architectural w i tness to their character , one proselyt iz ing the other tolerant. Both reflect powers of suppress i on in the l andscape . The sweat may have mainta ined its rec lus ive, temporary and humb le nature to surv ive in the face of oncoming , aggress i ve co lon ia l m i s s i ons . A n d the sweat has ma in ta ined its s igni f icance, a concept e labora ted by M i chae l Bened ik t . S ign i f i cance is not der ived f rom decorat ion or even noticeabi l i ty. "Things c an be signif icant and not be s ymbo l i c . " 9 3 A bui lding d o e s not have to be heavi ly ornate, monumenta l , or commun i ca t i ve to be signif icant. S igni f icant bui ldings are important to someone, are des i gned with care, and revea l their genu ine history. "Signif icant bui ld ings are built over t ime by s omeone rather than arr iv ing al l but r eady -made by s t rangers . " 9 4 The sweat lodge, unl ike other Ho l low Wa te r bui ld ings, is der i ved f rom the Oj ibway cultural traditions and is built with an ext reme particularity f rom wh ich it de r i ves its s ign i f i cance. Raven ' s P lace , a s it is ca l led, l ies off the beaten path in a wor ld unto itself. I wou ld have m i s s ed it without direct ions. R aven ' s P l a c e is whe re the R a v e n fami ly has l ived for a s long a s the reserve has ex i s ted . Some t imes b iweekly swea ts are held here. A n d it is a p lace. Two hou se s sit on a sma l l a c r eage a long with a scatter ing of other structures. The main house is s i tuated c l o se to the river and f a ce s its banks . It is hardly s e e n . The overa l l a r rangement s tands out from the rest of the Ho l low Wa te r archi tecture. A great c irc le of s tumps is u sed for benches . A fire pit, p icn ic table, s torage structures for w i l de rness gear , a number of w i g w a m s and a t eepee all estab l i sh prec incts for things to happen . The re is a distinct p l a cement of structures and attention is pa id to their group ings and connect iv i ty. The l ands cape is carefu l ly ma in ta ined to demarca te z o n e s of use. T r ee s are careful ly r emoved . T h o s e that rema in create outdoor r ooms for act ivit ies. The site is an inviting manipu lat ion of s pa ce . Fo r the first t ime, in Ho l l ow Wa t e r I s e e a p l ace whe re the outdoor is designed for use through furn ish ings a nd ar rangement . Benedikt, For An Archtitecture of Reality, 39. Ibid., 40. 81 The sweat ceremony requires a wigwam, a demand that protected the form from almost complete architectural extinction. Function has preserved form. Even the construction process of the lodge is an aspect of the ritual, binding architecture and function. As mentioned, the sweat lodge is one of the few clearly defined forms in Hollow Water. It is built according to specific codes. Designed for introspection, it is an introverted space, windowless and womb-like. A small enclosure of no more than five by seven feet is made from a bentwood frame, and covered with bark, blankets, skins or tarps to maintain heat. While the frame may remain all year round, the skin is commonly removed and reconstructed. The lodge door faces a large outdoor fire pit which is used to heat especially chosen rocks (those that release certain minerals, do not explode under heat, and are of a certain size). The center of the lodge has an earthen dugout for rocks retrieved from the fire. The outside pit is ceremonially linked to the lodge by a line of fresh cedar branches. A full day is required to prepare the lodge and special artifacts such as drums that are needed for the ritual are assembled. 82 The ceremony is highly structured and follows predetermined and gender-specific codes which I am instructed to follow, such as removing jewelry, offering tobacco before entering and sitting with legs folded to one side. The leader sits at the door, the dividing line between men and women. We must announce our clan and state who we are and where we are from. Glowing rocks are transferred from the fire into the lodge over which the leader pours water. Steam released into the air raises the heat and humidity to invigorating and simultaneously suffocating levels. Sacred items are used to conduct the ceremony. Prayers, songs and testimonials are spoken and sweet grass is burnt and passed around for smudging. 8 3 The sweat offers the rare opportunity for outs iders to interact with the loca l cul ture. S o m e l odges at R a v e n ' s P l a c e are u sed for teach ing. G roups of university students attend swea t s whi le in Ho l l ow W a t e r on broader learn ing miss ions . Many c o m e to learn about the land-based loca l culture a n d env i ronmenta l i s sues f rom e lders w h o escort t hem to signif icant s i tes throughout the reg ion. P e op l e have c o m e to Hol low Wa te r f rom a s far away as Eu rope for the s a m e purpose . They are va luab l e interact ions that may d ispe l at least s o m e of the myths surround ing Abor ig ina l peop le . Wh i l e the sweat lodge has a sec luded , rec lus ive nature, all a re we l c ome . I a m as ton i shed at the warmth of the people and their o penne s s towards shar ing this ritual with comp le te s t rangers , a warmth I wil l frequently exper i ence . But many loca l peop le do not attend. O f the twe lve peop le present, only four a re from the Hol low Wa te r band . Mos t are outs iders (such as the schoo l pr inc ipa l , an anthropolog ist f rom W inn i peg and I) or c o m e f rom other ne ighbor ing rese rves . I a m told these a re typical statist ics. Loca l s do not attend be cau se the sweat lodge rests on shaky g round . It l ies a l ong a ser ies of fault l ines or commun i ty ruptures. M a n y who attend swea t s do not attend church , and those who attend church do not attend swea t s . C oex i s t e n c e is not entirely peace fu l . Fo r s o m e the sweat lodge is a p lace of sol idarity and of return to roots. The ce remony enhan ce s polit ical mobi l izat ion by rec la iming cultural va lues . It is a l so a veh ic le for heal ing the many i l lnesses in the communi ty . But s o m e d is tance t h emse l v e s f rom a c e r emony they d e e m c landest ine and pagan , and are re l ieved that the structures are d iscreet ly out of sight. I hes i tate to ca l l this split a tradit ionalist/nontradit ionalist d iv ide a s many w h o attend church cons i de r t hemse l ves tradit ional ists. But it is a split, nonethe less , a m o n g the many forms of trad i t iona l ism. T h e revival of the sweat lodge has revea led the ruptures c a u s e d by the impos i t ion and conso l ida t ion of colonia l m iss ions . Commun i t y ruptures a l so emerge around quest ions of authentic ity. Is the correct "way" of the sweat l odge be ing fo l lowed? W h o is qual i f ied and has the expert ise to conduct the sweat c e r e m o n y ? W h o has earned the communi ty respec t? A n d are they the real tradit ional i ts? Ques t i ons of authentic i ty are ra ised a round the presentat ion the sweat lodge and its tradit ional ists m a k e to outs iders . Ou ts i de r s attend swea t s for the pu rposes of learn ing and hea l ing , but a l so to expe r i ence "a bit of Abor ig inal i ty." The sweat lodge is the meet ing p lace of tradit ional ism and eco tour i sm, hea l ing and cultural representat ion. T h e s e are prob lemat ic co l l is ions. M a n y local peop le a s k "What is authent ic Abor ig ina l cu l ture? A n d w h o are its a m b a s s a d o r s ? " It is this uneasy tapestry of hea l ing, 84 teach ing , cultural rev iva l i sm and cultural representat ion that charac te r i zes the unstab le l a nd s cape of the sweat lodge. T h e "Oj ibway Histor ic V i l lage" at B rokenhead reserve I p a s s e d ear l ier today c o m e s to mind. It is s i tuated forty minutes north of W inn ipeg on Prov inc ia l H ighway 59, towards Ho l low Water . The vi l lage is a c learer mani festat ion of the struggles surrounding cultural authentic ity a nd representat ion that are built into the reserve architectural l andscape . Un l ike the sweat lodge at Ho l low Water, the Oj ibway Histor ic V i l l age is an es tab l i shed site, des i gned for commerc i a l tour i sm. It markets Abor ig ina l culture a s far away a s trade s h ows in Ge rmany . T h e vi l lage is a new p layer in a fast growing and highly compet i t ive Abor ig ina l tour i sm m a r k e t 9 5 br inging much needed dol lars to B rokenhead and providing emp loyment for a handfu l of band membe r s . A n d it is a signif icant accomp l i shment , g iven the l imited resource e c o n o m y upon wh i ch rese rve life depends . T h e industry a lso br ings outs iders c lose r to the reserve than they wou ld venture otherwise. I met Sw i s s tourists who had been revisit ing the B rokenhead V i l l age for seve ra l yea r s , l iving in t e epee s throughout the summer . T h e B rokenhead brochure lists: " teepee teach ing, campf i re stor ies and legends, Oj ibway va lues , loca l First Nat ions history, beadwork and quil l work sess i ons , tradit ional herbs a nd their app l i cat ions, b i son ranch safar i , sweat lodges, tradit ional powwows , nature wa lks and gu ided tours." T h e v i l lage is a l so the center of a number of init iatives beyond tour i sm such as teach ing and reviv ing tradit ional knowledge, tree planting through Man i toba Hydro Forest E n h a n c e m e n t programs, a nd commun i ty garden ing . But tour ism brought it into be ing and genera tes its destab i l i z ing forces . T h e Oj ibway vi l lage is a cultural d isplay, and ach i eves its imagery primari ly through archi tecture. T h e ma in vi l lage site compr i ses a group of large t eepees . Dramat i c white c a n v a s e s protrude through a forest backdrop . S e t against an azure sky, the s c e n e is surrea l a nd invit ing, remin iscent of a mov ie set. T h e t eepees are the s leep ing prec incts. T h e site is a l so equ ipped with showers , toi lets and a main lodge bui lding with a ki tchen and alternat ive s leep ing quar ters for 9 5 Aboriginal culture in Canada is a commercial asset fueling various industries. Aboriginal tourism alone generated 270, million in 1999 and is expected to generate 1.9 billion in ten years at its present rate of growth. In 1999 it employed 14,000 people in Canada (from Manitoba Aboriginal Tourism Association). There are more than 6,000 internet hits under the title "Manitoba Aboriginal Tourism" which has its own official website. Aboriginal tourism has strong linkages with the national and provincial parks systems which capitalize on Aboriginal culture and image as "stewards of the land" to popularize the parks. See Francis, The Imaginary Indian for more on marketing Aboriginality. 85 wre tched weather . Nature trai ls are deve l oped a round the site, and g r eenhouses prov ide nurser i es for tradit ional p lants. Fo r v is i tors, grand t eepees s i tuated in prist ine and man i cu red env i ronments a re attract ive, known and comfor tab le images . Many c o m e to C a n a d a seek ing such p laces . In fact, the v i l lage is an insulat ing alternat ive to the actual reserve architecture, wh ich cannot del iver su ch sat is fy ing imagery . It is a substitute for the prefabr icated suburban- l ike p laces that shatter the image of Abor ig ina l s l iving in romant ic structures s i tuated in nature. T h e vi l lage is e ven equ ipped with s howe r s and f lush toilets, ne i ther yet ava i lab le to al l on-reserve people. Acco rd ing to one Ro l l ing R ive r band member , Eu r opean tourists s tumbled upon the Rol l ing R ive r reserve in s ea r ch of Abor ig ina l s l iving in t eepees . T o their d i sappo intment "Abor ig inal peop le were living in houses . " T h e rese rve brought into focus a much more comp lex , modern-day Abor ig ina l l iving in p l a c e s of monotony and d is i l lus ionment, where tradit ional ism is a pract ice rather than a d isp lay, whe r e it is un seen and not s o eas i ly cap tured on f i lm. But marketab le culture must be vis ib le and capturab le wh ich is why the tour i sm industry is c once rned with the outward appea rance of th ings. Tou r i sm is l ess conce rned with the rea l a nd the authent ic than the image, what things appea r to be rather than their comp l i ca ted and s ome t imes undec iphe rab le underp inn ings. It often d e m a n d s the s imp le stor ies and comfortab le real i t ies the v i l lage eas i ly p rov ides . The v i l lage architecture is dr iven by tour ism and its need to c on sume Abor ig ina l th ings. It s e r ve s the enterta inment n eed s and fantas ies of outs iders by offering an exot ic Abor ig ina l expe r i ence . It a l lows one to a s s u m e an Abor ig ina l identity by living in Abor ig ina l s t ructures. Importantly, the v i l lage p romises access ib i l i ty to a remote culture through a trad i t ional ism that is conven ient ly externa l i zed, m a d e v is ib le and s ituated within reach . Arch i tec ture is the primary m e a n s of this cultural market ing. T h e s c h e m e wou ld not work effect ively without a constructed p lace within wh i ch to s i tuate onesel f . Expe r i ence is p lace-dependent , and the tour ism industry app l ies this concept who lehearted ly by fabr icat ing p l a ce -based expe r i ences . S o the vi l lage b e c o m e s an architectural s tage set, the backdrop for a great per fo rmance , m inus the actors, a histor ical per fo rmance that sets Abor ig ina l peop le back in t ime. The archi tecture constructs history and e m b e d s it in the l andscape , creat ing a fantast ic a n d s imp le image of a histor ical people t ied to the land. 87 But tour i sm and reserve life a re compl i ca ted co l l is ions. Tour i sm encou rages c ame r a s , s t rangers peer ing in, gawk ing, c onsum ing , and tak ing away smal l bits of mis informat ion, it is a bu s i n e s s rife with misunders tand ing and stereotyping b e c a u s e peop le f rom faraway p l a ces arr ive for f leeting per iods to be offered s c raps of a culture for consumpt ion , all ep i tomized by the souven i r that is "made in Ta iwan." But the B rokenhead reserve, l ike many rese rves d o e s not w e l c o m e c a m e r a s and scrut in iz ing eyes . R e s e r v e s are private and guarded doma ins . In fact, whi le I w a s in B r o k e n h e a d this morn ing an angry Abor ig ina l man threatened to break my came r a . T ou r i sm and rese rve life is a strange coup l ing of f ierce protect ion ism and a cater ing and bowing to outs iders . T hey do not l ive eas i ly together. S o m e loca l peop le label the v i l lage inauthent ic fakery and cultural commodi f i ca t ion , t rad i t iona l ism man ipu la ted and used only at conven ient t imes. A spe c t s of tradit ional know ledge , part icular ly about heal ing plants, are content ious i s sues a s they are not to be sha red nor so ld . S o m e peop le are troubled by the use of Abor ig ina l imagery to "sel l " anything, and part icular ly in d i s respec t fu l contex ts s u ch a s gaming . "Why not just h ave a bui ld ing without the i m a g e s ? " sugges t ed one Seymourv i l l e res ident crit ical of the use of Abor ig ina l s ymbo l i sm to sel l i tems a s g a s o l i n e . 9 6 T h e l inks between tour ism and learning are a lso problemat ic . Referr ing to the B r okenhead T e e p e e vi l lage, a B r okenhead band m e m b e r comp la ined , "I don't know what n o n s e n s e they have been teach ing them [tourists]. The teepees are not even built correct ly. They [the band] are se l l ing out." 9 7 T h e t e epee s are particularly man ipu la ted forms. The Oj ibway of the region did not live in these la rge-sca led teepees , forms more c lose ly a s soc i a t ed with P la ins t r i bes . 9 8 The Oj ibway of Ho l low W a t e r and B rokenhead migrated f rom the Grea t L a ke s area, br inging with them archi tectura l fo rms to wh ich they were a c cu s t omed , most c ommon l y the w igwam. Wh i l e they adop ted teepee- l ike structures during their migrat ions to Man i toba, these structures were smal ler , with birch bark cover ings . S o the teepees of the historic vi l lage, the forms that g ive the site its pr imary image and aesthet ic, distorts archi tectura l history. They reconstruct an expe r i ence that is not part icular to the An i sh i nabe peop le of the Grea t L akes . 9 6 Seymourville resident, Seymourville meeting with author, March 2001. 9 7 Band member, Brokenhead Reserve, conversation with author, October 23, 2000. 9 8 See Nabokov and Easton's Native American Architecture, (A-13 for a description of the traditional dwellings of the Great Lakes Ojibway. 88 With little c l a im to the h ide t eepee ' s evo lut ion or histor ic use , the O j i bway have a s s u m e d its image for the pu rpose of ritual, ce lebrat ion and cul tura l d i sp lay . It is a c o m m o n bor row ing . T h e image is we l l su i ted to the s impl ic i ty a nd clarity d e m a n d e d of adver t i s ing a nd has been sp r ead wor ldw ide . It has at ta ined a n i con i c status and symbo l i c p owe r other Abo r i g i na l a rch i tec tures d id not. But representing d i ve r se cu l tures th rough s u c h borrowings , ag i ta tes many . T h e w i d e s p r e a d u s e of the t e e p e e a s a veh i c l e of cul tura l representat ion has a homogen i z i ng and stereotyp i ca l effect, c o l l aps i ng m a n y cu l tures into one . S o m e Abor ig ina l peop l e a re d i s m a y e d at the form's l oose usage , wh i c h c rea tes con fus i on a nd cul tura l d isor ientat ion for peop l e who are struggl ing to def ine their o w n cu l tures a nd histor ies. A c c o r d i n g to a Seymou rv i l l e resident, "Abor ig ina l peop l e are c on f u s ed about wha t is Indian arch i tecture with [Doug las] Ca rd i na l bui ld ing t e e p e e s all ove r the p l a ce . It is con fus ing and m i s l ead i ng . A n Indian bu i ld ing is e i ther an eag l e or a 99 s q u a r e box. I a m told that loca l peop l e are beg inn ing to a c c ep t the tourist v i l lage, a nd that only a few do not "unders tand." T h e band ha s m a d e great efforts to reconc i l e tour i sm and re se rve life. V i l l age v is i tors are taken of f - reserve to at tend tradit ional c e r e m o n i e s s u ch a s the Ho l l ow W a t e r sweat , for e x a m p l e . T h e v i l lage is l oca ted on a site that is r e m o v e d f rom other r e se rve bu i ld ings, pe rhaps a d isc re t ionary d i s t ance br idg ing a n antagon is t i c affair. The tourism sites are sites of controversy. They are unstable architectures that mingle in a broader context of Canadian tourist destinations far away from the realities of the reserves within which they are placed. They arc artifacts generated for outside consumption, yet another layer of foreign forms. Seymourville resident, Winnipeg, Meeting with author, September 11, 2000. 89 Places of Longing T h e swea t c e r e m o n y is comp le te . Am i d s t al l my mus i ng s about the real and the fake, the authent i c a n d the inauthent ic , I e m e r g e f rom the lodge a m a z e d to d i s cove r that my flu-like s y m p t o m s have p a s s e d . A skep t i c h a s been en l i gh tened . T h e air outs ide the l odge ha s a fee l ing of morn ing , inocu la ted with a s u d d e n burst of ene rgy that h ad been c o n s u m e d by a day of wande r i ng s . P e o p l e a re ga the red ou ts ide the lodge, a nd m a n y s peak of the swea t l odge ' s recent rev iva l . T h e conve r sa t i on turns to B l a ck Is land. Former ly , the is land w a s a s e a s o n a l ga ther ing p l a ce for the peop l e of the reg ion . B a n d s w h o s e terr i tor ies su r rounded L a k e W i nn i p eg met on the is land to m a k e important de c i s i on s . W h e n the C a n a d i a n gove rnmen t a t tempted to sett le Abor ig ina l peop le , the B ig Island B a n d r eques t ed the i s land a s the i r towns i te , but d u e m a n y compe t i ng e c o n o m i c interests, the i s land w a s not granted . Indeed, the gove rnmen t e n g a g e d in t reaty-mak ing with the Abo r i g i na l peop l e partly, a s a m e a n s to o p e n the is land 's r e sou r ce s to non-Abor ig ina l i n t e r e s t s . 1 0 0 It w a s the first ma jo r s t a te - imposed rewriting o f arch i tec ture en coun t e r ed by the B i g Is land peop le . But tradit ional act iv i t ies a n d e v e n b a n n e d c e r e m o n i e s cont inued on the i s land into p resen t t imes . Oc cupa t i on d id not c e a s e . "B l a ck Is land D a y s " is the mos t s ign i f icant i s l and event . T h e ent ire c ommun i t y o f Ho l l ow Water , a l ong with peop le f rom the three su r round ing commun i t i e s , ga ther year ly on B l a c k Is land for eight d a y s of fest iv it ies. T h e r e se r ve a n d its bu s i n e s s shut d own . G i v e n the wa rmth of the Ho l l ow W a t e r peop le , I imag ine that a n y o n e wou l d be w e l c o m e d to B l a ck Is land Days , but ou ts ide rs a re not cus tomar i l y invited to the e ight-day p i lgr image. It is a low-prof i le, unadver t i sed ga ther ing . The re a r e no e l abo ra te pamph l e t s pedd l ed at t rade s h o w s . The r e a re no ou tward d i sp l ays of t rad i t iona l i sm. B l a c k Is land is still h ome , a pr ivate p l a ce for the B ig Is land peop l e whe r e tradit ions are quiet ly prac t i ced. Tour i s t b r o chu res for Hec l a Is land, sitt ing immed ia te ly west , wa r n tour ists to respec t the act iv i t ies of the Abor i g i na l peop l e w h o o c c u p y B l a ck Is land. S o , desp i t e the many cul tura l f ractures , B l ack Is land h a s r ema ined a p l a ce of c a lm , sol idarity, a nd tradit ional cultural 1 0 0 There was much interest in the island's timber, ironore, gold and silica sand. The French had contemplated mineral exploitation as early as 1729. See Williamson, Black Island...Never Was, for more. Also see Tough, As Their Natural Resources Fail... for the economic context of treaty-making in Manitoba. 90 pract ice prov id ing the ma in v e n u e whe re the ent ire c ommun i t y c a n be coun ted on to gather fa i th fu l ly . 1 0 1 T h e B lack Is land site is a dist inct p l a ce with r e s i d ence s , c o m m u n a l s t ructures a nd recreat iona l a r ea s . T h e overa l l se t t lement form is a s ing le road that cu lm ina tes into a large structure at one end . O n e s ide of the road is l inked to a c i rcu lar c l ear ing or p o w o w g round and sma l l fami ly p rec inc ts f rame both road a n d c lear ing . 1 0 1 When I was experiencing difficulty motivating people towards a community design project (my initial research vehicle), it was suggested I take my presentation to Black Island Days. 91 E a c h fami ly is r espons ib l e for its own z o n e of occupa t i on , wh i c h it des igns , ma in ta ins and eventua l ly t rans fe rs to others . T h e s e r e s i d en ce s are min ima l s t ructures offer ing only the s l ightest ges ture of she l ter . A handfu l of po les , in mos t c a s e s , is al l that e s t ab l i s he s the structure n e c e s s a r y to car ry a ra inproof tarp. E a c h plot is nes t l ed am id tower ing p i nes that prov ide its a n c h o r a n d refuge. S o m e s t ructures e ven s p a n the s p a c e be tween ex is t ing t rees , p reserv ing the red p ine inventory. T h e s t ructures r e cede and d i sappea r , a s s um i ng humb le a n d grateful pos tu res in their natura l h o m e . They l ive lightly on the land, d emand i ng f ew r e s ou r c e s and c rea t ing little env i ronmenta l d i s rupt ion . T h e forest "des ign" adop t s a part icu lar f o rm and is de l iberate ly c on s i d e r ed in the overa l l s c h e m e . In fact the forest p rov ides the f undamen ta l arch i tectura l f o rm of the p lace , its o rgan i za t i on , shelter, in t imacy and s e n s e of s ca l e . It is e v e r p resent and gene r a t e s protect ion, fuel a n d the powerfu l aes the t i c s o f the B l a ck Is land p lace . E a c h prec inct is or iented t owards a s ing le , thirty-foot-wide s a n d y road that runs a l ong a r idge l ine para l l e l to the sho re of L a k e W i nn i p eg . T h e road is a mee t i ng p lace , a p l a c e of o r g an i z ed activity, a nd a p l a ce to m o v e to and f rom other e n c a m p m e n t s . It is an idea l road an ima ted by its mu l t i pu rposeness . T h e path cu lm ina tes in a c o m m u n a l hal l wh i ch is u s e d a s a she l ter for g a m e s , b ingo, meet ings , feas ts , and p resenta t i ons . 9 2 93 T h e road and res i dences are protected f rom the harsh lake w inds by a row of trees, ma in ta ined a long the lake embankment . Th is row a l so f rames the lake, creat ing cont inuous p ictures w i ndows of wa te r a n d hor i zon . The t rees fol low the natural c h ange of level , exaggera t ing the b reak be tween uppe r and lower spa ce s . B e a c h e s fifteen feet be low the edge a l low spec tacu la r v i ews and ea sy superv i s i on of ch i ldren sw imming and peop le arriving by boat. B l ack Is land is unusua l ly wel l laid out. A p lanner cou ld not improve on it. The a r rangement is tightly o rgan i zed , and has an overr id ing c ommuna l form that we l c omes the gather ing of peop le . The re is w h o l e n e s s and c ohe s i v ene s s rather than sporad i c d is junctures. The B lack Is land commun i ty is respons ive to funct ion and context, des ign pr inc ip les not found on the reserve . It is, in fact, the ant i thes is of Hol low Wa t e r architecture. T h e p l a ce is des i gned by local peop le , and judg ing by its level of care, is highly r espec ted . Pho tos t aken one day after the fest ival revea l no ev idence of habitat ion by hundreds of peop le . M a n y s peak of "cur ing their i l ls," of "cast ing as ide g r i evances " and of "breaking down borders " a s they gather on the is land. L ines between o rgan i zed rel igion and tradit ional ism, be tween rich and the poor, be tween band membe r s and band counc i l , a nd between Treaty and Met i s quietly ex t ingu i sh t hemse l ves . F o r eight days the commun i ty toge therness l onged for on the rese rve m a k e s a brief appea rance . Peop l e b e c o m e emot iona l and nosta lg ic when speak ing of the is land and its cathart ic effects, d i sc los ing the perpetua l long ings that c o m e from exi le. . . 94 Conc lus ion Speak i n g of longings, it is t ime to head home on the s a m e washboa r d that ma rked my arrival. I wou ld enthusiast ica l ly s pend a few dol lars in Ho l low Wate r on a mea l and the chan ce meet ing with more local people, but a s noted, there are no such opportunit ies for casua l interact ion. A s on many fo l lowing occas ions , I must await a mea l in P ine Fa l l s forty-five minutes away . The day has felt longer than its actual e ight hours. A s the federa l reserve road d i sappears behind the car, I hit provinc ia l pavement and my nervous s y s t em returns to norma l . The rain has c e a s e d and the approach ing s c e n e s engul f the car with a fami l iar fee l ing of ca lm. T h e l andscape returns to focus. Magn i f i cent tall ye l low g r a s s e s a long the roads ide turn to gold as they filter the even ing 's sun . It is late, but I must stop and co l lect a few of t hese for a v a s e that is wai t ing. I have not spoken of this majestic landscape while on the Hollow Water reserve because I did nol see it. The colored photos at the beginning and end of this chapter are not a means of manipulation, distortion or exaggeration. They are 95 I will t ravel to other rese rves in Man i toba , but you need not fol low. Ho l low W a t e r is an archi tectura l pattern repl icated a c ro s s a var ied Man i toba l andscape , albeit with different n ames . Obse rva t i ons of other reserves wou ld be much the s ame . It is a recurr ing picture, a built l a nds cape that repeats f rom p lace to p l a c e . 1 0 2 R e s e r v e s a re architectural ly in terchangeab le . They are new forms with border l ines that have rewritten a prev ious ly shift ing and expans i ve spat ia l o ccupa t i on . They are shrunken , del imited s p a c e s with contes ted sit ings be cause "settl ing" Abor ig ina l peop le meant d i sp l a cement s that c reated longings, tens ions , and a cont inuing exi le. The i r border l ines se rve dua l pu rposes . They enab le enc roachment and use of tradit ional Abor ig ina l territories by outs iders, whi le compres s i ng the contro l lable home land of the Abor ig ina l peop le . Bo rde r s des ignate land outside the reserve that, accord ing to government , must be used for the benef i t o f the "common-good" , e ven when this "shar ing" is at o d d s with the surv iva l of the reserve commun i ty itself. L and immediate ly outs ide the border is ava i lab le for deve l opment whi le Abor ig ina l peop le are "permitted" to cont inue their tradit ional activit ies within its bounds . R e s e r v e s , therefore, exclude by design a contro l lab le land b a s e on wh i ch Abor ig ina l commun i t i es c a n s e cu r e their su s t enance . Mos t r ese rves compr i se the bare m in imum of bui ld ings: a col lect ion of houses , a church , s choo l , b and off ice, and communi ty hal l . The church, s choo l and band off ice es tab l i sh n e w cen te rs of gather ing, rep lac ing old ones . A s i d e from these, there are few meet ing p laces . Community is inhibited by des i gn . H o u s e s compr i se the pr inc ipal fabr ic of reserves and determine their pr imary architectural character . Pre fabr icated, repetit ive, spatial ly iso lated units f a ce veh icu la r c ommute r routes. R e s e r v e s are spatial ly inorganic. Wi thout a set of systemat ica l ly re lated parts, they are fractured, incoherent env i ronments . The re is no del iberate ax i s of movemen t or an imate center to be d i s cove red . The re are no cozy paths to meander . The in-betweens have no subs tance and the 1 0 2 The process of photographing reserves was revealing. The more reserves I recorded, the fewer frames I shot because exactly the same information recurred. There was a redundancy in the landscape that made the work of recording frame after frame appear meaningless after a short period. I also made the mistake of placing more than one reserve on a single roll. Weeks later, distinguishing one place from the next became arduous. In some cases I had to rely on the most insignificant details around buildings in order to determine which reserve was depicted in the photograph. "Was that dog in Chemawawin or Grand Rapids?" 96 sp ine is m i s s i ng . Phys i ca l c h a o s eme rge s from this combinat ion of randomly p laced objec ts without connec t i ve s inew. Loca l l y m a d e artifacts at any s ca l e are hard to f ind, hav ing b een rep laced with imported, bor rowed f o r m s . 1 0 3 R e s e r v e s suffer the architectural a l ienat ion of imported mater ia ls and p r o c e s s e s that has c rea ted p laces independent f rom context. The land has been made obso le te through des i gn . R e s e r v e bui ld ings have a str ik ing a-temporal ity. The e ra su re of h istor ica l forms coup l ed with p re fe rences for the new and prefabr icated have left gaps and discont inui t ies. The l ands cape ha s little documenta t i on of its past through bui ld ings. Instead a meage r fifty y ea r s of bui ld ing ha s s p e d up archi tectura l history, generat ing instantaneous l a nd s cape s and erad icat ing any t race of r oo tedness a n d longevity. R e s e r v e s have just been built a n d do not c on c ea l the fact. A n d they lack detai ls. R e s e r v e s are communi t i es that are barely drawn. Ske le ta l bui ld ings s tand in deso la te interst ices. A n d these fo rms sit in l andscapes that have been devas ta ted by their very const ruct ion. There is no water character , nor river character , no ce lebrat ion wha teve r of the land 's of fer ings. T h e commun i ty p lans a n d bui ld ings are incogn izant o f their env i rons . S o , it is little wonde r that w e have noted nothing distinct about Ho l low Wa t e r or its peop le through this arch i tectura l read ing, be cause these are indifferent forms. 1 0 3 A b o r i g i n a l material culture underwent mass ive scour ing, witnessed by signif icant indigenous col lect ions in m u s e u m s across the wor ld . 97 73 CD o —\ CO 03 (Q OO O CO T h e Ma r c e l C o l o m b First Nat ion current ly r e s i des o f f - reserve at Lynn Lake , Man i t oba . Th i s e s s a y de s c r i b e s the deve l opmen t of their n e w rese rve , B l a ck S tu rgeon , s i tuated forty k i lometers eas t of Lynn Lake . I o f fered des ign-consu l t ing s e r v i c e s to this F i rst Nat ion in the spr ing of 2000 , and w a s granted a pos i t ion f rom wh i ch to o b s e r v e the many p r o c e s s e s that s h a p e d the initial rese rve structure. T h e evo lut ion of the r e se rve invo lved many peop l e a n d s p a n n e d seve ra l d e c a d e s . T h e site, for examp l e , w a s negot ia ted in 1972, and the Ma r c e l C o l o m b l eadersh ip app roved the bounda r i e s of the rese rve in 1987 . I wil l focus, however , on the nature and ou t come of a p lann ing p r o ce s s that b egan in 2000 and cu lm ina ted with "The Marcel Colomb Community Plan and Capital Plan," a d o cumen t that la id out the e l emen t s of the new rese rve . I will desc r i be the f inal p lan and the p r o c e s s that brought it into be ing , spec i f i ca l ly the interact ions and dec i s i on -mak ing of the g roup a s s e m b l e d to des i gn the commun i ty : the Ma r c e l C o l o m b First Nat ion , Indian and Nor thern Af fa i rs of C a n a d a ( INAC) , Pub l i c W o r k s and G o v e r n m e n t Se r v i c e s C a n a d a ( P W G S C ) , the S w a m p y C r e e Tr iba l Counc i l ( S C T C ) , 1 0 4 and a mun i c i pa l eng inee r i ng f irm. Th i s p lann ing p r o c e s s w a s virtual ly i n comprehens i b l e . T e n s i o n s su r f a ced a m o n g the g roup a s s e m b l e d to p lan the n e w commun i ty . Re l a t i ons be tween the b and and gove rnmen t of C a n a d a , wh i ch ha s a f iduc iary respons ib i l i ty to upho ld their interests, we r e s o m e t i m e s confrontat iona l . Ord ina ry p lann ing ques t i ons f rom both the b and and me w e r e met with irritation and d i s m i s s i v e n e s s by the d e s i gn consu l tan ts a n d susp i c i on by gove rnmen t of f ic ia ls w h o e v e n a s k e d me "Who do y ou work for?" M y con fus i on a r o s e partly b e c a u s e I had been catapu l ted into a p r o ce s s that w a s long unde rway but e v e n mo r e f rom the un ique re la t ionsh ip be tween r e se rve commun i t i e s and the federa l government , a re la t ionsh ip that init iates an i n comprehens i b l e sty le of p lann ing . Marcel Colomb is also a member of this Tribal Council. 99 Reserve planning history Mos t reserve forms evo lved in a different era a l though those that eme rge on recent d raw ing boards bea r a striking r e semb lance to their ances to rs . G i v en such continuity, it is usefu l to s i tuate the p lann ing of B lack S tu rgeon within the histor ical context of C a n a d i a n reserve p lann ing . C a n a d a ha s had a character is t ica l ly hesitant re lat ionship to reserve bui ld ing. T h e treat ies written be tween C a n a d a and Abor ig ina l peop le , in the interests of co lon ia l land sett lement, inst igated a m a s s i v e resettl ing of ind igenous people. Nat ive peop le were a s s i gned reserves , restr icted land parce l s on wh i ch they wou ld res ide. Importantly, this era of architectural redrawing es tab l i shed a new set of boundar ies that wou ld del imit Abor ig ina l s p a c e until today. Treaty-mak ing wa s not a communi ty bui lding p rocess . It w a s a land-c lear ing p rocess , not a v i s ion for the deve lopment of reserve s p a c e but for the deve lopment of the land rese rves bordered . It w a s a s cheme of negat ive deve lopment , of inverted p lanning, of drawing reverse per imeters and establ ish ing ant i -space. The future of this ant i -space w a s not env i saged . In fact, a nonsus ta inab le , dependent de s i gn fit C a n a d a ' s goa l to ass imi la te Abor ig ina l p e o p l e s 1 0 5 and is ref lected in the hesitant unf in ished forms desc r ibed in chapter 2. Recen t pressures have encou raged C a n a d a to deve lop reserve space . R e s e r v e s cont inue to exist, but lack ing deve lopment and sur rounded by dep le ted resources , they have b e c o m e the country 's s h a m e . Internationally b roadcas t images depict ing the dep lorab le living cond i t ions of Abo r i g i na l peop le have s lowly rep laced romant ic ones , a s when Ch i e f Lou i s S t e ven son invited Sou th Af r i ca 's a m b a s s a d o r G l e n Babb to Man i toba ' s Pegu i s Re se r ve . T h e 1987 visit spa rked internat ional head l i nes and revea led that C a n a d i a n Abor ig ina ls l ived in third wor ld cond i t ions. First Na t i ons have steadi ly pol it ic ized the plight of reserve underdeve lopment , and have cont inued to p res su re the federa l government to invest in their communi t i es a s part of its long-standing treaty m The historical roots of Canada's "Indian" policy predating Confederation are outlined by John Tobias. The intentions of the state as early as the late 1700s were to protect, civilize and assimilate Natives into the larger Canadian community so that eventually Aboriginal identity and culture would cease to exist. Schemes were put in place throughout history to achieve this goal including establishing reserves, or "social laboratories," aimed at civilizing Native people and legislation such as an 1869 "Act for the gradual enfranchisement of Indians" that was to slowly eradicate special status, and alienate lands held by bands. See Tobias, "Protection, Civilization,Policy," 127-144. As late as 1969 the Canadian government produced a White Paper calling for full integration of Native people into Canadian society. The "special status" afforded Native people by the Indian Act of 1867 was to be repealed. Fierce opposition from Aboriginal people barred the policy. See Weaver, Making Canadian Indian Policy.... 1 0 0 obl igat ions. Repor t s of reserve l iving condi t ions have i nc reased in number s ince the 1980s cu lminat ing in Gathering Strength, The Report Of The Royal Commission On Aboriginal Peoples. R e l e a s e d in 1996, the report ca l l ed for an overhau l of the government ' s app roach to the prov is ion of hous ing on reserve . R e s e r v e populat ions are a l so growing. In 1985, Bil l C-31 reinstated treaty status to those w h o had lost it through marr iage, caus ing an influx of peop le who subsequent ly b e c a m e entit led to h o u s i n g . 1 0 6 In particular Met is populat ions res id ing adjacent to rese rves moved a c r o s s the "border," s ome t imes doubl ing rese rve popu l a t i on s . 1 0 7 Abor ig ina l populat ion growth on rese rves cont inues to e x c eed that of C a n a d a overa l l accord ing to c en su s reports. T h e result has been a s low rise in reserve construct ion initiatives. In 1990, when pit privies and t rucked s ewe r sys tems rema ined the norm, the federa l government ' s "Green P l an" commi t ted C a n a d a to provid ing serv ices to all C a n a d i a n r e s e r v e s . 1 0 8 More capita l has been ded i ca ted to on -reserve projects, namely sewer, water, s choo l s and hous ing; in the yea r 2000 C a n a d a ' s T reasu ry Boa rd app roved eight infrastructure projects on Man i toba rese rves and twelve s choo l s . C ommun i t i e s once dest ined for ext inct ion are being patched. Recen t publ ic wh in ing about "publ ic money" that f lows to reserves s t ems in part f rom this p rocess , the result of an initial a nd long-s tand ing re luc tance to build these commun i t i es coup led with more recent p ressu res to m a k e them work. A c co rd i ng to Doug K i r fwood, INAC ' s reg ional p lanner ove rsee ing the p lann ing d iv is ion f rom 1980-86, INAC es tab l i shed a p lann ing d iv is ion in 1976 under p ressure to bring mode rn s tandards to reserves . The div is ion's late arr ival exp la ins why most drawings of rese rve commun i t i es , inc luding land use , topography and building maps , date f rom after 1976 . No comp rehens i v e documentat ion of reserve s p a c e exists before this t ime, except for sma l l - s ca l e d raw ings that identify the s i ze and locat ion of rese rves or projects such a s p lans for subd iv i s i ons . To a l e s se r extent, a more altruistic mot ive in f luenced s o m e individual p lanners . K i r fwood states, "Whi le p lann ing wa s a normal type of activity in other communi t ies , it wasn' t part of the p s y che of 1 0 6 In 1985 Parliament passed an act to amend the Indian Act. The act was intended to bring the Indian Act into line with the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Importantly, it removed sexual discrimination from status regulations. It allowed women who had lost status through marriage to reclaim status for themselves and their children. "By June 1990 the status Indian population grew by 19 percent in 5 years alone." From Young et al., The Health Effects...Reserves, 7. 1 0 7 From an interview with Doug Kirfwood, INAC's regional planner during the 1980s, February 2002. 1 0 8 Young et al, The Health Effects.. .Reserves, 1. 101 r ese rve commun i t i e s . Commun i t i e s did not embark upon se l f -analys is and phys ica l n eeds we r e the only n e ed s that had been formerly add r e s sed . P lann ing wa s narrowly f o cused and eng inee r ing-or iented." T h e federa l department of Pub l i c Works , a group of eng ineers , hand led all the phys i ca l on- rese rve d e v e l o p m e n t s . 1 0 9 The new plann ing d iv is ion wa s intended to introduce p lann ing to rese rves and to bui ld a communi ty ' s se l f -knowledge. Commun i t y part ic ipat ion w a s en cou r aged for the first t ime, ref lect ing the genu ine idea l i sm of at least s o m e bureaucrats . But it appea r s that externa l p r e s su res to upgrade health and safety and prov ide essent ia l s e rv i ces su ch a s schoo l s rema ined the primary r e a son s for the new p lanning department . T h e s e d e m a n d s fo rced the department to acknow ledge that commun i t i es were haphazard ly p l anned . Pr ior to 1976, most reserve house s had pit privy or t rucked sewer sys tems . Ear ly inves tment in unse rv i ced road permitted h ou s e s to be built a lmost wherever peop le des i red, and commun i t i e s s p r a w l e d . 1 1 0 It wou ld cost the depar tment heavi ly if commun i t i e s we re not more eff ic ient ly p l a n n e d . 1 1 1 T h e larger eng ineer ing projects a lso needed a context within wh i ch they cou ld be p l a ced . S o , whi le the initial concept ion of reserve commun i t i es did not involve a c omp rehens i v e not ion of deve lopment , reserve planning a s a government activity a rose f rom the p ressu re to prov ide essent ia l serv ices . It eme rged be cau se it had to. T h e p lann ing department b e c a m e an information-gather ing tool, and the commun i t y p lan w a s the veh ic le to facil itate the prov is ion of se rv i ces . Re fer red to a s "comprehens ive commun i ty p lann ing" by K i r fwood, the department 's strategy w a s to generate a base l ine of informat ion f rom wh i ch dec i s i ons cou ld be m a d e to organ i ze a nd increase the eff ic iency of deve lopment . T h e phys i ca l commun i ty plan a l so b e c a m e a means to identify spec i f ic projects before cap i ta l w a s a l located, and to facilitate the government ' s capita l p lanning dec i s ions such as wh i ch r e se rve w a s first in line for a schoo l . F r om these data wait ing l ists cou ld be es tab l i shed b e c a u s e the p lans 1 0 9 A devolution occurred as a result of the growing Aboriginal clientele and of new demands for people experienced with Aboriginal communities. The Department of Indian and Northern Affairs evolved its own engineering capacity and continued to use Public Works for project management on the largest projects. 1 1 0 While pit privy houses can be placed anywhere, truck delivery systems require roads, and piped systems require proximity to a central facility, limiting piping distances. 1 1 1 Under public pressures in the early 1980s, septic fields began to be put in, but two-thirds of Manitoba reserve houses were not in areas where septic fields would work and piped systems were often not economically feasible because of community sprawl. Since then reserves have evolved with piped systems in some areas and trucked systems in others, a disjointed pattern of infrastructure. Complicating the process, houses needed to be grouped, but some people wished to maintain the housing distances of early communities, so housing proximity became a thorny issue. Closer spacing occurred nonetheless a result of the shortage of land and of demands for piped systems. Communities increased in density. 102 c ommun i c a t ed c lear ly to government bureaucrats who had what, and who needed what . T hey a l l owed the depar tment to contextua l i ze its projects, track them and take inventory. Long-de l ayed record-keep ing w a s in order, a n d the r igorous mapp ing of commun i t i e s began . Commun i t y p lans s impl i f ied, o rgan i zed , and e conom i z ed the task of p lac ing projects in a context, a nd depar tment off ic ials intended that p lans p recede individual projects, a l though this w a s not a lways the ca se . A badly needed project, for instance, p roceeded without a p lan . R e s e r v e s rece ived hous ing capita l e a ch yea r (although for only one or two homes) , a nd hous ing requ i res carefu l p lann ing be cause it make s up the fabr ic and structure of the overa l l p lan. But f ew commun i t i e s had a communi ty plan, nor did they require one to rece ive year ly capi ta l . T h e confl ict be tween immed ia te needs and long-term comprehens i ve p lanning p lagued commun i t i es . The department hired p lanning f i rms a long with band coo rd i na to r s , 1 1 2 w h o worked together. T h e f irms were reta ined for severa l months . The i r work entai led co l lect ing and compi l ing phys i ca l , soc ia l , economic , a nd demograph i c data. Through air photo interpretation a nd site su rveys , m a p s were generated that i l lustrated exist ing serv i ces , bui lding types and locat ions, natura l r e sou r ces on-reserve and some t imes concep ts for future deve lopment . Demog r aph i c ana lys i s f o recas ted populat ion growth. M a n y Man i toba bands did not have these p lann ing data until recently, and even today much of it rema ins in government of f ices. S o m e bands did not s e e the need for or unders tand how planning data could be put to use, whi le others, ove rwhe lmed with immed ia te condi t ions, cou ld not conce rn themse l ves with long-range s c h emes . Not surpr is ingly, their commun i t y p lans remained the tools of government . INAC ' s p lanning d iv is ion w a s c lose ly al l ied with the department 's eng ineer ing div is ion; neither d iv i s ion w a s structural ly under the other. A s projects we re identif ied, a project manage r wou ld be a s s i gned for its implementat ion, genera l ly f rom the eng ineer ing group. Doug K i r fwood, INAC ' s reg iona l planner, later managed INAC ' s capita l program, mainta in ing strong l inks be tween these d iv i s ions . Gove rnmen t downs i z ing in 1986 brought the death of the infant depar tment only ten yea r s after its incept ion, and a dec i s ion to re locate the vast a rch ives of topograph ic maps , terrain ana lys i s , and phys i ca l p lans of reserve commun i t i es . They were to be made ava i lab le to bands or des t royed . Fortunate ly, Natural R e s o u r c e s C a n a d a Lega l Su r vey s Div is ion and G e o m a t i c s r e s cued 1 1 2 The coordinator was a band member who acted as a liaison between the consultant and the community through which data were collected and relations eased. 103 the mater ia l that bands did not c la im. The polit ical c l imate encou raged transferr ing of authority to Tr iba l Counc i l s , at least in appea rance , and any fund ing remain ing for c omprehens i ve p lann ing . It w a s channe l ed directly to bands . The depar tment currently has no budget for commun i ty p lann ing, A l l o ca ted do l la rs we re split be tween s even Man i toba Tr ibal Counc i l s , and without an i n c rease s ince the 1980s , it often d i sappears into genera l revenues . T h e dec i s i on i l lustrated the depar tment 's c hange in attitude, a s it moved out of the p lann ing bus i ne s s a s quickly as it h ad entered. Unfortunately, p lanning d ied just a s fund ing i n c reased for rese rve deve lopment . Important l inkages pers is ted, however , with the depar tment of Pub l i c Wo r k s . Wi th downs iz ing , INAC ' s large eng ineer ing staff shifted to the Pub l i c W o r k s department , wh i ch now has a ded ica ted d iv is ion ove rsee ing the implementat ion of I N A C capi ta l projects on- reserve . The movemen t f rom engineer ing-sty le p lanning to more c omprehens i v e p lann ing, then back to eng ineer ing p lanning w a s comple te . Eng inee r s on ce aga in o ve r s aw p lann ing. Not long after the 1986 downs i z ing , the depar tment rea l i zed its shor t s igh tedness and s c r amb l ed to locate the s i zab le pool of data that had been expunged from its arch ives . Current ly, virtually al l on-reserve capita l projects f low through the department . INAC , work ing c lose ly with its Pub l i c Wo rk s branch, app roves projects, se ts project s tandards and gu ide l ines , e s tab l i shes des ign commit tees , tenders projects, pos i t ions itself on consu l tant se lec t ion commi t tees , and manage s projects. In 1998, the depar tment had 263 emp l oyee s in Man i t oba and a capita l budget of $300 mill ion to be d iv ided between sixty-two Man i toba First Nat ions over f ive yea r s . The Ma r ce l Co l omb First Nat ion commun i ty p lan evo lved in this p lanning context. I NAC no longer had an official p lanning depar tment yet the idea of estab l i sh ing a "communi ty p lan" r ema ined . T h e Pub l i c Wo rk s d iv is ion, m a d e up of eng ineers , wa s in charge of it. 104 O r i g i n s o f t he n e w r e s e r v e In 1999 $18.3 mill ion wa s set as ide by the government of C a n a d a to build the n ew B lack S tu rgeon reserve at Hughes Lake , Man i toba , for the newly formed Marce l C o l o m b First Nat ion. Ma r c e l C o l o m b is a group of approx imate ly 260 Cree - speak ing peop le who se ances to r s formed part of the J a m e s Roberts band at L a c L a Ronge in northern Sa s ka t c hewan . Before sett l ing on rese rves , the L a c La Ronge C r e e migrated seasona l l y a long the Church i l l R iver, wh i ch or ig inates in the R o c k i e s and f lows into Hud son Bay. Hughes Lake is part of this watershed. S i n ce s ign ing an adhes i on to Treaty 6 in 1898, the J a m e s Rober ts band sp l intered three t imes to finally fo rm the Ma r ce l C o l o m b First Nat ion. T h e rese rve is being const ructed on 5,000 ac res located forty k i lometers east of the min ing town of Lynn Lake. N e w reserve commun i t i es are rare, mak ing B lack S turgeon o n e of the few opportuni t ies of the twenty-first century to estab l i sh a new type of reserve space . Topographic map from Energy, Mines and Resources Canada. 105 The new re se r ve at H u g h e s L a k e e m e r g e d on ly after a long s t rugg le in wh i ch the town of Lynn L a k e w a s p ivota l . A 1941 ore d i s c ove r y at L ynn L a k e w a s one of Man i t oba ' s largest m ine ra l f inds, and it r e s c u e d the dy ing min ing town of She r r i don 120 mi les to the sou th . B e tween 1948 a n d 1949 the ent ire t own of Sher r i don w a s re loca ted by dragg ing bu i ld ings a c r o s s a winter hau l road . H o u s e s , s choo l a nd c hu r c he s m o v e d . 1 1 3 T h e initial s c a l e of min ing at L ynn L a k e dur ing the Sherr i tt G o r d o n e r a of 1953-1976 w a s impress i ve . N i cke l a n d coppe r we re pr inc ipal ly m ined , but go ld a nd s i lver we re important byproduc ts . In al l , $ 2 6 mil l ion w a s requ i red to put the mine into opera t ion and fifteen mi l l ion to bui ld a 145-mi le rail l ine f r om Sher r i don . L ynn L a k e is still the last rail s top f rom W inn i peg . On ly a substant ia l m inera l f ind - des c r i bed a s C a n a d a ' s s e c o n d largest at the t i m e 1 1 4 - cou ld justify s u c h investment . Isolation a n d co ld c a u s e d a 9 0 percent annua l rate of turnover a m o n g worke r s in the ear ly 1960s . T h e m ine r e s p o n d e d with h igh w a g e s and incent ive l oans for h o m e bui ld ing in a cons tan t effort to ma in ta in its l abor force. Lynn L a k e ep i t om i zed the C a n a d i a n frontier spirit. B r imm ing with we l l -pa id workers , it w a s a boom-town with a peak popu lat ion o f s ix t h o u s a n d . A town m u s e u m attests to the min ing efforts. Lynn L ake ' s iso lat ion a n d bitterly co ld c l imate ( recorded a s low a s -60°C) contr ibuted to a c lose ly knit c o m m u n i t y . 1 1 5 Recent ly , the town ha s b e c o m e a sport f i sh ing m e c c a and ha s a n u m b e r of f i sh ing l odges . It is a l so u s e d by N A S A 1 1 6 sc ient i s ts w h o l aunch wea the r ba l loons , conduc t exper iments , a nd mainta in the a i r s t r i p . 1 1 7 Lynn Lake in 1959 had birter winters. Image with mine and early buildings, from Lynn Lake Mining Museum, Lynn Lake, Manitoba. 1 1 3 From the Lynn Lake Mining Museum, Lynn Lake. Manitoba. 1 1 4 From D. J. Tibby, Report on Sherrit Gordon Mines Lynn Lake operation 1964, found in the Lynn Lake Mining Museum. 1 1 3 Ibid. "'The U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration 1 1 7 See "Big Bang balloon to lift off in Lynn Lake." Winnipeg Free Press, 28 July, 2002 and "Mining town holds key to universe scientists suspect" Winnipeg Free Press, 13 November, 1995. 1 0 6 J u x t apo s ed with L y n n Lake ' s hero i c narrat ive is a more despa i r i ng o ne a s reca l led by J o h n C o l o m b , Ma r c e l C o l o m b H e a d m a n . 1 1 8 F r o m 1969 a group of Abo r i g i na l fami l ies l ived immed ia te l y outs ide the town limits in a makesh i f t v i l l age of tents. T h e v i l lage ex i s ted for s ix teen y e a r s a nd grew to approx imate l y f i fteen fami l ies . It c ompr i s ed a c lus ter ing of un insu la ted po lye thy lene const ruc t ions o ve r makesh i f t w o o d e n f r ames hea ted with oi l d r ums . A few we re c a n v a s . F o r winter surv iva l , tents we re de l iberate ly c r owded . The "tent v i l l age peop le ," a s they c a m e to be known, w i ths tood the tempera tu res that d i s c ou r aged min ing pe r sonne l f rom sett l ing pe rmanent l y at Lynn L a ke , a l though s o m e d ied of t reatab le a i lments l ike p neumon i a . The re we r e no l ights in the vi l lage, ex cep t for the l ights of s toves . N o r d id the v i l l age have water, power, app l i an ces , furniture or e v e n d i shes . T h e only emp l o ymen t (for a few) w a s t rapp ing . A day in this a s ton i sh ing life wou ld have b e e n a cons tan t s t rugg le to a c comp l i s h the s imp le s t t a sks s u ch a s cook i ng a n d bath ing. T h e v i l l age wou ld s e e m un imag inab l e in twent ieth-century C a n a d a , but a myr i ad of footpaths a n d a litter of rusty c a n s a re e v i d en c e o f its ex i s t ence . Headman John Colomb at village site number 4 in the year 2000. is a large clearing with ample evidence of past occupation. 1 1 8 Most of the tent village history was collected through my numerous interviews with Headman John Colomb of the Marcel Colomb First Nation. 107 Town relations T h e v i l lagers ' relat ions with the town were stra ined. Not a s ing le vi l lager wa s emp l o yed in Lynn Lake ' s mines . Indeed, for them, the town had an open ing t ime and a c los ing t ime; they customar i ly wa i ted at its edge until a l l owed to enter. With in town, the v i l lagers were c hape r oned by loca l R C M P off icers who escor ted them back to the outskirts when they had comp le ted their bus i ness . "We weren't a l lowed in Lynn Lake," states H e a d m a n J ohn Co l omb . "I used to c o m e to sel l my furs at the little store that is now Osmond ' s [the current loca l pawn dealer]. I wou ld l eave my dogs whe re the tower is and wa lk down the hill into town. A s soon a s they s aw me they wou ld s e n d s o m e o n e to escor t me ou t . " 1 1 9 V i l lagers were frequently incarcerated for loitering, intoxicat ion and other minor o f fences . Desp i te a strong R C M P p resence in town, a ser ies of unso lved murders and d i s appea r an ce s revea l s a pattern of v io lence. S e v e n homic ides and two d i s appea rances occu r red s i n ce 1969 within the new Abor ig ina l populat ion of fewer than three hundred, and v i l lagers g ive pe rsona l a c coun t s of phys ica l a nd verba l a bu se at the hands of the townspeop le , part icularly dur ing the ear ly yea r s when they we re c a m p e d beyond the town limits. The unso lved murde r a nd muti lat ion of an e lder trapper in a town park and the d i s appea rance of a fema le e lder a re bitterly r emembe r ed . The town counci l ruled that schoo l a t tendance required a f ixed add re s s and res idency within town, cond i t ions the v i l lagers cou ld not meet. S o the chi ldren did not attend s choo l in L ynn ' Lake , and the Depar tment of Indian and Northern Af fa i rs ass i s ted in their re locat ion to G u y Hill, Dauph in and B randon , returning them to the vi l lage in the s ummer months . J ohn C o l o m b reco l lects the expe r i ence of los ing the ch i ldren with me lancho ly a cqu i e s cence : "At least they had a p lace to stay and did not have to live in t en t s . " 1 2 0 In 1972 INAC built the first F r iendsh ip Cen t e r in Lynn Lake , part of a nat ional s y s t em of Fr iendsh ip Cen t e r s to serve Abor ig ina l people. "It w a s a p lace for us to wa rm up and have cof fee. T o w n peop le we r e hired to run it at f i rst . . . ." 1 2 1 The center had an Abor ig ina l restaurant, wh i ch the town soon c l o sed down, c la iming it w a s not in the town's bus i nes s district, a l though one town 1 1 9 Headman John Colomb, Lynn Lake, conversation with author.October 3, 2000. 1 2 0 Ibid. 1 2 1 Ibid. 108 bus i n e s s w a s a c r o s s the street. F r o m 1985 to 1988 the center had its first board m e m b e r f rom the tent v i l lage. A t the town hosp i ta l , "we w e r e thrown out, c a u s e peop le didn't c l e an up. W e had to go w a s h up first be fore w e c o m e to the hosp i ta l but w e didn't have no p l a c e to c l e an up. That ' s how peop l e were dy ing left a nd right with T B a n d a s t h m a and other i l l nesses , " r e m e m b e r s H e a d m a n J o h n C o l o m b . 1 2 2 B e t w e e n 1966 and 1985 the tent v i l lage w a s forcibly re l oca ted s e v e n t imes a nd w a s rebuilt at va r i ous loca t ions at the town outskirts. T h e m o v e s s o m e t i m e s c o r r e sponded to newly e l ec ted town counc i l s . T h e r ea son w a s " . . . ' cause the town w a s s c a r ed . J u s t in c a s e they burned the p lace down , or there w a s a forest fire b e c a u s e there w a s fuel t anks here . That ' s why they m o v e d us farther and f a r the r . " 1 2 3 1 2 2 Headman John Colomb, Lynn Lake, conversation with author, August 30, 2000. Lynn Lake. 1 2 3 Ibid., October 3, 2000. Lynn Lake townsite showing seven village locations. Site 6 was the largest and both 6 and 7 were connected. A complex pattern of paths and highways were established over time. One is shown above. Site 1 was occupied from 1968 to 1969, site 2 from 1970 to 1971, site 3 from 1972 to 1973, site 4 1974 to 1975, site 5 from 1976 to 1977, site 6 from 1977 to 1984 and site 7 from 1980 to 1984. Aerial photo from the Province of Manitoba 109 T o w n s p e o p l e both myth ic i zed and vilified the vi l lagers. A c co rd i ng to H e a d m a n J ohn C o l o m b , "Wheneve r w e went to town the c op s had to escor t u s ' cause t he se peop le he re in Lynn Lake , they we r e so scared of us. They used to cal l us s a v a g e s c a u s e w e used to have long hair, the way my ha i r is now... they used to cal l us all k inds of names . But I didn't m i nd . . . . " 1 2 4 A town res ident who he lped organ ize the vi l lagers recal ls be ing b lackl isted by ne ighbors and w a s often b l amed and h a r a s s e d for "being with Indians" and for hav ing "brought the Indians into t o w n . " 1 2 5 The v i l lagers had migrated to Lynn Lake from the Math ias C o l o m b C r e e Nat ion at Puka t awagan 120 ki lometers south, but the reasons for their move are not ag reed upon by townspeop le . O n e Lynn Lake res ident c la ims "they left Puka t awagan w h e n Puka t awagan b e c a m e a dry commun i ty and they we re outcasts f rom their own communi ty . They ' re the k ind of peop le that put down roots anywhere , but they aren't necessar i l y the type of peop le you want l iving next d oo r . " 1 2 6 O thers c l a imed that they were a col lect ion of outcasts f rom var ious bands , that they c a m e to Lynn Lake in sea r ch of emp loyment and that they were returning to their tradit ional hunt ing territory d is rupted by mining. Myth is present even in the more sympathet i c accounts . "One thing about the peop le , not once w a s I ever a f r a i d , " 1 2 7 s tates a former Lynn Laker . If not being afraid w a s a state worth ment ion ing, an expectat ion ex is ted to the contrary: that Nat ives we re to be feared . The tent v i l lage borders were more than phys ica l . Re fer red to a s the "A l abama of the north" by Nat iona l Ch i e f Ov i de M e r c r e d i , 1 2 8 Lynn Lake had ent renched ideo log ica l boundar ies that kept the tent v i l lage peop l e beyond its l imits. The ex i s tence of the v i l lage w a s ment ioned in both leading Man i toba newspape r s for at least a d e c a d e and was known to many a g e n c i e s . 1 2 9 The provinc ia l government ' s wel fare depar tment distr ibuted checks in the forest and kept surve i l l ance on those who ea rned a living through t rapp ing. T h e Depar tment of Indian and Northern Af fa i rs re located chi ldren for s choo l i ng . In 1973 and aga in in 1975, the C a n a d a Mor tgage and Hous ing Corporat ion made detai led s tud ies of 1 2 4 ibid. 1 2 5 Former town resident, telephone interview with author, Winnipeg, 21 November, 2000. 1 2 6 Town resident, interview with author, Lynn Lake, July 20, 2000. 1 2 7 Former town resident, telephone interview with author, Winnipeg, 21 November, 2000. 1 2 8 National Chief Ovide Mercredi was describing a climate of hit-and-runs unsolved murders and general relations in a March 17, 1995 meeting at Grand Rapids with the Minister of Indian Affairs Ron Irwin. From minutes to meeting with Minister Ron Irwin, Indian and Northern Affairs. 1 2 9 See, for example, "Squatters concern town," Winnipeg Tribune, "Fate of five Lynn Lake families remains unsettled," Winnipeg Free Press, '"Charges sparks rights probe," Winnipeg Tribune, "Hospital fears garbage infected," Winnipeg Free Press, "Townspeople up in arms over alcoholism violence", Winnipeg Free Press. n o l iving cond i t i ons in Lynn Lake . A Univers i ty of W i nn i p eg r e sea r ch t e am spen t mon ths obse rv ing , record ing and ana l y z i ng the t ownspeop l e ' s r e s p o n s e to iso lat ion a nd co ld , but t he se s tud ies d o not 130 ment ion the peop l e w h o l ived immed ia te ly ou t s i de the town l imits. A l t hough the v i l lage ex i s t en ce w a s known, for a lmos t twenty yea r s its cond i t i ons we r e ignored. In 1972, Ma r c e l C o l o m b , the ch ie f at P u k a t a w a g a n and g r and son of Ma th i as C o l o m b , began appea l i ng to the gove rnmen t to have his tradi t ional hunt ing and t rapp ing g rounds at H u g h e s L a k e forty k i lometers eas t of Lynn L a k e de c l a r ed rese rve l ands . T h e Lynn L a ke reg ion is the tradit ional a r e a of the Ma th i a s C o l o m b C r e e Nat ion within the P u k a t a w a g a n Reg i s t e red trap l ine a rea . M e m b e r s o f the M a t h i a s C o l o m b b a n d f r equen ted this reg ion inc lud ing a n d sur round ing L ynn Lake , in part icu lar H u g h e s L ake . P u k a t a w a g a n e lders reca l l s e v e n t rapp ing cab i n s that we r e bu l l dozed and burned to c reate the new town upon the d i s cove ry of ore. (The s i te at H u g h e s s o m e Lynn I.iUii. Topographic map from Energy, Mines and Resources Canada showing locations of seven trappers' cabins destroyed by the mining interests. Sites at Ralph Lake and Sheila Lake had two cabins. Information provided by Elder Dominique Hart of Pukatawagan. 1 3 0 See Nickels et al. Life Satisfaction in.. .Community and Nickels, Studies of.. .Frontier Communities. I l l d is tance away rema ined undisturbed.) Many , inc luding the townspeop le , journal ists and others, have portrayed the res idency of the v i l lagers a s strange and inexpl icab le. Ye t it w a s far f rom arbitrary. T h e tent v i l lage peop le we re living in p laces their forefathers knew and u sed . Know ing the plight of the tent v i l lagers, Ma r ce l C o l o m b m a d e a p lea to his s on s before his death in 1982 that they deve lop the Hughes Lake site and estab l i sh a new band on a new reserve . T h e band had spl intered many t imes. The Math ias C o l o m b band at Puka t awagan sepa ra ted f rom the Pe te r Ba l lantyne band of Pe l i c an Nar rows, wh ich separa ted f rom the J a m e s Rober t s band of La c L a Ronge . P receden t w a s amp le . By 1981 the Math ias C o l o m b band petit ioned the Land Ent i t lement Sec t i on of the Lands and Trusts P rog ram Man i toba Reg i on to acqu i re the H u g h e s Lake site f rom the prov ince. In 1982 the Min is ter conf i rmed that Math ias C o l o m b had a val id Treaty L and Ent i t lement (TLE) c l a i m , 1 3 1 and H e a d m a n J ohn C o l o m b worked t irelessly to fulfill his father 's w i sh . 1 3 1 When Canada entered into treaties with Manitoba bands between 1870 and 1910, it set aside reserve land based on band populations at that time. Some bands were not awarded their entire land allotments. Treaty Land Entitlements are lands owed to specific bands under the terms of these original treaties. 112 Negotiations for entry For yea r s the vi l lagers attempted to gain town res idency without s u c ce s s , but in 1983 events turned in their favor. Acco rd ing to H e a d m a n J ohn Co l omb , "We had a meet ing with the town counc i l . W e told them that the chi ldren were coming home f rom res ident ia l s choo l for Ch r i s tmas . W e wan ted a p l ace for them to stay. W e told t hem they cou ld not s tay in a tent for Ch r i s tmas . They a s k e d us whe re w e would s leep. They sa id, you have nothing. Y o u live like an imals . W e sa id w e cou ld s l eep on the floor and cove r ourse lves with jackets , as long as it w a s a wa rm p lace to stay. They sa id we wou ld have to get new things. W e cou ld not use the things from the tent v i l lage. W e cou ld not bring our garbage. W e told them to g ive us six months and we wou ld have everyth ing. I told t h em that w e wou ld bring our wel fare dol lars to the town. We l f a re wou ld pay our rent. It wou ld help the town." He added , "They let us in when w e started support ing the town from wel fare, that's the only way w e got in." Cons tan t re ferences to "in" and "out" by J ohn and others revea led the power of Lynn Lake ' s border and its exc lus ionary e f f e c t s . 1 3 2 T h e s e De c embe r 1983 negot iat ions with Lynn Lake ' s mayo r and counc i l co inc ided with even ts that e n cou r aged the townspeop le to coopera te with a request for res idency. In 1984 the mine suf fered the first of many c losures; numerous bui ld ings s tood empty. V a c a n c y w a s erod ing the town's tax ba se . The promise that wel fare dol lars might invigorate the dy ing town a l tered the counc i l ' s posit ion, and for the first t ime the vi l lagers were a c cep ted a s res idents. Headman John Colomb, Lynn lake, conversation with author, October 3, 2000. 113 Uneasy new relations T h e b and es tab l i shed an off ice in L y n n L a k e fo l lowing the D e c e m b e r 1983 negot ia t ions. "It w a s a little off ice, just to a n s w e r phone s a n d w e got a little m o n e y f rom Indian Af fa i rs to run it," exp la i ned H e a d m a n J o h n C o l o m b , but re lat ions r ema ined s t ra ined e v e n after "entry." "We had to fight aga ins t the m a y o r a n d counc i l . It's b e e n a long fight but w e d id not wan t to quit. E v e n w h e n w e were negot iat ing for a new reserve a n d b and s tatus they wou l d say y ou wou l d never be ab l e to run you r own affairs. Y o u peop l e are l ike an ima l s . Y o u have no knife and forks . Y o u have noth ing. They even th rea tened to try and stop the r e se r ve at H u g h e s Lake , but it w a s too late. T hey v anda l i z e d my boat and ki l led my dogs . T h e R C M P d id no t h i ng . " 1 3 3 Ch i e f A n d r e w C o l o m b stated, "We we r e a s k e d to l eave by many peop le . W e we r e told w e did not be long here. W e we re told that this w a s their wo rkp l a ce , their deve lopment , the ir b u s i n e s s b a s e a n d their l i v e l i h ood . " 1 3 4 O v e r t ime a handfu l of t ownspeop l e b e c a m e land lords, acqu i r ing h o m e s for a s little a s $3 ,500 and rent ing t h e m to the tent v i l lage peop l e for a substant ia l part of their we l fare c h e c k s . In the yea r 2000 only one m e m b e r of the Ma r c e l C o l o m b First Nat ion o w n e d a house in Lynn L a ke . Con t rove r sy a r o s e ove r the loca l p awnb roke r w h o had ob ta ined k ey s to ma i l boxes , in e x c h a n g e for credit in his store, and w a s open ing and c a s h i n g we l fa re c he c k s . S o m e b u s i n e s s e s ga i ned in s u ch way s . Wh i l e no one admi ts that the town is seg rega ted , many refer to l iving on "this s ide" or "the other s ide" of the L -shaped commun i t y . T h e c omme r c i a l district s epa r a t e s a n o lder sec t i on of town f rom a newer one , a n d most of the f o rmer tent v i l l agers res ide on the o ld s ide with its c rumb l i ng infrastructure a n d R C M P de tachment . T h e band ch i ld ren b egan at tend ing the town s choo l , but the institution r ema in s a con tes ted site. A c c o r d i n g to R u d y Subeda r , educa t i on p l anne r for M a r c e l C o l o m b , after s i x teen yea rs , the a v e r a g e leve l of educa t i on a m o n g the peop l e w a s g r ade three, and a recent s tudy ha s unrave led va r i ous d isturb ing patterns of t reatment of Abor i g i na l s tudents . M a n y s tudents fa i led g r ade s a s ear ly a s g rade one, whi le o thers we r e p l a ced in a l ternat ive c l a s s e s without parenta l The Northwest Development Corporation office established to help the region after mining collapse is sandwiched between the town office and the band office on either side. Behind, the mine never disappears from the horizon. 1 3 3 Headman John Colomb, Lynn Lake, conversation with author, September 20, 2000. 1 3 4 Chief Andrew Colomb, Lynn Lake, conversation with author, August 30, 2000. West Lynn Heights School with its gated grounds and "no trespassing" sign 114 not ice. F requent and early s u spens i on s removed s o m e for the entire year . The schoo l board in 2000 w a s m a d e up entirely of whi tes even though 75 percent of the schoo l populat ion w a s Abor ig ina l . O n e town membe r recal ls a recent s choo l board and town counc i l joint meet ing to d i s cu s s Abor ig ina l ch i ldren. Nat ive peop le a s ked to part ic ipate, a request the board re fused cit ing i s sue s of confidential i ty: chi ldren were be ing d i s cu s sed . The argument w a s used to exc lude peop le w h o s e chi ldren we re being d i s c u s s e d . 1 3 6 The schoo l ' s exc lus ionary status is ref lected in its archi tectura l "off l imits" posture - l ocked doors and an unava i lab le yard . T h e s e i ssues spa rked a rev iew that ended in the dissolut ion of the schoo l board and its merger with another d iv is ion, but the Ma r ce l C o l o m b peop le remain apprehens i ve of interact ions with the schoo l . A band m e m b e r offered the fo l lowing adv i ce w h e n I p roposed a schoo l visit: ' You can't just go to the s choo l . Y o u must phone first and ask permiss ion . Do you want me to c o m e with y o u ? Y o u have to report to the 137 front desk . The re are rules. The app rehens i on pers ists. A s I stood in the lobby of the Lynn Hotel await ing a min is ters meet ing on a frigid Oc tobe r day, I w a s a s ked by the front desk worker what I w a s doing s tand ing in the lobby. Af ter exp la in ing that I w a s await ing a meet ing, he instructed me that the meet ing did not beg in for another half-hour. "Loiter ing" in the Lynn Hotel w a s not permitted. Book ing a r o o m at the shabby hotel requ i red two-day a dvan c e payment p lus a $100 d a m a g e deposit . W h e n I c omp l a i ned of the lack of trust the owner exp la ined, "I can't make except ions . That wou ld be discr iminatory. Th i s is northern Man i toba . I can't be prejudiced or I wou ld be out of bus iness . Mos t of m y c l ients are First Nat ions." Eve ryone w a s to be treated with caut ion. The group attempted to improve its state am id su ch relat ions. 1 3 5 Children are "placed" in alternative classes when they are two years behind, yet grade one had an "alternative program" as did many other grades. These "alternative" classes were primarily Aboriginal and the band typically referred to these classes as "native classes" rather than alternative classes. The school receives most of its funding through its Aboriginal population while expelling many within the first three months of the school year. A report of these conditions was presented to Dr. Ben Levin, Deputy Minister of Education on October 16, 2000. Rudy Subedar, Winnipeg, interview with author, October 2000. 1 1 6 Town resident, Lynn Lake, Interview with author, August 29, 2000. 1 3 7 Band member,Lynn Lake band office, October 2, 2000. 115 Band separation and TLE A s soon a s they ga ined town res idency, the Marce l C o l o m b peop le ( renamed B l a ck Sturgeon) began negotiat ing for government funding but with l imited s u c c e s s . Wh i l e C a n a d a , through its Depar tment of Indian and Northern Affa irs, de l ivers year ly funding to First Na t i ons for capi ta l projects (yearly capita l a l locat ions) and operat ing dol lars for programs, such fund ing is l imited to on-reserve Abor ig ina l groups with band status. INAC does not award band operat ing and program do l lars to off-reserve First Nat ions . Cons i de r ed officially off-reserve, the v i l lagers we r e not entit led. T hey were a lso technica l ly membe r s of the Math ias C o l o m b C r e e Nat ion band at Puka t awagan , wh i ch was a l ready a l located capital and program support. Whe the r any port ion of t h e s e benef i ts actual ly a c c r ued to B l a c k S tu rgeon w a s irrelevant. Consequen t l y , the g roup f a ced two large obs t a c l e s before it cou ld obta in support. It had to b e c ome its own entity, a "band" distinct f rom the Ma th i a s C o l o m b band, and it had to be s i tuated "on-reserve." Two p ro ce s se s began: negot iat ions for off icial band status (which wou ld entai l a difficult and hurtful separa t ion from Math ias Co lomb) , and negot iat ions for a geograph ica l s p a c e with off icial rese rve des ignat ion. (Incidentally, the B lack S turgeon Rese rve , a 5,000-acre land parce l at H u g h e s L ake , w a s created for the Ma th i a s C o l o m b C r e e Nat ion on Ju ly 26, 1990, a nd reg i s te red on N o v e m b e r 13, 1991 . Wh i l e it wa s des ignated a reserve of the band at Puka tawagan , the Ma r ce l C o l o m b band wou ld later c la im that the site wa s negot iated for their own use and deve lopment . ) T h e Indian Act requi res the agreement of the entire First Nat ion through re fe rendum for separa t ion a nd official band recognit ion, but separat ion w a s a content ious i s sue for Ma th i as C o l o m b . It imp l ied capital and asse t splitting, and the mother band re fused to vote on the i s sue for yea r s . A n outs tand ing Land Ent i t lement (TLE) of 230 ,000 a c r e s owed to Math i as C o l o m b w a s a l s o a sou r ce of c on t r ove r s y . 1 3 8 P r e s su r e c a m e from both Math ias C o l o m b and the government , for B l a ck S tu rgeon to s ign the T L E agreement . Math ias wa s eager to rece ive its entit lement, a s C a n a d a w a s to c l ose the ongo ing negot iat ions. But B lack S turgeon re fused to s ign the ag reemen t that m a d e the 5,000-acre parce l (a lready conceptua l ly be long ing to them) their portion of the T L E . T h e group ins is ted on negot iat ing their own c la im, and res isted their inc lus ion in negot iat ions be tween Ma th i a s Co l omb a n d government , argu ing separat ion w a s a l ready a phys i ca l real ity. T h e T L E a rgument sta l led the p ro ce s s of band separat ion for a decade . 1 3 8 The Mathias Colomb band was awarded a Treaty Land Entitlement, after negotiating with government for a number of years. The 230,000 acres was based on membership numbers. 116 In 1993, a water and soi l contaminat ion cr is is peaked at Puka tawagan , and s t rengthened the motivat ion to re locate to good water. Wi th the d i scovery of h igh col i form levels in the dr inking water, the government i s sued a "boil wate r order." Puka t awagan ' s water a n d s ewe r infrastructure des i gn w a s defect ive. S e w a g e outlets were located ups t ream of dr inking water in takes and at popu lar sw imming sites. Wa te r filtration and treatment were inadequate, and the commun i ty ' s l agoons we re located too c l ose to the communi ty . The lagoons had been re located at least three t imes and bui ldable land wa s s c a r c e due to contaminat ion. The band wou ld wait s e ven y ea r s for a gove rnment commi tment to beg in to so lve the prob lem. Puka t awagan w a s in panic, and there w a s specu la t ion that a new reserve at Hughe s Lake wou ld draw membe r s f rom Puka t awagan s imp ly by virtue of its locat ion on a healthy water body. A n inc rease in band member sh i p w a s poss ib le . Wh i l e await ing a re fe rendum at Puka tawagan , a number of organ izat ions inc lud ing the A s s e m b l y of Man i toba Ch ie f s r ecogn i zed the tent v i l lage peop le a s a band with a h e a d m a n . On Ma r ch 17, 1995, H e a d m a n J ohn C o l o m b made another p lea for official recognit ion dur ing a meet ing with Min is ter of Indian and Northern Affa irs Ron Irwin. Min is ter Irwin, c once rned about the f inanc ia l responsib i l i ty a new band wou ld generate for the department, inquired of cos ts for a new rese rve a n d e v e n sugges ted pu r chas ing h o m e s in L ynn Lake , then ava i lab le for $5 , 000 T h e var ious First Nat ions representat ives returned the meet ing to its agenda , new band format ion. In a landmark dec i s ion the minister made a commitment to B lack S tu rgeon to recogn i ze the group a s Man i toba 's 62nd First Nat ion. Min ister Irwin arbitrarily dec l a red B lack S tu rgeon an independent F irst Nat ion in contravent ion of the Indian Act, after wh i ch INAC made a reso lut ion to terminate the format ion of new bands in Man i toba . B lack S tu rgeon wou ld be the last band to be reg is tered and recogn i zed a s a Man i toba First Nat ion. Minister Irwin, however , a s k e d that the band de lay reques ts for a new reserve until the complet ion of his term in off ice (a request the band honored) . A r ound this t ime the band w a s rece iv ing min imal monetary support f rom the department , but I N A C re fused to grant further funds until a p lebisc i te wa s held in favor of the First Nat ion . The band wa s aga in r enamed Marce l C o l o m b First Nat ion in honor of H e a d m a n J ohn C o l o m b and h is father Marce l Co l omb , w h o both were respons ib le for the momen tous a ch i evemen t of creat ing a new band . F r om this point the group cont inued in its attempts to get the n e c e s s a r y p leb isc i te f rom Math i as Co l omb , whi le honor ing the minister 's request. In 1995 G randuc M in ing w a s deve lop ing Far ley Lake open pit mine, in c l ose proximity to the rese rve site. H e a d m a n J ohn C o l o m b negot iated with the c ompany to donate $100 ,000 to c lear 117 a right-of-way to the site, known a s the Hughes Lake road. T h e band rece ived $8,000 f rom the Indian Af fa i rs depar tment to conduct an env i ronmenta l a s s e s s m e n t and road survey, and the right-of-way to the new reserve w a s c lea red . In 1997 Min ister Irwin left office, and in Ma r ch 1999, without a vote, and under con t inuous p ressu re f rom the band, the government granted the group full recognit ion as a First Nat ion . S ta tus w a s official, and $18.3 mill ion w a s set as ide towards bui lding a new communi ty . By 2000 the band c ompr i s ed f i fteen fami l ies (accord ing to surnames) and 262 membe r s with 215 living in Lynn Lake and 47 in other centers , including W inn ipeg and Thompson . The cap i ta l a l locat ion quickly be came a thorny i ssue . A n understand ing c i rcu lated in newspape r s and among many groups including the Abor ig ina l communi ty and the C a n a d i a n T axpaye r s A s soc i a t i on that the band w a s awarded $44 mil l ion. That a band w a s bui ld ing a new commun i ty be tween two dying ones ra ised the ire of taxpayers and the envy of other bands on long wait ing lists for serv i ces . In a recent front page Winnipeg Free Press article entitled "Re se r ve a b low to dy ing town: $44-M commun i ty to be set near 'empty' Lynn Lake, " the town's mayo r Aud i e Du lew i ch a d d e d fuel to the fire. " 'It s e e m s a little r id iculous to me that (Ottawa) wou ld s p e n d tens of mi l l ions of do l lars to create a new communi ty so c l ose to one that is suf fer ing.. . . They ' re bui ld ing new hou se s w h e n there are h ou s e s standing empty here. There is no good logical reason for i t . ' " 1 3 9 T h e industr ial centers of Lynn Lake and Leaf Rap i d s on either s ide of Hughes Lake we r e dy ing s l ow dea ths a nd were lobbying for government support. P r e s su re wa s aga in app l ied from unexpec ted sou r ce s . Janzen, "Reserve a blow...Lynn Lake," Winnipeg Free Press, 6 October, 2002. 118 Negotiations for an urban reserve O n M a r c h 30, 1999, B l a c k H a w k M in ing , the last c o m p a n y to opera te the m ine in L ynn Lake , f inal ly c l o s ed the mine . T h e town d im in i shed to a popu la t ion of a f ew hund red . Bu i ld ings we re a b a n d o n e d or st r ipped for mater ia l s by a commun i t y qu ick ly rea l i z ing its dea th . T h e town w a s fac ing bankrup tcy a s B l a ck H a w k M in ing re fused to pay $6 mi l l ion in taxes . S t rang l ing unde r a dep l e ted tax ba se , the town w a s a w a r d e d a $1 mil l ion prov inc ia l subs i dy over f ive y ea r s to offset its opera t ing cos t s . Dur ing this t ime unemp loymen t , a l coho l a b u s e and other soc i a l pa tho log ies r ema ined h igh a m o n g the First Nat ion m e m b e r s s e e n drifting to the band off ice, the n e w gather ing p lace . T h e abject soc ia l and e c o n o m i c state of the band w a s on d i sp lay . 119 W h e n the mine c l o sed , ownersh ip of it reverted to the C r own under the authority of the C rown ' s L and s Ac t and the site b e c a m e an orphaned or abandoned mine under provinc ia l authority. At c l osure no env i ronmenta l l i cens ing requ i rements add re s sed env i ronmenta l conce rns , so no c l eanup occurred. T h e env i ronmenta l devastat ion and human health r isks c a u s e d by the mine tai l ings (twenty-two mil l ion tons of mining was te cover ing 212 hec ta res within a k i lometer of the town) w a s becom ing a publ ic i s s u e . 1 4 0 Desc r i bed a s a d i sas ter a rea by many, Lynn Lake ' s contaminat ion cou ld be t raced back thirty yea rs . F i she r i es bio logists reported comple te co l l apse of aquat i c e c o sy s t ems in the Lynn R ive r and E l don R ive r as ear ly a s 1964 and 1972. At tempts we re made at the t ime to conta in the heavy meta l s p resent in the tai l ings with a sy s t em of d ikes that reportedly fa i led b e c a u s e of high water leve ls . The breaks l eaked toxic mater ia ls into the nearby Lynn River, and bio logists ' reports wa rned of the sp read of con taminants to Wheatc l i f f and C o c k e r a m Lakes . Entirely dep le ted f ish popu lat ions we re attributed to the mine ta i l i ngs . 1 4 1 Later reports have been cons is tent with the bio logists ' c on c l u s i o n s . 1 4 2 A l though C o c k e r a m Lake wa s not original ly be l ieved to be af fected, provinc ia l Depar tment of Conse rva t i on off icers at Lynn Lake have recent ly conf i rmed that d a m a g e has r eached its waters . Con tam ina ted dust a lso b lows off tai l ing piles in the summers , a nd sul fur ic ac id cont inues to leak into wa te rways Wo r s en i ng matters, ta i l ings we re used a s backfi l l at the hospita l , s choo l and p laygrounds , and on s o m e streets and lanes , a nd they have been erod ing an a l ready rusty s y s t em of water ma ins . T h e a g e and di lapidat ion of Lynn Lake ' s infrastructure is vis ible in the distinct dark redd ish brown of the town's water p iped f rom W e s t Lynn Lake . A large percentage of town p ipes require rep lacement , and the repair of water ma ins accounts for much of the town's budget. 1 4 0 Fallding and Rabson " 'We're dying a slow death'..," Winnipeg Free Press, and Hendry, "Mine sites...cleaned up," Winnipeg Free Press. 1 4 1 See Crowe, The effects of mine tailings..., and Jo-Anne Cober. The effects of mine 1 4 2 See Green, Aquatic impact investigation.. .report, 1998. 120 121 M e m b e r s of the Ma r c e l C o l o m b band notice reduced number s of fur-bearing an ima ls , o n c e preva lent in the area . In 2 0 0 3 Ne i l Campbe l l , a town counci lor, b egan conduct ing a s tudy o f Lynn Lake c an c e r levels, wh i ch are c l a imed to be high. The S ie r ra C l u b c i tes Lynn Lake a s one of C a n a d a ' s env i ronmenta l d isaster a reas , and l i t igate.com, a webs i te ded i ca ted to c lass-ac t ion suits, recent ly began encourag ing res idents to c la im damages . Desp i te these p ressu res for c l eanup , the prov ince still re fuses to admit that life in Lynn Lake po s e s a health h a z a r d . 1 4 3 With in su ch a context, the band unsuccess fu l ly negot iated with the town for an "urban r e s e r v e . " 1 4 4 In Sep t embe r 1998 Ch ie f Ce les t ine C o l o m b app roached the mayo r and counc i l to es tab l i sh a rese rve in Lynn Lake . In the town counc i l meet ing dated Ma r ch 23, 1999, the town counc i l a c know l edged the band 's interest in creat ing an urban reserve and p a s s ed a resolut ion "that Ma r c e l C o l o m b First Nat ion 's reques t to deve l op a n urban rese rve at Lynn Lake b e turned d o w n . " 1 4 5 By Apr i l 1999, Jerry Kozuba l , a researcher w a s hired to a s s e s s the Keys t one M ine c losure and its ef fects on the town. The report states that the band w a s in the p rocess of prepar ing a p roposa l for an urban reserve in Lynn Lake for cons iderat ion by the town counc i l and that "this matter [urban reserve] shou ld be rev iewed as an e conom i c benefit to the town." 1 4 6 However , a letter dated Augus t 25, 1999, f rom Lynn Lake ' s Mayo r Aud i e Du lew ich to then Min ister of Indian Af fa i rs Rober t Naul t requested that "your department take whatever s teps neces sa ry to es tab l i sh a reserve for the Marce l Co l omb First Nat ion away from Lynn Lake a s soon a s poss ib le . . . .Mart in E a g e n (Director of Lands and Trust Se rv i ces ) has g iven the band an opt ion of an urban reserve in Lynn L a ke a s their qu ickest me thod o f obta in ing on- reserve status. The Depar tment o f Indian Af fa i rs has neve r re leased any f igures a s to what they wou ld be wil l ing to put into Lynn Lake , and 1 4 3 The NDP provincial government in 2001 dedicated $2 million to the "orphan mine fund" to begin the rehabilitation of abandoned mine sites in Manitoba. Half of the fund was dedicated to conducting health risk and environmental assessments. The study concluded that environmental damage does not extend into the regional area of Cockeram Lake, or significantly affect regional populations of fish, plants and mammals. It also concluded that Lynn Lake does not prove a health risk to people who spend a lifetime there, alleviating the pressures on government. See Dillon Consulting Limited, Site... assessment for Lynn Lake. 1 4 4 Urban reserves are land within urban areas that has reserve designation and is federal Crown land. The concept is not new. There are 111 urban reserve agreements in Canada. The Nelson House band, just one hundred kilometers east, has an urban reserve in the community of Thompson. The Mystery Lake Lodge is owned by the Nelson House Band and has reserve status. 1 4 5 From "Minutes To The Regular Meeting Of The Council Of The Town Of Lynn Lake Held On March 23, 1999," in the Centennial Building, Lynn Lake. 1 4 6 See Kozubal, "A Community in Transition...." 122 the Ma r c e l C o l o m b First Nat ion has app roached this i s sue in a rad ica l way wh ich has conv in ced our counc i l that w e wil l never be ab le to str ike a dea l with their band." The letter wa s a re fusa l . My own inquir ies at the town off ice in Sep t embe r 1999 regard ing urban reserve ta lks were me t with s i l ence , then den ia l . "Who told y ou about th is?" a s k e d He l en G i b son , the town's Ch i e f Admin is t ra t ive Off icer. "Indian Af fa i rs is push ing urban reserve on the people, but the peop le really want to move to Hughes Lake . W e never had any counc i l meet ings to that effect." A c co r d i ng to a Winnipeg Free Press article, mayo r "Du lewich sa id he act ively pursued the urban reserve idea but cou ld not say why it didn't work out. 'In the beg inn ing (about four yea r s ago), there w a s a lot of co r r e spondence with (Ottawa) back and forth on that.... The band initially a s ked to be ab le to put together a bus i nes s base in the commun i ty and we sa id that w a s fine. I don't know why it's happen ing this way . ' " 1 4 7 Other attempts were m a d e to estab l i sh a reserve in town. The band at tempted to pu r chase near ly worth less bui ld ings from the town, wh i ch had obta ined them for outs tand ing taxes . Y e t acco rd ing to s o m e Abor ig ina l people, purchas ing private homes f rom the town wa s imposs ib l e . O n e pe r son w a s refused an offer to pu r chase on the grounds that she w a s not p lann ing to retire in Lynn Lake , e ven whi le a town counc i l m e m b e r acqu i red multiple bui ld ings for rental. (I cou ld not se cu r e a list of bui ld ings subject to tax sa le in 1999.) The band bought a house for $40 ,000 f rom the town for a day care, but bui lding inspectors re fused o c cupancy b e c a u s e of its d i lap idat ion. M e m b e r s of Ma r ce l Co l omb cou ld not take advan tage of the amp le opportunit ies to pu r chase real es ta te in Lynn Lake , and they rema ined renters. Apparent ly INAC p layed a per iphera l role in the negot iat ions and , accord ing to one official, d id s o partly b e c a u s e of Lynn Lake ' s env i ronmenta l and structural a i lments. " Canada cannot accep t land, infrastructure or asse t s that don't meet all current INAC s tandards and env i ronmenta l s tandards , " he stated, referring to Lynn Lake ' s pol lution leve ls . "Who is go ing to pay to br ing it up to C a n a d i a n s t anda rd s ? There wi l l b e a fight be tween Man i t oba and C a n a d a a s to w h o is go ing to pay." In short, an urban reserve might prove cost ly. Off ic ia ls speak of Lynn Lake ' s pol lut ion and of the government ' s unwi l l ingness to inherit a mine c leanup from the prov ince by estab l i sh ing an urban reserve . "I'm sorry," he sa id . "The government doesn ' t want to get s omeone e l se ' s horror 1 4 7 Janzen, "Reserve a blow to dying town...," Winnipeg Free Press, reprinted on the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs website manitobachiefs.com. 123 s t o r y . " 1 4 8 Inherit ing a prov inc ia l m i ne d i sas te r w a s ave r ted by a l low ing urban r e se r ve negot ia t ions to t ake their c ou r se . T h e band did not negot ia te for land in Lea f Rap i d s , a go ld min ing t own one hundred k i l ometers to the eas t that c l o s e d in 2002 . Lea f R a p i d s w a s built be tween 1971 a n d 1974, short ly after Sherr i tt Go rdon ' s d i s cove ry of an ore body that b e c a m e the Rut tan m ine . T h e p rov ince w a s heav i ly cr i t i c ized for bu i ld ing a commun i t y that s e v e r e d Lynn Lake ' s popu la t ion . It contr ibuted $17 mi l l ion of the $32 mil l ion requ i red to bui ld the award-w inn ing commun i ty , wh i ch lured a J a p a n e s e s tudy m i s s i on on town deve l opmen t in co ld c l imates to northern Man i t oba and w o n the prest ig ious V i n c en t M a s s e y A w a r d for U r b an E x c e l l e n c e . 1 4 9 Ma r c e l C o l o m b d id not negot ia te for Lea f a s it l ies at the junct ion of three reg i s te red trapl ine a r e a s and is with in ano ther band ' s t rad i t ional territory. U rban rese rve negot ia t ions we re unde rway at L ynn L a k e whi le r e se r ve l ands we r e set a s i de at H u g h e s L a ke . T h e band p l anned for r e se rve des igna t ion of town land a l ongs i de d eve l opmen t of the H u g h e s L a k e site. Wh i l e o ne p r o c e s s d id not p rec lude the other (many r e s e r ve s have mult ip le locat ions) , the negot ia t ions for u rban r e se rve s t e m m e d f rom an immed ia te n eed to be on- rese rve wh i ch cou l d not be met by a long-term commun i t y p l ann ing p ro ce s s . It had more to do with r e l eas i ng depar tment p rog ram and year ly capi ta l fund ing than with bui ld ing commun i t y . Howeve r , the u rban reserve negot ia t ions b roke down , and , for now, have c e a s e d . A n urban rese rve did not mater ia l i ze , no r did it fac tor in the deve l opmen t of the H u g h e s L a k e site a s a bu s i n e s s ba se , a pe rmanen t commun i t y or an inter im rese rve . P r e s s u r e s moun ted for the s p e e d y deve l opmen t of a reserve . Mot ivat ions for a n e w re se rve revo lved a r ound r e s i dency and its mean i ng s . A s H e a d m a n J o h n C o l o m b put it, "We have to have a home . T h e n w e wil l be res idents , p e r s on , h u m a n be ing , hav ing h is o w n house . W e n e e d a p l ace of ou r own . N o w w e a re on ly rent ing. W e a re not r e s i d en t s . " 1 5 0 T h e des i r e for a n e w rese rve c a m e f rom the p r o c e s s of exc l u s i on , a n d a l s o f rom the deve l opmen t l imits of an env i ronmenta l l y devas t a t ed town . It c a m e f rom the pol i t ics of Abor i g i na l 1 4 8 INAC official, Winnipeg, telephone interview with author, January 24, 2001. 1 4 9 The town is semicircular in design. The town center is one multilevel 220,000-square-foot complex that combines hotel facilities, 40,000-square-foot shopping center, library, cultural center, municipal council facilities, provincial and federal offices, health and recreational facilities (gymnasium, curling rink, arena), theater, multipurpose rooms and 625-student school. It is a street and town square under one roof. See, for example, "Leaf Rapids wins applause," Winnipeg Tribune, "Leaf Rapids.. economic mistake," Winnipeg Free Press, "Japanese group coming to observe Leaf Rapids," Winnipeg Tribune, Atkinson, "Leaf Rapids town-center plan wins award," Winnipeg Tribune. 1 5 0 Headman John Colomb, Lynn Lake, conversation with author, September 21, 2000. 124 s p a c e in C a n a d a with its gap i ng on-reserve/of f - reserve d iv ide int imately t ied to r ights a nd des i gna t i on . It c a m e f rom the des i r e to c l e anse , to c rea te a "dry commun i ty " a w a y f rom the Lynn Hote l , and it c a m e f rom connec t i on to a tradit ional s p a c e . Mo s t important ly, a n e w p l a ce b e c a m e s y n o n y m o u s with a new beg inn ing . T h e symbo l i c powe r of p l a ce w a s the fuel that p rope l l ed the p r o ce s s fo rward and kept a sma l l g roup of ded i ca ted b and m e m b e r s , led by H e a d m a n J o h n C o l o m b , wo rk i ng towards a new a n d idea l i zed geog raphy . Moving to the promised land Chief wants to lead his people to new life John Colomb in an interview with Doug Nairne, Free Press reporter, June 12, 1994 125 Planning the new reserve T h e Ma r c e l C o l o m b First Nat ion band of f ice at Lynn L a k e is a center, a p lace for work, a p l a ce for gather ing a n d a p lace for drifters. In 2 0 0 4 the bui ld ing itself, u s e d a s co l la tera l for a b ad dea l , f a ced con f i s ca t i on . T h e t imes I h ad v is i ted the off ice in 2 0 0 0 pape r s we re s t rewn about: contracts , conf ident ia l documen t s , a c coun t s , letters, m a p s a nd other s igni f icant mater ia l . A lmo s t e v e r yone is n e w to h is o r her a s s i g n e d task. H i gh s choo l g radua tes a r e rare a n d the a v e r a g e a g e of educa t i on is g rade three. Unemp l oymen t , t een su ic ide, poverty, domes t i c v i o l ence a nd add i c t i ons afflict the commun i ty . Forty inc idents of ch i ldren be ing sent h o m e f rom s choo l due to ex t r eme hunge r w e r e reported in the y e a r 2000 . O rgan i z i ng a work fo r ce for t a s k s s u c h a s firefighting or c l ea r ing land is near ly imposs i b l e desp i te h igh unemp l o ymen t leve ls . A w i d e s p r e a d lack of mot ivat ion a n d s e n s e of h o p e l e s s n e s s ex is t a m o n g the young . Deve l opmen t is occur r ing , f r om here, "in the dark" a c co rd i ng to C h i e f A n d r e w C o l o m b . Mov i n g f r om per i ods of t enuou s short-te rm stabil ity to despa i r , the peop le inch a h e a d . Lynn Lake main street with band office and its usual gatherings 126 Hav ing d i sso lved its p lanning div is ion, the Depar tment of Indian and Northern Af fa i rs sought consu l tants outs ide the Depar tment to plan the B lack S turgeon reserve, and a s ear ly a s 1994 a pro fess iona l p lanner w a s contracted by INAC to do a cost est imate for a "Commun i t y P l an and Cap i ta l P l an . " T h e consul tant wa s hired to determine the cost to hire a consultant. T h e p lanner es t imated it wou ld cost approx imate ly $100 ,000 to produce a communi ty p lan and capi ta l p lan, do cumen t s that wou ld estab l i sh a phys ica l layout for the communi ty and project ions for s p e n d i n g . 1 5 1 In M a r c h 1999 the Depar tment of Indian and Northern Affa irs began the p lann ing p rocess of the new reserve at Hughes Lake and in M a y 2000 I offered the Ma r ce l C o l o m b band my se rv i ces a s a consul tant, to attend p lanning meet ings and adv i se on the communi ty p lan. I d id this in e x c h a n g e for permiss ion to write about the p rocess . Ch ie f And r ew C o l o m b sent a contract to the eng ineer ing f irm expla in ing my role. I u se the term "community p lann ing" to desc r ibe this p rocess only b e c au se the f inal report wh i ch w a s its ou t come is entit led the "Marce l C o l o m b Commun i t y P lan and Cap i ta l P lan . " My u sage of the term, however , is not intended to suggest that p lanning a communi ty actual ly took p lace. A descr ip t ion of the p rocess ins tead revea led att itudes and power relat ions that s imply c ongea l ed to p roduce a geog raph i c space , a locat ion intended for l iving, with certain famil iar character is t i cs . In the fall of 1999 the Depar tment of Indian and Northern Affa irs began a se lec t ion p r o ce s s for a des i gn consultant to deve lop a plan for the new reserve . T h e band, the and the Depar tment of Pub l i c Wo r k s were invo lved in the process , and the Pub l i c Wo r k s depar tment o v e r s aw it. T h e Depar tment of Pub l i c W o r k s and Gove rnmen t Se rv i ces of C a n a d a ( P W G S C ) is an eng ineer ing g roup and is the government ' s major serv ice del ivery organ izat ion, prov id ing many gove rnment depar tments and agenc i e s with se rv i ces . Fede ra l bui lding contracts, in part icular, a re m a n a g e d by the department. Pub l i c W o r k s has an agreement with INAC to prov ide techn ica l adv i ce and managemen t of on-reserve capita l projects, mos t notably hous ing infrastructure and schoo l s . Consequen t l y , the depar tment m a n a g e s the spend ing of capita l funds a l located to rese rves . The Pub l i c Works webs i te de f ines its mandate "to ensure effective managemen t and accountabi l i ty for on-reserve assets . " Consu l t ing f i rms su rveyed empha s i z e the depar tment ' s power 1 5 1 INAC bureaucrat, Winnipeg, telephone interview with author, February 8, 2002. 127 in the rese rve bui ld ing process , a s s ummar i z ed by one consultant. "Their word is like go spe l . It is difficult to contradict them or go against them. Y ou don't w i n . " 1 5 2 A n INAC sc reen ing p rocess e n sued . "The ability to work with First Nat ions, e xpe r i en ce with s imi lar projects and in remote condi t ions" were cited by a department official a s important se lec t ion cr i ter ia. T h e short list compr i sed an Abor ig ina l architectural f irm, a l andscape arch i tecture firm, a munic ipa l eng ineer ing f irm, a profess iona l p lanner (the s a m e consul tant who es tab l i shed the initial budget), a nd an Abor ig ina l project managemen t firm that previous ly had worked for Ma r c e l C o l o m b and w a s the band pre ference. A letter of invitation w a s sent to the f ive f i rms a long with a "Terms of Re fe rence" do cumen t for a Commun i t y P l an and Cap i ta l P l an , def in ing the project and the required e l emen t s in the consu l tant 's p roposa l . T h e s e e lements inc luded re levant work exper ience , a work p lan i l lustrating the a s s i gnmen t of work to whom, person-hours in chart-matrix form, a bar chart of m a n a g e m e n t s chedu l e , r e s u m e s of required profess iona l staff, and bar charts of cos ts in a sea l ed enve l ope to avo id o v e r e m p h a s i s . 1 5 3 T h e letter of invitation refers to the project a s a "Preparat ion of a Commun i t y P lan , " w h e r e a s the T e r m s of Re fe rence a c company i ng it desc r ibe the project as a feasibi l i ty study - a revea l ing overs ight. The d i s c repancy revea l s the use of old, gener i c documen t s for new projects. Interdepartmenta l c o r r e spondence between two INAC bureaucrats desc r ibe a p rocess of t inker ing with o ld s tanda rd i zed documents to def ine the s cope and nature of the new reserve: "Mar ce l is in the p r o ce s s of do ing a Commun i t y P lan . Y o u wouldn't happen to have any samp le T e rms of Re f e r en ce ? " "I have a hard copy of a gener i c form, wh ich wou ld need to be updated re re ferenc ing current I NAC p rocedures and manua l s etc. I'll s end it up to you . There would a lso be many [terms of re ference] a t tached to old communi ty p lanning fi les." "I have g iven X the gener i c commun i ty p lan 5 2 Planning consultant, Winnipeg, telephone interview with author, January 22, 2002. 0 These selection criteria formed part of the Terms of Reference and add up to 110 percent. 10% Qualification and experience based on similar work 10% Quality and experience of proposed team 20% Practicability of the consultant's time schedule 20% Proposed methodology 10% Cost control 10% Ability to communicate and work with the natives on the project site 10% Specialized equipment available for use 10% Desirable innovations submitted or other desirable submissions by the consultant 10% Cost of service (in a sealed envelope) 128 pa c kage that Y ha s g iven me. He is go ing to rev iew it m a k e s o m e commen t s and pa s s the p a c k age a round to us for our comment s and changes . O n c e w e have an idea of the dol lar amount I will be transferr ing it down to the capita l un i t . . . . " 1 5 4 T h e Te rms of Re f e r ence wa s a gener i c do cumen t d e s i g n e d to mee t I N A C budget restr ict ions. Its structure a n d des ign or ig inated f rom depar tment filing cab ine ts and did not involve Marce l C o l o m b band membe r s . In S e p t e m b e r 1999 the invited these f ive f i rms to submit p roposa l s for the preparat ion of the commun i ty p lan. The letter of invitation that a c c ompan i e d the T e r m s of Re fe rence s tated "On beha l f of the Ma r ce l Co l omb First Nat ion, I a m inviting your f irm to submit a proposal . . . . " T h e T e r m s of Re f e r en ce de f ined the terms of the contract. "The contract will be between the Consu l tan t and the Ma r ce l C o l o m b First Nat ion" and "The Project M a n a g e r will have the final dec i s i on regard ing the a c c ep t an ce of the work and will be respons ib le for approva ls ," in this c a s e Br ian Mc i n t o sh , the eng inee r and project m a n a g e r . 1 5 5 T h e f i rms were a s ked to submit p roposa l s by Oc tobe r 21 , 1999. In a January 2 0 0 0 e-mai l to Rober t Ku ry the Pub l i c W o r k s techn ica l se rv i ces off icer (an engineer) , Br ian Mc i n t o sh stated, "The Ch ie f wan t s to have a meet ing to present the Consu l tant that the First Nat ion se l e c ted for the Commun i t y P l an . I have spoken to Ga i l Swa i n f rom Man i toba H i ghways in Thompson . S h e is ready to meet. S h e wou ld prefer a meet ing in T h o m p s o n if th ings cou ld be coord inated that way.. . . In any event the Ch i e f is eage r to get th ings go ing. Wha t t imes will work with you and other pe r sonne l at I N A C ? " 1 5 6 T h e band had made a se lect ion ba sed on the short list, and the Tribal Counc i l eng inee r w a s ar rang ing to move forward. Rober t Kury had a swift and short r e sponse , written in bold type a s fo l lows. "If the Chief wants to proceed without a signed Contribution Agreement, he does so at the risk of receiving no funding from DIAND. I am NOT available to attend any meeting not sanctioned by DIAND." Further co r respondence between the and Pub l i c Wo r k s revea l Rober t Kury 's ins i s tence that INAC ' s tender ing a nd contract ing po l i c ies be fo l lowed for the project to rece ive fund ing, beg inn ing a process of threats to de lay the project. The need to offer the consu l tants an 1 M INAC departmental e-mails January 10 and 14, 2000, obtained through an access to information request. 1 5 5 See Department of Indian and Northern Affairs, "Terms of Reference For Provision Of Consulting Services For Preparation Of A Community Plan For Marcel Colomb First Nation," September 30, 1999. 1 5 6 E-mail from Brian Mcintosh Tribal Council engineer, to Robert Kury, Public Works team leader January 18, 2000, obtained through an information access request. 129 opportunity to m a k e a 30-minute presentat ion w a s g iven a s one reason to repeat the se lec t i on 157 p rocess . INAC a r ranged for a project t e am to se lect a des ign consul tant and for the s e c o n d t ime Rober t Kury, the Pub l i c Wo r k s engineer, w a s g iven the role of t eam leader. Ano ther se lec t ion meet ing took p lace . On February 16, 2000 , Rober t Kury, Br ian Mc in tosh (the Tr ibal Counc i l eng ineer) , Da le Hutch ison (an INAC official) and a s ing le Marce l C o l o m b band counci lor, Doug l a s Hart, met to se lect a consultant. S o m e appl icants p resented their proposa ls whi le others d id not. P r opo sa l s we r e ranked numer ica l ly us ing INAC ' s list of criteria and its point s y s t em . B and representat ion w a s notably low and the ch ie f wa s absent . Wh i l e only 10 percent of an appl icant 's s co re were to be attributed to the proposa l ' s cost, the ou t come of the voting sugges ted the power of this category. T h e contract w a s awa r ded to U M A , the lowest bidder, and the highest b idder w a s ranked l owes t . 1 5 8 The f irm's bid w a s 30-50 percent lower than the three midrange bids, 115 percent lower than the highest b idder a nd 30 percent lower than INAC ' s own est imate, wh ich had fo rmed the bas i s of its budget. (Budge ts a re es tab l i shed prior to tender partly to identify and e l iminate low bidders. The est imate wou ld l ikely have been d i s ca rded in the construct ion industry whe re an unders tand ing exists that a job cannot be done without comprom i se be low a certa in price.) W h e n a s ked how large bidding d i s c r epanc i e s cou ld exist for su ch a smal l project, an INAC official stated " lowbal l ing to get the job a n d then add ing on cos t s dur ing the p rocess is a c l a s s i c style for s o m e firms." A s k e d whether the p r o c e s s is lega l he re sponded , "If you are very good at what you do, you c an do it l ega l l y . " 1 5 9 The w inn ing f irm w a s neither the band 's first nor s e cond cho ice , and a genera l bel ief c i rculated a m o n g the b and that "They we re the cheapes t , and that's why Indian Affa irs se lec ted t h e m . " 1 6 0 U M A is a large, corporate-sty le, munic ipa l eng ineer ing and project managemen t group spec ia l i z ing in infrastructure and road bui ld ing, with major infrastructure contracts f rom the City of W inn i peg , the federa l government a nd the C a n a d i a n Nat iona l Ra i lway. It has regional of f ices a c r o s s C a n a d a and is o rgan i zed accord ing to severa l profit centers - eng ineer ing, archi tecture, 1 5 7 Letterfrom Robert Kury, Public Works team leader, to Brian Mcintosh, Tribal Council engineer, January 31, 2000. Obtained through an information access request. 1 5 8 E-mail from Robert Kury to Regional Director General Lome Cochrane, and Assistant Regional Director Mary Blais, February 16, 2000, obtained through an information access request. 1 5 9 INAC official, Winnipeg, telephone interview, with author, February 18, 2000. 1 0 0 Chief Andrew Colomb, Lynn Lake, convesation with author, October 2, 2000. 130 p lann ing, l a nd s cape architecture and project managemen t - that all compe te for work. T h e firm's V i c e P res iden t and Reg iona l Director, J im Terris, comp le ted a ca ree r in sen ior managemen t with the Depar tment of Pub l i c W o r k s prior to joining the firm in 1990. The re is one pro fess iona l p lanner on staff. The f irm select ion rema ined content ious. The band 's pre ference w a s an Abor ig ina l f irm that h ad c l ea red the exist ing Hughe s Lake road and offered support dur ing the band 's struggle for status. The firm is partially owned by three First Nat ions that be long to the s a m e Tr ibal Counc i l a s Ma r ce l C o l o m b . Its se cond cho i ce wa s an out-of-province Abor ig ina l f irm. Robert Kury 's e-mai l to INAC ' s reg iona l directors that g ave not ice of the contract award a lso in formed the depar tment that "The ch ie f w a s not avai lab le to join us. The chief jo ined us after we we re complete, i.e. w e had reached a c o n s e n s u s . " 1 6 1 Ch ie f A n d r e w C o l o m b negot iated f iercely after the se lect ion has been made, but finally submit ted to the department 's cho ice, unders tand ing that if the band did not comply, the p lann ing wou ld not p roceed . Robert Kury notif ied other depar tment staff on Ma r ch 20, 2000 , that "The Ma r c e l C o l o m b First Nation have accep ted U M A Eng ineer ing to do the Commun i ty P l an , " e ven whi le protest re igned. He added that "the band membe r s were wonder ing why a new commun i ty p lan w a s be ing done when Don Pea r s on had done a commun i ty p lan a numbe r of yea r s a g o . . . . R P S / P W G S C have no copy of the Don Pea r s on p l a n . " 1 6 2 T h e c ommen t s il lustrate a lack of d i s cu s s i on with the band about the planning p rocess . The government ' s cho i ce preva i led , and a contract wa s written on the band ' s behalf. In p lanning s e s s i on s s ix months later, the i s sue of the f irm se lec t ion wou ld be aga in be ra ised, but a s the INAC ' s capital se rv i ces officer put it, "The depar tment did not want to d i s cu s s i t . " 1 6 3 I will d i g ress for a moment . Ma r ce l C o l o m b cou ld not c h oo s e a qual i f ied consu l tant on its own . Instead its vo i ce was reduced to 25 percent o f a se lect ion commit tee . The inability of Ma r ce l C o l o m b to "hire" is significant, for it es tab l i shed the relat ionship be tween "consultant" and "client." "', E-mail, from Robert Kury to Lome Cochrane Regional Director INAC and Mary Blais Assistant Regional Director INAC, January 17, 2000, obtained through an access to information request. 1 6 2 E-mail from Robert Kury to Robert Kimball and Rod Graham, funding and capital service officers dated March 20, 2000 obtained from an access to information request. A plan was drawn by Don Pearson, a planning consultant some years prior. The band continually referred to this plan and wondered why the work was being repeated. It was not used in the planning process. 1 6 3 Robert Kimball, INAC Capital Services officer, Lynn Lake, planning meeting July 19, 2000. 131 Bypa s s i n g the First Nat ion's cho i ce shifted power from band to department, to w h o m signi f icant i s sues wou ld be add re s sed . To the firm, the government wou ld rema in the client desp i te outward d i sp l ays of band control , a s in the writ ing of the contract. Par t i cu la r ideo log ies fue led and leg i t imized the s t rong gove rnment p r e sence throughout the p lann ing p ro ce s s . W h e n I a s ked why a band se lect ion cou ld not be made, a s is typ ica l in the construct ion industry, an INAC official exp la ined, ".. .you have to unders tand this is publ ic money , a very, very large amount of publ ic money . The planning dol lars are just the tip of the i ceberg . It doesn ' t matter if ch ie f and counc i l want a certain f irm. It matters who shakes out in the end on the bas i s of points." A n d , further, "...if a l lowed, they [bands] wil l just se lect the s a m e f irm ove r and over" (a l though long-term cl ient re lat ionships are a normal manne r of do ing bus iness in the bui ld ing i ndus t r y ] . 1 6 4 A n archi tectura l f irm with First Nat ions c l ients repl ied to the s ame quest ion: "...it's not their money , it's federa l government money, and the government d ic tates policy." Interviews with f i rms revea led a high level of confus ion about cl ient identity and about who se dol lars we re be ing spent. On ly f ive out of seven teen architectural f i rms engaged in First Nat ions work stated that their cl ient w a s the First Nat ion. S e v e n sa id it wa s the government and ten sa id it wa s the Tr iba l C o u n c i l . 1 6 5 The reserve construct ion world is inf luenced by the bel ief that reserves a re built with publ ic money . Th i s attitude coup led with C a n a d i a n p o s s e s s i v e n e s s about all Abor ig ina l t h i n g s 1 6 6 mask the substant ia l d i f ferences that lie between First Nat ions projects and publ ic projects. The rules app l ied to the bui lding of c o m m o n institutions are s impl ist ical ly app l ied to reserve construct ion without cons ide ra t i on of treat ies o r the spec i a l rights o f First Nat ions . S o , our nat iona l a r ch ives , our nat ional parks, our First Nat ions and our reserves s l ide into the s a m e category. Consequen t l y , r e se rves must be built in w ay s that p l ease the publ ic. Cont rac t s must be broadly distr ibuted in the marke tp lace . Pro jec ts must be publ ic ly tendered, and s o on. Mos t importantly, gove rnmen t 1 6 4 INAC official, Winnipeg, telephone interview with author, February 8, 2002. 1 6 5 From surveys and interviews of 17 architectural firms in Winnipeg in January 2002. 1 6 6 Native "appropriation" is most evident in the appropriation of Native artifacts and images. Canadian museum collections of Native artifacts marketed as Canadian icons are a good example. Daniel Francis speaks of the "appropriation" of Native imagery by non-Natives in The Imaginary Indian. Book titles such as National Asset: Native Design produced by the Canadian Pulp and Paper Association in 1956 is one of many sources describing Native things as Canadian cultural "property." Proprietary attitudes are also expressed in the most casual conversation with non-Aboriginals. "At least we treat our Indians much better than the U.S. treaty theirs," stated a university colleague, January 20, 2002. 132 intervent ion is required to ensu re accountabi l i ty, fa i rness and free market compet i t ion, legit imiz ing a st rong state p r e sence in the des ign p rocess . Ano the r prevalent attitude is that reserve projects are not funded through the taxes of Abor ig ina l peop le but by the taxes of everyone e l se . They are, therefore, a form of wel fare, a handout that re inforces a faith in government control, the miss ionary z e a l that a c c o m p a n i e s the admin is t rat ion of projects, a nd the accep tance of a low level of cho i ce among the perce ived "benef ic iar ies." M a n y firms a l so cons ider Indian Affa irs projects to be "safe," with built-in gua ran tees of payment . Gove rnmen t invo lvement is we l c omed , espec ia l l y in r e sponse to often-cited c a s e s whe re consu l tants ' contracts we re not h o n o r e d . 1 6 7 Acco rd i ng to the department, in the p rocess of bui lding rese rves in Man i toba, virtually all major contract do l lars are awarded to non-Abor ig ina l f irms. INAC has po l ices that add r e s s the spec i a l s tatus of First Nat ions peop le and their un ique re lat ionship with the C r own . The T reasu ry Boa rd ' s umbre l la pol icy to favor Abor ig ina l f irms - the Abor ig ina l P rocu rement Po l icy - at tempts to rec i rcu late First Nat ions capi ta l within First Nat ions commun i t i es . A n "Abor ig inal set-as ide" c l ause inc luded in s o m e contracts encou rages the hiring of Abor ig ina l worke rs in certain c i r c u m s t a n c e s . 1 6 8 But the appl icat ion of these pol ic ies is overr idden by the att itudes of those charged with their enac tment . R o n Payne , the Pub l i c Wo r k s Reg iona l Director ove rsee ing reserve capita l projects in Man i toba , s tates that depar tment under wh ich he works " . . .does not have an umbre l la pol icy favor ing Abor ig ina l f i rms . " 1 6 9 A n upper ranking INAC bureaucrat added , "You canno t give p re fe rence to Abor ig ina l f i rms [when tender ing reserve projects]. It wou ld be uncons t i tu t i ona l . " 1 7 0 The c ommen t s revea l a s e n s e of obl igat ion to other C a n a d i a n s that overr ide any interest in Abor ig ina l peop le . Pub l i c interest, c o m m o n good , and free market compet i t ion tend to p l a ce the depar tment in oppos i t ion to the communi t i es it purports to se rve . T h e p r e sence of government and its ability to overr ide Ma r ce l Co l omb ' s dec i s i ons es tab l i shed a power structure between des igner and client that is unique, and is founded on and re inforced by ent renched att i tudes about publ ic money . To consu l tants , an owner/cl ient is the body 1 6 7 From architectural firm interviews and surveys conducted in Winnipeg in January 2002. 1 6 8 These two policies have led to particular changes in the market. More firms that call themselves "Aboriginal" have been emerging with Aboriginal "fronts," yet are largely owned and operated by non-Aboriginals. They may even have on-reserve mailboxes." 1 6 9 Ron Payne, Winnipeg, interview with author, February 2003. 1 7 0 INAC official, Winnipeg, telephone interview with author, February 8, 2002 133 that remits payment and that has the ultimate power to continue or stop the design process, in this case the government. Band power is subverted from the start. The engineering firm's services were retained in March 2000. In addition, INAC assembled a group of experts to plan the community: the Tribal Council engineer, an INAC Capital Services officer, an INAC Funding Services manager, an INAC Program Planning and Allocation Officer, an INAC Lands and Trusts officer, an INAC Senior Environmental Officer, and the Public Works engineer who remained project leader. The department hired a band member on the band's behalf to act as community coordinator. The coordinator amassed background information for the firm, conducting interviews in Lynn Lake, Thompson and Winnipeg. He collected information about housing needs and population statistics (although the Terms of Reference describes community research such as population analysis and housing needs information as part of the firm's contract). The coordinator was stationed in the office of the firm, and when I met him he was working on drawings at the office. His position was nebulous, merging the roles of firm employee and band representative. In meetings, for example, he defended the firm's work as though an employee, and was reminded by the band that he worked for the band. Firm loyalties that stemmed from the arrangement impeded band interests and critical analysis of the firm's work. Overall, the arrangement would cut firm costs, simplify the firm's task of interacting with the community, and encourage a band member to promote the plan. The coordinator aided in the firm's hardest work: background research about band needs. The difficulty of understanding unfamiliar people and places, and of determining needs, opportunities and constraints across barriers of language, custom, education, gender and economics are well known to those employed by First Nations. One Winnipeg design firm summarized the obstacles admitted to by many: "It's difficult to get information. Their way of doing business is different. They do not trust us. We need to establish relations of trust. Even then it is difficult."171 Another commented on the stereotypical, empty gestures that sometimes result from a lack of information and an outsider's interpretation of a design problem. "I do not know how to get the information. Only at the fourth design meeting [for a school] did I glean something from what an elder was saying to utilize as a cultural component, to generate a vision and concept. And it was 1 Architectural firm representative, Winnipeg, interview with author, February 4, 2002. 134 very f ew things, very little to b a s e a des ign on . Wou l d s tandard c l a s s r ooms suit their n e e d s ? The re a re cultural d i f ferences, but w e do not know what they are. Th is s choo l here cou ld be p l a ced anywhe re . T h e cultural e lements are token, a bit of co lor c hange and patterns in brick. W h a t do w e know about life on a rese rve? Noth ing! A n d how do we get this in format ion? I don't know anyth ing 172 about the history." Am id su ch prob lems, the coord inator w a s rel ied upon for communi ty r e sea r ch , and s ome t imes e ven provided the ma in substant ive information h imsel f a s in an interview on wh i ch the f i rm's env i ronmenta l a s s e s s m e n t is a lmost so le ly based . By J une , U M A Eng ineer ing w a s a lso awa rded the contract to des ign the 1.7-ki lometer commun i t y a c c e s s road connect ing the reserve to the provinc ia l h ighway. The b igger contract to construct the road w a s still undec ided . Spec i f i ca t ions for the road des ign were a l ready submit ted to INAC , but it is unc lea r why this contract h ad begun prior to the approva l of the commun i ty p lan . The a c c e s s road des i gn contract p roved doub ly advan tageous to the firm, a s it w a s later u sed to justify the firm's se lec t ion to the band . O n e I N A C official exp la ined that the firm wa s favored to w in the commun i t y p lann ing contract a s "they we r e a l ready in the area." The a c c e s s road des ign w a s not part o f the commun i t y p lan 's Te rms of Re fe rence , yet commun i ty de s i gn meet ings doub l ed a s a c c e s s road des i gn meet ings, and even the firm w a s unsure whether the contracts we re sepa ra te or c omb i n ed . T h e final communi ty p lann ing document inc luded cost es t imates for the a c c e s s road . By Ju ly 2000 , after four months of p lanning and two p lanning meet ings, the firm c l a imed that its work w a s 75 percent comple te . T h e phase cu lminated in a "Backg round and Need s Report ." F e w band m e m b e r s attended the initial meet ings or those that were to fol low. Wi th the work near ing comp le t ion , no band member , with the except ion of the coordinator, had s e en a pre l iminary p lan for the communi ty . W h e n ques t ioned about the low level of commun i ty invo lvement at p lann ing meet ings the firm engineer , B ob Romane t z , admitted he did not unders tand why a t tendance w a s so low but c l a imed that, "even though they [band members ] are not present, they are l is tening with one ear." H e desc r i bed bringing doughnuts to meet ings a s a mean s of gett ing peop le to attend, add ing that pitiful a t tendance at des ign meet ings w a s "not an u n c o m m o n p h e n o m e n o n in past First Nat ions projects." Meet ings between the des igne rs and the band we re fly-in a n d fly-out affairs. The project t e a m made the three-hour flight to Lynn L a k e f rom W inn i peg , c onduc t ed project and communi ty meet ings , and returned to W inn ipeg the s a m e day. Ibid. 135 The coord inator wa s rel ied upon to retrieve key information from the membersh i p inc lud ing its goa l s for the new reserve. T h e band m e m b e r su rveys found that se l f -determinat ion w a s the fo remost reason for re locat ion. "We have a right to our own reserve, to se l f -determinat ion and to look after ourse lves." T hey a l so identif ied Ma r ce l Co l omb ' s many other r easons for des i r ing to l eave Lynn Lake: "So we can get out of this town - we 've been struggl ing to get out of here." "L iv ing here for so many yea r s a s squatters.. . ." "We all want someth ing that be longs to us. . . ." "A p l a ce to cal l home." "Too many struggles in Lynn Lake." The su rveys a l so c ited "ma in tenance of cultural tradit ions" and an "antidote for soc ia l p rob lems" a s secondary r easons for want ing to move . H u g h e s Lake w a s env is ioned a s a p lace to reconnect with and "teach the chi ldren the old ways . " It b e c a m e the a n s w e r to the many soc ia l ills affl icting the band at Lynn Lake and the a n s w e r to a heal th ier life. "Want to get away f rom v io lence." "Access ib i l i ty to a l coho l is l imited." "Better env i ronment . . . .Bet ter p lace for a family. Quiet." "... .Bui ld more things for the kid to do; br ing down the su i c ide rate." B a n d members env i s i oned Hughe s Lake a s a c l eans ing , redempt ive s p a c e . 1 7 3 The band 's s tatements i l lustrated the eno rmous hope that w a s a t tached to the n e w plan and wha t re locat ion w a s expec ted to ach ieve . Band member comments from UMA Engineering Ltd., Marcel Colomb Community Plan and 5-Year Capital Plan, 26. 136 Planning session three B e c a u s e of their importance, I wil l d i s cuss the last two p lanning s e s s i on s in deta i l . T hey we re meet ings that sought band approva l for a des i gn that w a s being f ina l ized, yet they we re charac te r i zed by d iscord. O n Ju ly 19, 2000 , the third of the four s chedu l ed p lann ing s e s s i o n s w a s he ld. T h e many quotes I use are from tape record ings of the p roceed ings un less noted otherwise . T h e f irm had been work ing for four months, and the p lanning wa s near ing comp le t ion . T h e Ju ly meet ing w a s intended for the first presentat ion of three p lan opt ions f rom wh i ch the band wou l d c h o o s e . A copy of the Commun i t y P l an a n d Cap i ta l P l a n interim draft report, out l in ing for the first t ime the commun i ty des ign and its cost, were prov ided to the chief and counc i l prior to this meet ing , O n Ju ly 19, 2000, two U M A Eng ineer ing representat ives, a group of INAC off ic ials, the Pub l i c W o r k s t e am leader, a nd I made the three-hour flight to Lynn Lake . The Tr iba l Counc i l representat ive a nd a Health C a n a d a representat ive t rave led f rom The Pa s . The eng inee r s we re a rmed with d raw ings outl ining the e l ements of the new reserve, a capital p lanning report that projected cos ts , doughnuts, and an expectat ion that a commun i ty des ign wou ld be cho s en . The meet ing began with a prayer at 11:00 a .m. Unexpected ly , d i s cuss ion began about a Treaty L a n d Ent i t lement ( T L E ) 1 7 4 owed to the Ma th i as C o l o m b band at Puka tawagan . INAC's Capital Services officer Robert Kimball: "The T L E must be reso lved first or there will be no funding for the new communi ty . The commun i ty p lan will go on hold." Chief Andrew Colomb: "What d o e s this [the p lann ing process] have to do with T L E ? W h a t d o e s Ma th i as Co l omb ' s T L E have to do with u s ? W e have not even been consu l t ed in their negot iat ions with you." INAC's Capital Services officer. "Write these i s sues down so that we can take t h em back to I N A C instead of beat ing a round the bush." Chief Andrew Colomb: 'The T L E did not ex ist when w e negot iated for B lack S tu rgeon . That land w a s set as ide for B lack S tu rgeon a l ready in 1972. W h y is it be ing brought up now? W e don't even know what T L E means . Th is is not our prob lem. Th is is Ma th i as C o l o m b ' s prob lem. T h e T L E is a big part of the communi ty p lanning, a big s tumbl ing block." INAC's Capital Services officer (continuing to p ressure for the s ign ing of the ag reement ) : "The R D G [INAC's Reg iona l Director Genera l ] and Assoc i a t e R.D.G made it very c lear Outstanding land owed to some Manitoba First Nations originating from early treaty agreements with Canada. 137 that if that ag reement is not s igned, the capita l projects on here will not be able to proceed. " Chief Andrew Colomb: "You [INAC] cannot re lease capita l dol lars b e c au se w e are off-reserve , but we must s ign T L E to get our reserve. Now, the only way the commun i ty p lan wil l go ahead is if I s ign." Headman John Colomb: "So we either s ign or we ' re dead . W e get nothing." Band member: "It's a lways the s ame . If we don't s ign or if we don't ag ree with the depar tment there is a lways someth ing you guys are putting on us. If you don't do this y ou won't get this. Wha t doe s T L E have to do with bui lding a new reservat ion? That ' s the quest ion -" INAC's Capital Services officer (interrupting): "We ind icated that we are the wrong peop le . Y o u gotta talk to sen ior management . The unders tand ing is that the T L E commi t tee a nd my representat ives are com ing here on Wednesday . " Chief Andrew Colomb: "Why have a meet ing if we don't get anywhe re? " INAC's Capital Services officer (again merg ing the two processes ) : "Wel l , it's a work ing group that's deve lop ing a communi ty p lan. That 's what it is." M a n y band reques ts to pos tpone a T L E meet ing were not success fu l . INAC's Capital Services officer: "These i s sues are beyond my control." Band member: "I thought w e dealt with T L E i s sues with different depar tments [a different group of INAC officials]." Chief Andrew Colomb: "You are restricting us f rom mov ing ahead . " S a n d member: "And w e are told not to stop." The T L E d i s cuss ion c o n s u m e d much t ime and energy and w a s frustrating and antagonist ic , fue l ing sent iments of distrust and cr i t ic isms of the project's budget. T h e band 's pos i t ion w a s clear. Its plan funding wa s threatened whi le the p lann ing p rocess w a s nudged forward. Chief Andrew Colomb: "Money is not even ava i lab le for this study. W h y shou ld I pay for th is? Th is p rocess is mean ing less . " The report es t imated that in the first yea r infrastructure, roads, fourteen hou se s and one row house wou ld be built for approx imate ly $17 mill ion or all the ava i lab le capi ta l . Consequen t l y , the current commun i ty requ i rement of forty-five h omes and addit ional communi ty faci l i t ies wou ld prevent a comp le te move to the B lack S turgeon reserve. The remainder of the commun i ty is projected for construct ion in the fo l lowing twenty yea r s a l though without a government commi tment for more dol lars. INAC officials wa rned: 138 INAC's Capital Services officer: "After the initial cap i ta l is spent the band will be put on the bottom of the department 's wait ing list. There are s ixty-one other bands wait ing for faci l i t ies." The rema in ing hous ing requirement of thirty-one h omes w a s projected for bui ld ing over the fo l lowing four-year per iod a long with the band office, ga rage and ga s pump, store, p layground, and hunt ing and f ishing lodge, this for an addit ional $11 mil l ion. Be tween yea r six and ten an a rena , eight more houses , a health se rv i ces addit ion to the band office, and a communi ty do ck wou ld require $4 mil l ion more. F i f teen addit ional houses we re s lated for construct ion with a vis i tor center, s choo l a nd t ea che rages be tween yea r e l even and twenty, this for $12 mil l ion. The total twenty-year requ i rement to a c comp l i s h the ba s i c p lan w a s $44 mi l l ion, $ 27 mil l ion beyond I N A C ' s commi tment . Chief Andrew Colomb: "We did not even c h o s e these guys [consultants]." INAC's Capital Services officer ending this discussion: "I don't want to d i s cuss this." The Cap i ta l Se rv i c e s off icer exp la ined that the ongo ing p ro ce s s w a s "necessary . " Other INAC representat ives and the Tr ibal Counc i l ch imed in, arguing that "the communi ty p lann ing is an information gather ing tool that Marce l C o l o m b needs to go through to move to the next s tep of re leas ing capi ta l dol lars." A c o n s e n s u s a rose a round the s e c o n d point. Desp i te c l a ims of informat ion gather ing, commun i ty p lann ing wa s fundamenta l ly a p rocess of re leas ing dol lars. (Moreover , it w a s in everyone ' s interest to "re lease" this capita l , a l though reasons var ied.) Cap i ta l w a s " f rozen" un l e s s the commun i ty p lanning wa s comp le ted , a nd the t enuousness of the new reserve w a s re inforced by government threats to put the project on hold. Th i s ongo ing hos tage p ro ce s s enab l ed the depar tment to have its way. Ironically, capita l that w a s ded ica ted for bui ld ing the commun i ty w a s concurrent ly being spent: by Ju ly 2000 more than $1 mil l ion w a s e r oded by a range of other cos t s inc luding band operat ions, hir ing a coordinator, the communi ty a c c e s s road des i gn and others . Cap i ta l w a s not f rozen at al l . The band ' s lack of faith, the government ' s threats to f reeze the project, and c on ce rn s over f ee s worr ied the consu l tants w h o add r e s s ed their unea se to the depar tment rather than to their First Nat ion c l ients. The firm's engineer: "We were told the project w a s go ing to go through. W e have done work s ince Apri l that has rece ived no payment . Wha t about money for the commun i ty a c c e s s road? Doe s this funding hang on the T L E ? " 139 INAC's Capital Services officer: "Fee payment has to be sett led with the Chief." (Yet the band ' s audit, and the f low of funds through the Tr iba l Counc i l we re common l y known.) The firm's engineer: "Does an urban reserve affect our f e e s ? " [Will w e get pa id if the commun i ty is not built?] INAC's Capital Services Officer (cement ing the department 's approval): "The only way the depar tment will reject the plan is if the T L E is not s igned." A s s u r a n c e s of government approva l we re g iven to the firm before the band had app roved the p lan, a nd we re made on other o c ca s i on s to ca lm the fears of the firm when their work and ex i s tence we re cha l l enged. Threa ts to f r eeze the commun i ty project we re strangely j ux taposed with a s s u r a n c e s that the firm's p lan wou ld be approved . I N A C ' s posit ion w a s neither unb iased nor mediat ing, but appea red to lean on the consu l tant ' s "s ide." Ro l e s me rged once aga in . Differentiat ing be tween consu l tants in a p lann ing f irm and gove rnment became difficult for the band and eventual ly it interpreted the a r rangement a s coerc ive . Pos i t i ons taken by government he ightened the lack of trust be tween the p lanners and the commun i ty . W h a t w a s intended to be a planning meet ing between a cl ient group and eng ineer ing consu l tants b roke down before it began . T h e chief a sked , "Why wou ld I bring these peop l e here and cont inue work ing , and you [INAC] are just go ing to d i sapp rove? It's just a was te of t ime and money and it's [the plan] so expens i ve a lready." T h e d i s c repancy be tween the cost of the communi ty and the ava i lab le fund ing w a s a signi f icant i s sue for the band. Mar ce l Co l omb ' s cho i ce to deve lop Hughe s Lake w a s in f luenced by mi s concep t i ons of both the cos t s of a new communi ty and of ava i lab le funding, and four mon ths o f p lann ing w a s comp le te before the insuff ic iency of capi ta l b e c ame fully known to them. T h e f irm's est imate for the commun i ty app roached $44 mil l ion with most of the exist ing budget of $18.2 mil l ion ded ica ted to bui ld ing mere ly infrastructure, the a c c e s s road, and power and te l ephone l ines to the reserve boundary . Ch i e f And r ew C o l o m b cont inued to cha l l enge the legi t imacy of the process . "Why go through the commun i ty p lanning and capital p l ann ing? It doe s not m a k e sense . " P lann ing a commun i ty that cou ld not be built, due to lack of gove rnment approva l and fund ing, s e e m e d suspect . B a n d membe r s d i s c u s s ed the current f reez ing of all their funds with the Tr iba l Counc i l eng ineer , w h o exp la ined to them, "The audit wil l so lve that, this w e e k or next." Whe t he r fund ing w a s wi thhe ld d u e to the audit or the T L E w a s unc lear . 140 Band member: "But we will still be out [of money]...why go ahead now?" Tribal Council engineer: "So you will have your community plan ready for when things get solved. A community plan is a long-term process. It gives a blueprint for your future, and this TLE is a long-term process. So if you are doing both at the same time, when you get the TLE resolved this plan is ready to go." (He attempted to move the project along, assuring the band of the planning's logic, amid the disputes over timing, funding and feasibility.) INAC official: "Everyone knows you cannot build a community for this, but there are no additional dollars (emphasis). 1 7 5 The community needs to set priorities splitting Hughes Lake and Lynn Lake. You do not have enough dollars to do what you want to do at Hughes Lake because there is an $18.2 million funding cap." The funding cap, realized for the first time by band members and the engineering consultants, precipitated arguments by both. The firm's engineer: "This is news to us. They [the band] were led to believe there would be more money. What if it turns out to be more? A 1998 DIAND analysis was presented by the first Nation indicating total community development costs of $44.1 million." (The $43,910,500 cost of the firm's plan matched this former figure.) The exchange illustrated how far planning had progressed before the project budget was clarified, and the slipperiness of the information on which the planning was based. It was unclear to the project team how the plan budget was reduced. Discrepancies between promises of $44 million and the $18.2 million budget vexed the process as Indian Affairs officials continued to deny the department had committed to the larger sum. The INAC official's offhand tabling of the urban reserve potential of Lynn Lake was a negotiating tool rather than a design suggestion. The government did not play an active role in the urban reserve negotiations between the town and the band. No planners were hired to formally investigate the potentials of Lynn Lake. No environmental assessment of the Lynn area was commissioned by INAC, a required process prior to the government's acquisition of land and done for the Hughes site in 1993. In short, no government process was in place to acquire land in Lynn 1 7 5 INAC's $18.3 million budget was not based on the cost to build a community. The department was aware that "you can't build a community for that." The Ouj6-Bougoumou Cree settlement in northern Quebec cost $44 million almost 10 years earlier and was referred to by Minister Irwin in the 1995 band status meeting at Grand Rapids. It was during this meeting that the Black Sturgeon group, as they were called at the time, presented Minister Irwin with a conservative budget of $18 million for a new community. The current budget of $18 million is likely based on what the band had asked for in 1995. 141 Lake for the purpose of an urban reserve nor w a s this p rocess f o reseen in the future. The poss ib i l i t ies of Lynn Lake rema ined outs ide the p lann ing p rocess . Lynn Lake ' s opportuni t ies we re ra i sed only w h e n it was conven ient for government - a theoret ical alternative whe reby the prob lems of fund ing for a comple te communi ty at Hughe s were effectively c i r cumvented . Attr ibut ing the budget p rob lems to unnecessa ry des ign e lements and lav ish s tandards , Ch i e f A n d r e w C o l o m b remarked "what you env i s ion is a golf cou rse and f lower beds . Th i s is not what w e see." T h e comment erupted during a long and raucous d i s cuss ion about des ign s tandards and w h o s e s tandards preva i led. Headman John Colomb: "Why do w e have to des ign to these s t anda rds? They did not ex is t w h e n w e we re l iving in tents and hau l ing water. O n e t ime in 1986 w e wan ted to move to the reserve. A n Indian Affa irs worker in T h o m p s o n sa id to us w e cou ld not move to the reserve b e cau se we have to have running water, you have to have electricity. Y o u have to have everyth ing. They sa id it w a s the new law. I told them why there w a s this new law and I have been l iving in a tent for over twelve years . I wanted a cab in and a better life than I had in the past. Wha t w a s the d i f ference? W a s there any law in there whe re I w a s s tay ing in a tent with m y peop le for twe lve y e a r s ? I wan ted to m o v e to a better p l a c e that I cou ld move , build our own log cab ins . That is what we wanted to do and they d id not let us do that." The band sought bui ld ing a l ternat ives to a p rocess that threatened to e rode the entire budget with infrastructure a lone, but the necess i ty for strict adhe rence to INAC "s tandards" prevented a l ternat ive des ign solut ions. Mo re importantly, ru les were mis taken for s tandards , and s tandards of the part overrode s tandards of the who le , lending an absurdity to the p lann ing. R o a d s had to be built accord ing to depar tment rules that spec i f ied des ign s peed s and curvatures , for instance, e v e n if the budget for the road des ign swa l l owed that of the bui ld ings it intended to serve . Bu i ld ing a part of a communi ty w a s entirely accep tab le . If the part is built accord ing to I N A C ' s "rules of des ign , " the whole need not ex ist at al l . INAC's Capital Services officer (with sa r casm): "Wel l , you have to talk to your consu l tants . T hey do not work for us." Chief Andrew Colomb: "But you hired them." INAC's Capital Services officer: "I don't want to d i s cuss this." The firm's engineer (expla in ing to INAC officials): "The chief s a y s the se rv i ces a re go ld-p la ted but they're not. Y o u just can't bui ld this commun i ty with $ 1 7 mil l ion." INAC's Capital Services officer: "$18.2 mil l ion is an abso lu te cap." 142 The firm's engineer: "But we are designing to Indian Affairs standards." (Suggesting the difficulty of building a community according to INAC's guidelines given the available funding.) INAC's Capital Services officer: "We change these standards." The firm's engineer: "Are you going to restrict this First Nation to outhouses?" INAC's Capital Services officer: "You can go to a truck system." Health Canada representative: "There will be health issues with that system." Band member: "Would you live with a truck system?" The Capital Service officer's willingness to slash standards to meet INAC's budget was overriden by the band, the firm, the Tribal Council representative and the Environmental Health officer working for Health Canada who agreed that the project needed to maintain a minimum levels of standard services. The firm representatives argued that their design was based on INAC's own Level of Service Standards (known as LOSS) which exist for all project types. INAC's project approvals are based on consultants' adherence to these and other guidelines. The group discussed ways the project might proceed without compromise to the level of infrastructure service, and the planning meeting was reduced to issues of cost saving and cost sharing. The main issues remained, who would pay for the hydro power and the provincial access road, how capital could be saved, and the timing of the firm's payment. Increasing the density of the community layout became a main cost-saving goal, even before the plan was presented to the community. The firm's engineer addressed the Tribal Council for settlement of the access road design f e e s 1 7 6 and the Tribal Council 's engineer admitted that the government was stalling on funding. With more complaints from the firm, INAC's Capital Services officer finally agreed to release funding, explaining, "OK, if the audit is in, then there will be no funds withheld" and contradicting earlier statements that the resolution of the TLE was a prerequisite to project funding. Department officials adjusted their rules when convenient. The engineering firm's representatives were unclear about the relationship of their two contracts, and throughout the meeting they pressured the government to begin construction of the road, yet another contract. One contract slid effortlessly into another, and considerations of road construction derailed more fundamental discussions about the plan. Indian Affairs topographic map of reserve boundary held at Natural Resources Canada showing access road. Black "Black Sturgeon Indian Nation" has been rewritten "Black Sturgeon Indian Reserve." The 1.7 kilometer access road building contract would arise many times. • lack StursNd Irdljn ••Hr/ Band capital was channeled through the Tribal Council due to an ongoing audit. 143 The p lann ing group's power structure s t emmed from its purse str ings. INAC ' s power o v e r s hadowed others whi le it t ea sed of band autonomy. Its power to approve the project, s top the p rocess , d i spa t ch the consu l tants , or choose a l ternat ives w a s on d isp lay The consu l tants a d d r e s s e d the depar tment rather than the band in the signif icant matters of fees and author izat ions to p roceed , and the band fo l lowed. Information f low be tween band and firm - be tween emp loye r and emp l o yee - w a s comp l i ca ted by the government ' s powerfu l m idd l eman pos i t ion. Ma r ce l C o l o m b ' s c on ce r n s about inadequate funding, t iming and the cho i ce of consul tant we r e hardly heard b e c a u s e they did not h ave to be; the authority to halt or enab le the p rocess did not lie with the band . The p roceed ings revea led the department 's lack of conce rn about the long-term life of the B l a ck S tu rgeon reserve and a d d e d to the band 's s en se of isolat ion and distrust of government . A s the ch ie f put it, "When I listen to the consul tants, they g ive me the impress ion I shou ld be able to live with the p lan, but they know they won't be around for a long t ime. There are so f ew peop le wi l l ing to help." Desp i te the stal l ing, threats, and severe constra in ing factors of the plan, al l part ies ru shed towards complet ion. Cons i s ten t adv i ce f rom the Tr iba l Counc i l - "well, eve rybody is here, w e may a s we l l fo l low through" - ref lected the mood of inevitabil ity. M o m e n t u m inst igated sign-offs, s p e e d over took logic, and a mach ine- l ike p rocess edged matters a long . A s the f i rm had pred icted, s o m e band membe r s arr ived to s amp l e the doughnuts during a break. W o m e n and chi ldren wande red through the room, star ing without c ommen t at the d raw ings moun ted on the wa l l . Many left a s soon a s the meet ing r e sumed and the p lanners b egan their presentat ion. By mid-afternoon, the eng ineer ing f irm's p lanner finally m a d e a short presentat ion, his vo i ce often d r owned out by s imu l taneous d i s cuss ions . T h e content and negot iat ion sty le of this meet ing dwar fed the importance of the actua l communi ty des ign . Neve r the l ess the project t e am expec t ed the commun i ty to hasti ly "pick a plan." The layout of the p lan e l ements w a s der ived f rom four factors: phys i ca l site condi t ions, e c o n o m y of infrastructure p lann ing, INAC ' s gu i d e l i n e s 1 7 7 and populat ion stat ist ics. H igh, dry and flat reg ions we re identif ied a s bui ldable "with high suitability for road construct ion, foundat ions a nd bur ied s e r v i c e s . " 1 7 8 Cos t d ictated h igher densi t ies. The p lans con fo rmed to INAC ' s funding 1 7 7 INAC has a set of guidelines known as Level of Service Standards (LOSS) for all reserve building such as schools, roads and infrastructure to which all projects must comply for funding. 1 7 8 UMA Engineering Ltd., Marcel Colomb First Nation Community Plan and 5-Year Capital Plan, 109. 144 structures, and Option A was even described as "advantaged" because it fit the department's density guidelines.179 Combinations for mixed use were also informed by department funding guidelines. The firm was instructed that "only facilities constructed with monies derived from the same sources/types of funding should be combined."180 These determinants ruled out design possibilities such as lower densities preferred by band members and building combinations such as arena and band office. The planners devised three community layouts from which the band would choose. Each illustrated a physical layout of the same elements: housing, band office, school, teacher's housing, day care, arena, fire hall, gas station, maintenance building, nursing station, water treatment facility, lagoon, visitor center, cultural grounds and lodge development. Variations were a result of different infrastructure arrangements, which consequently altered costs. •• v. i l r " l * — -Topographic map from Energy, Mines and Resources of Canada To the right is my sketch after U M A ' s plan drawing. Option A is planned with a main road to the lake, ending at the water pump/intake. A secondary road is planned for more housing stretching towards the visitor center and cultural grounds. The community favored the lagoon that was farther away from the community. 1 7 9 ' T o qualify for funding of fully piped systems...community densities need to be a minimum of 7.5 dwelling units per hectare (3 units per acre) and lot frontages averaging no more than 30 meters." U M A Engineering Ltd., Marcel Colomb First Nation Community Plan ana" 5- Year Capital Plan, 95. 1 8 0 U M A Engineering Ltd., Marcel Colomb First Nation Community Plan and 5-Year Capital Plan, 118. 145 T h e s c h e m e s we re e a c h eva lua ted by the consu l tan ts to he lp the commun i t y c h o o s e . A chart-matr ix l isted eight criteria: fit with terrain cond i t ion, site suitabi l i ty aspec t , impac t on natura l env i ronment , commun i t y form a n d ef f ic iency of l and use , infrastructure ef f ic iency, leve l of compat ib i l i ty with depar tment gu ide l i nes (known as L O S S ) , compat ib i l i ty with First Nat ion needs , and p re fe rences and infrastructure cos t . E a c h factor w a s g iven a pe r cen tage weight. Infrastructure cos t contr ibuted 35 percent. T h e fac tors we re va lued and tota led to g ive a "score" for e a c h s c h e m e . Op t i on "C " r ece i ved the lowest s c o r e (320) and opt ion B w a s g iven the h ighest (375.5). Ma r c e l C o l o m b ' s goa l s de f ined in the ba ckg round and n e e d s report, however , d id not form part of this eva lua t ion matr ix excep t a s the gene r i c ca tegory "compat ib i l i ty with First Nat ion ' s n e ed s and pre fe rences . " Heav i l y ou twe i ghed by the comb ina t i on of other factors , it a m o u n t e d to 15 percent of the s co re g iven to e a c h s c h e m e . T h e p lan 's abil ity to a n s w e r the ma in p r ob l ems c i ted by the band - se l f -determinat ion, ma i n t enance of cultural tradit ions, ant idote to soc i a l p rob l ems , and env i ronmenta l c o n c e r n s in L ynn L a k e - we r e not u sed to eva lua te the opt ions . T h e f irm w a s unaware of the current water l eve l s and a d i s c u s s i on e m e r g e d abou t the s i te 's l imits. T h e b and in fo rmed the f i rm o f the current reco rd h ighs , a n d that a sec t i on of h ou s i ng in opt ion B w a s be low the water l ine. T h e ex is t ing cot tage lot a r e a and the p l anned cu l tura l g rounds we re i s l ands . T h e f irm exp l a i ned that it w a s an "opt ion" to l ive c l o s e to the water a l though there we re s o m e "d rawbacks . " T h e band e l im ina ted p lan B and later p lan C a s it p l a ced the commun i t y a l ong a ma i n road c l o se to the r e se rve bounda ry and a w a y f rom the lake . Opt ion A w a s se l e c t ed on the g rounds the band wan ted ne i ther a commun i ty a w a y f rom the lake nor under water . Desp i t e the e l abora te matrix, a se lec t i on w a s m a d e by e l iminat ion. T h e o rgan i za t ion and content of the commun i t y w e r e not the f ocus of this mee t i ng or the next, a nd there w a s a gene ra l a pp r o a ch of not tak ing the de s i gn too ser ious ly . A c c o r d i n g to the band "It [the des ign] c a n a lways be changed . " A c c o r d i n g to the f i rm, "I h ave yet to s e e a commun i t y fo l low a c ommun i t y p lan." A m e m b e r of the Tr iba l C oun c i l d e c l a r ed that " some t imes it's not g ood to a l low too m u c h t ime for se lec t ion . " T h e p lann ing g roup left L ynn L a k e in t ime to arr ive h o m e for d inner. The c ommun i t y p lan opt ion had been se l e c t ed in a f ew hours . A s w e we r e l eav ing the Lynn L a k e F r i endsh ip Center , m a n y band m e m b e r s we re arr iv ing for b ingo. 146 Option C is moved close to the reserve boundary. The community buildings are relocated at the reserve entry. Drawn after UMA Engineering plan . 147 Planning sess ion four The last of four p lann ing s e s s i on s wa s on Augus t 29 , 2000 , and w a s intended to present the f ina l p l an to the communi ty . The project t e am a s s e m b l e d aga in at Lynn Lake , a n d a band m e m b e r sa id the Lord 's Prayer . A n INAC representat ive tried to clarify at the beg inn ing that the Treaty Land Ent i t lement negot iat ions (TLE) had no l inkage to the communi ty p lan, a nd that capita l dol lars a nd p rog ram do l lars we re b a s e d on populat ion and other factors, not T L E . He c la imed that the depar tment ' s a rguments l inking the two we re "bogus." B o b Kury, the Pub l i c Wo r k s t e a m leader d i sag reed , and arguments cont inued between the two depar tments and within INAC , without resolut ion. The f irm's eng ineer took the opportunity to turn the d i s cuss i on to the commun i ty a c c e s s road and its fees: "If there is no relation to the s ign ing of the T L E , the T L E shou ld not ho ld up funding at al l . S o money is f lowing. Doe s it inc lude the road?" INAC's Capital Services officer: "The road fund ing is cont ingent on the approva l of the plan." Firm engineer: "There w a s a sign-off." Public Works engineer: "Was there a sign-off?" Firm's engineer: "Wel l , w e had comments . " INAC's Capital Services officer: "There wa s more than one report." Firm's engineer: "There were four reports." Public Works engineer to INAC Capital Services officer: "So w e can start f inance f lowing for the a c c e s s road?" INAC's Capital Services officer: "Yes." Public Works engineer: "I wa s not aware there w a s a sign-off on the communi ty p lan." Firm's engineer to Public Works engineer:" [INAC Cap i ta l Se r v i c e s officer] just sa id funds c an be re leased." Apparent ly , f inancing w a s ava i lab le for the road without approva l of the commun i ty p lan. A long d i s cuss i on e n s u e d about funding for the provinc ia l commun i ty a c c e s s road and who wou ld pay. C o n v i n c e d that the Man i toba government wou ld not cover the entire cost, INAC off ic ia ls adv i s ed the band to negotiate a cost-shar ing dea l with the prov ince. They exp la ined that no rules ex is t for a split, a n d that the cos t b reakdown w a s subject to negot iat ions. They instructed the f i rm to inc lude the cost of the entire provinc ia l a c c e s s road in its est imate, a s there wa s no guarantee that the prov ince wou ld contribute. (The prov ince 's eventua l 4 0 percent contribution w a s des c r i bed by an INAC official a s "generous.") The department a l so sugges ted negot iat ions with Man i t oba Hyd ro 148 over paymen t for serv i ce to the communi ty . Both off-reserve i tems were inc luded in the commun i ty p lan es t imate . A lengthy d i s cuss i on fo l lowed about the possibi l i ty of cost b reakdowns , a n d about w h o shou ld negot iate with the prov ince and with Man i toba Hydro. The f irm c ommen t ed on the project 's many unknowns . B and membe r s aga in f ocused on the provinc ia l a c c e s s road and its high cost. T h e 1.7-k i lometer Commun i t y A c c e s s R o a d predes ign subm i s s i on made by the f irm in J une 2000 projected a $1.5 mil l ion cost inc luding a 20 percent cont ingency fee. The $891,723-per-k i lometer pr ic ing w a s omit ted f rom the communi ty p lan document in wh i ch the main commun i ty col lector road, de s i gned acco rd ing to the s a m e des ign criteria, w a s es t imated at only $450 ,000 per-ki lometer. The band a l so noted, a s the p redes ign subm i s s i on states, that "the hor izonta l a l ignment w a s predominant ly ba sed on uti l iz ing the ex ist ing c leared trail/road into the reserve . Th i s w a s c ho sen a s the preferred route in a prev ious study, is a l ready c l ea red and grubbed a majority of the way, and has a l ready rece ived 181 an env i ronmenta l l i censes." T h e $1.5 mil l ion f igure s e e m e d high. B a n d membe r s ques t ioned the road's des ign and sugges ted w a y s to inc rease ef f ic iency and reduce cos t s . T h e firm's representat ives res isted, exp la in ing the cost wa s due to h igh des ign s tandards , wh i ch precipitated further arguments: Band member: "Do our roads have to be built at these s p e c s ? Other rese rves h a v e t racks for roads . W h y are w e s l apped with these s tanda rds? A re there really Indian Affa irs s t anda rd s? S e e m s there are ei ther good roads or trails." Firm engineer: "We c a n reduce the 90 km des ign s peed but we wou ld not r e c o m m e n d it." (He exp la ined the need for des ign s peed s and curvatures for ambu l ance and schoo l buses.) Tribal Council engineer (agreeing, and adding warnings): "If you want the prov ince and Hydro to pitch in you have to build to their s tandards." W h e n I a s k e d for a cos t compar i son with provinc ia l roads of s imi lar s tandards, the firm's representa t ives desc r i bed cost ly terrain condi t ions and sarcast ica l ly ended the d i s cuss i on : "Are we done with the road now?" Apparent ly , the cost w a s an i ssue of s tandards and terrain condi t ions, but the c o m p a n y wou l d later lose the lucrat ive construct ion contract to the P rov ince . The predes ign for the 1.7-ki lometer road cost the band $43 ,000 but w a s never u sed due to the un reasonab l y high See, UMA Engineering, Marcel Colomb Access Road Pre-design Submission. L49 cos t of the p roposed road, - more than two to three t imes too high accord ing to the P rov ince . P rov inc ia l gove rnmen t eng inee r s h i red by INAC redes i gned and const ruc ted the r o a d . 1 8 2 The ch ie f requested tender ing of the a c c e s s road construct ion, citing three First Nat ions inc lud ing Ma th i as C o l o m b that we re ab le to perform the work and that e xp r e s s ed interest. Public Works engineer: "Let m e take that up with the department. W e can create an Abor ig ina l set-as ide for tender ing. S e n d out an exp ress i on of interest to these f i rms so they c a n outl ine their qual i f icat ions. Y o u do this to protect yourself , so they meet requ i rements of yours that they are ab le to perform the work. Y o u have to be carefu l ." Chief Andrew Colomb: "Of three mil l ion dol lars in road construct ion most shou ld c o m e to the commun i ty . O n c e w e tender, w e want to partner. W e no not want to end up with nothing." INAC's Capital Services officer: "We have pol ic ies to hire First Nat ions . It c an be written into the road tender ing pro jec t . " 1 8 3 Band member: "At least w e shou ld end up with s o m e equ ipment . Is INAC go ing to prov ide equ ipment for ma in tenance? In the communi ty p lan we d id not once d i s cu s s equ ipment ." INAC's Capital Services officer: "You are getting caught in the program capi ta l . The budget doe s not inc lude equ ipment , and equ ipment is cost ly. It's not good to have too much equ ipment . It has to be mainta ined. . . . " (He e laborated the d i sadvan tages of equ ipment ownership.) Band member: "G ive us $100 ,000 and we wil l bui ld our own road." Public Works engineer: "But what kind of road? Tender ing lowers cos ts with compet i t ion." The Tr iba l Counc i l eng inee r took the d i s cuss i on back to the approva l s requ i red to beg in construct ion. Br ing ing power to the commun i ty w a s a ne ce s sa r y first s tep and Man i t oba Hydro b e c a m e another p layer. He stated: "We need plan approva l . Hydro won't do anything until Indian Af fa i rs k icks in $50,000. " Chief Andrew Colomb: "Who pays for th is? Doe s it c ome out of our do l la rs?" INAC official: "We a re hop ing the P rov ince wil l pay that." Chief Andrew Colomb: " INAC shou ld negotiate to get Hydro to pay for all of it [power to the communi ty] . S o w h o wil l s pea rhead this [negotiations]?" INAC Capital Services officer: "Not me. I don't know." Chief Andrew Colomb: "What guaran tee do w e have that y ou guys will s h o w up? " Tribal Council engineer: "There w a s a meet ing whe re INAC did not show." INAC's Capital Services officer: "Wel l , it d epends on who y ou a s s i gn . If there w a s a meet ing with the Deputy Minister, I will have to ex cu se myself." Firm engineer (pushing to begin construct ion without a contract): " C an we start work on the r e se r ve? How d o e s H i ghways have to be invo lved? B e c a u s e of the a c c e s s road and i 2 Provincial road engineer, Winnipeg, telephone interview with author, March 2002. B It is unclear why no Aboriginal firms won the road building contract. 150 H ighways w e can't...." INAC's Capital Services officer: "The P rov ince needs to negot iate with the band . T h e p ro ce s s needs t ime to work." Chief Andrew Colomb (Frustrated with the band 's in-between posit ion): "You are say ing we need to get together with the P rov ince . The P rov ince s ay s let's c o m e up with a p lan to dea l with you . How long will this t ake?" Tribal Council engineer: "None of this is worth anyth ing if we don't get on with it [the presentat ion of the plan]." Band member: "First y ou say it's related [the Hydro negotiat ions] then y ou say it's not." Chief to the Capital Services officer: "We can't have more meet ings . Wr i te a letter to the P rov ince to start the process . " Capital Services officer: "You write it with c c to INAC." Firm engineer (still push ing the a c c e s s road construct ion): "I a m still con fused . Unti l there is an ag reement with H ighways , can't the band start work on the rese rve? " INAC ' s Cap i ta l Se rv i c e s officer: "You can't start any project until there is an agreement . A l l capita l projects need to go one step at a time." Firm engineer: "It's not a project, just s o m e c lear ing of the land." INAC's Capital Services officer: "We are looking for a 50/50 split for the who le road f rom H ighways . Th is is why w e have to wait." Firm engineer: "This is the first t ime I heard this. We l l , we need to get d i s cu s s i on s on now!" Tribal Council engineer: "Hydro will not do anyth ing until they get 50 ,000 for mapp ing , l i cens ing and c lear ing." Chief Andrew Colomb: "Who pay s ? " INAC Capital Services officer: "I don't know. Y o u have to sit down with the P rov ince . Hydro is the big guy. Y o u will have to negot iate for this. P owe r to the commun i ty is two to three mil l ion." Chief Andrew Colomb: " INAC and the P rov ince shou ld sit down and negotiate." Capital Services officer: "You need to approve this document and sit down and priorit ize. T hen w e can ass ist y ou with the negotiat ions." A s s i s t a n c e with negot iat ions now h inged on approva l of the p lan document , and the conversa t i on returned to the communi ty p lan . "Can w e make changes [to the plan] a s we go a l ong?" a s k e d a band member . INAC Capital Services officer: "I wou ld not accept much deviat ion." Sano 1 member: "But they [the three options] were all essent ia l ly the s ame . W e wil l fol low the b a s i c . . . " INAC's Capital Services officer: "You mean rev i s ions? I have no p rob lem with that." Ma r c e l C o l o m b needed operat ing dol lars, and con fused about the funding a l locat ion, the Ch i e f ra i sed more a rguments about the capita l p lan. 151 Chief Andrew Colomb: "The start of funding is set a s i de for four yea rs . W e have been at this for two. W h e n d o e s four yea r s start? W e have been recogn i zed a s a First Nat ion in 1999." Band member: "Two yea r s have gone by and you're on a five-year p lan, or are you just start ing w h e n the commun i ty p lan is done? " INAC's Capital Services officer: "It [funding] starts with a c cep tance of the p lan or p lan approva l by you. $18.2 mil l ion has been put there to estab l i sh a new reserve . O n c e that money is spent and y ou are at Hughes Lake , s tandard depar tment p rocess k i cks in." Chief Andrew Colomb: "There is a f ive-year p lan. Y o u sa id $18.2 mil l ion w a s for five yea r s . If w e spend it in the first yea r it will be all u sed up. In one yea r w e will s p e n d $15-16 mil l ion. W h a t do we do for the next four yea r s for p rogram dol lars to kick in?" T h e l imits of the capi ta l we re becom ing apparent. H o w operat ing dol lars cou ld be granted after the capi ta l w a s dep leted and the reserve wa s incomplete wou ld not be reso lved . INAC's Capital Services officer: "There is a misunders tand ing . T h e money you have is to es tab l i sh a reserve. O n c e you s pend that capital y ou go on the department 's p rog rams priority list. If you s p e n d it in the first y ea r there is no more money for four yea rs . O n c e you are on rese rve you will get p rogram dol lars." Depar tment representat ives were dogmat ica l ly stat ing INAC pol ic ies without add re s s i ng the eno rmous p rob l em that flawed the planning p rocess . The capita l w a s insuff ic ient to re locate to the reserve , and relocat ion w a s a requirement for program and operat ing dol lars. A l so , reserve bui ld ing capi ta l w a s being e roded as the planning p rocess wore on . Negot ia t ions began for an inc rease . Chief Andrew Colomb: "How about more capita l do l lars?" INAC official: "You will be number sixty-three in priority." Chief Andrew Colomb: "Everybody knows $18.2 mil l ion will not es tab l i sh a First Nat ion . W h e r e wil l the addit ional capita l dol lars c o m e from if there is no funding after five y ea r s ? " INAC official: "After the money is used up you are put on the priority list. Y o u b e c o m e part of the department 's p rograms. Thirty-two mil l ion per yea r w e split be tween sixty-two First Nat ions . The re is a f ive-year sp read ba sed on a priority list. W h o knows whe re you wil l be on the priority list. Y o u may not s e e any more dol lars for ten years . " Public Works engineer: "There is band capital ava i lab le for e a c h band to build one a n d a half h ou s e s per year." INAC official: "The reg ion has no more money . No more money will c o m e to this communi ty . " INAC's Capital Services officer: "There are other p rograms l ike bus ing and educa t i on . Y o u need to sit down and start compromis ing . " 152 The Cap i ta l Se r v i c e officer's sugges t ion of reduc ing the communi ty ' s level of se rv i ce el ic i ted more a rguments . The limits of the cap i ta l b e c a m e evident a s the f inal p lann ing meet ing p rog res sed , and with re locat ion itself now unde r threat, distrust grew. T h e department 's p i e c emea l a n d dogmat i c a pp r oa ch spa rked susp ic ion about its mot ives. Chief Andrew Colomb: " INAC is trying to push urban reserve, but the mayor wan t s us out of his town, and I don't want urban reserve." (Yet the depar tment had no p lans in effect to deve lop a reserve at Lynn.) "How can INAC app rove this if there is no funding, only $18 mi l l ion? I c an see you guys are not going to approve it." INAC Capital Services officer: "We might not approve, but w e wil l a c cep t this p lan . W e want you to approve it and priorit ize it. Y ou have to b e c ome a pol i t ic ian. Th is is just p lann ing. Y o u have to sit down with the commun i ty and the P rov ince and negot iate." The firm's planner (anx ious to cont inue): "We want to go through the report now, c a n w e J! Chief Andrew Colomb: "You guys ment ioned a priority list. W e are a new First Nat ion, and we shou ld be a priority. W e are funded very l imited and not fully staf fed. Ou r administrat ion is deve lop ing very s lowly. W e are short p rograms and funds." Va r i ou s arguments we re made for a capita l i nc rease - the need for operat ing dol lars, the new band status of Marce l Co l omb , the inadequacy of the present funding and the urban reserve s ta lemate - but none were effect ive. The project t e am trudged a long . INAC official: "The Tr iba l Counc i l shou ld be provid ing s o m e of this. Y o u can start es tab l i sh ing floor p lans and c lear ing lots." Tribal Council engineer: "Hydro power is not there until 2002 . Wha t ' s the point?" (Con fus ion ex isted about the t iming of events.) INAC official: "This p redes ign wil l tr igger a first meet ing with the P rov ince and then w e will bring in Hydro." Firm engineer: "Everyth ing is done ! It's more than just predes ign." Yet, w h e n f a ced with cr i t ic ism of the plan's des ign , such a s the lagoon locat ion, f irm representat ives c la imed, "it's just p redes ign . T h e s e are detai ls that have to be ref ined later on at another stage." (A yea r later another f irm wou ld be hired by INAC to refine the f irm's work at a cost in e x c e s s of $250,000.) The detai l required of the contract w a s unc lear and shift ing. INAC ' s suggest ions that the band negot iate with the Prov ince and Hydro for addi t ional do l lars p rompted ongo ing res i s tance from the band. Chief Andrew Colomb: "You a r e throwing u s back a n d forth say ing it is our responsib i l i ty. W h e n w e request someth ing w e have to wait, the p rocess is s low and the wrong peop le are there. I made an attempt to get you guys at the s a m e table. W h e n it c o m e s to show ing up there is a lways no-shows. I went through a lot of trouble to get you guys together." 153 INAC's Capital Services officer: "I s e n s e frustrat ion. Y o u need to learn to l ive with frustrat ion." ( INAC ' s representa t i ve o f fered s o m e m o r e ove rbea r i ng adv i c e on the diff icult ies that a c c o m p a n y leadersh ip . ) T h e f i rm and the Tr iba l C oun c i l eng i nee r s nudged the mee t i ng ba ck to the p lann ing document , a nd the f irm's p lanner took the opportunity to p resen t the final c ommun i t y p lan . P r e c e d e d by s u c h d i s co rd , the presenta t ion had a sur rea l a n d m e a n i n g l e s s qual ity, a nd sma l l e r d i s c u s s i on s con t i nued about fund ing amids t the p lanner ' s d rone . T h e d raw ings i l lustrated the ent ire $46 mil l ion p lan without identi fying phas i ng a n d t iming. It w a s decep t i ve to those w h o ne i ther had a c c e s s to no r unde rs tood the cap i ta l -p lann ing do cumen t that out l ined cos ts . T h e d raw ings i l lustrated a commun i t y that con ta ined a s choo l , hous ing , band off ice, g a s pump, g rocery store and cultural g rounds , mos t of wh i ch cou ld not be built with the ava i l ab l e do l lars . It i l lustrated a commun i ty that w a s not poss ib l e . T h e p lanner ' s p resenta t ion f o c u s e d on cos t - sav ing re f inements to the se l e c t ed p lan . Des i gn d eve l opmen t f rom the p rev ious p lann ing meet ing amoun t ed to a constr ic t ion of e l emen t s , e ven to mov i ng the lagoon locat ion c l o se r to the commun i t y . R o a d lengths we re genera l l y m in im i zed to r educe cost . T h e se conda r y commun i t y road w a s e l im ina ted . Bu i ld ing dens i ty w a s inc reased . S t anda r d lot s i z e s of 60 to 80 feet by 175 feet we r e plotted for ef f ic iency. Func t i ons we re me r ged to r edu ce road f rontage a n d se rv i c i ng cost . A t t a ched units w e r e a d d e d to the mix of hous ing . T h e f irm's p lanner m a d e an opt imist ic presentat ion a s he s p o k e about "f ine-tuning the plan and pr ior i t iz ing to m a k e th ings work." T h e b and c o m m e n t e d that a s e w a g e l ine break wou l d leak eff luent to the pump locat ion. T h e f irm's representa t ive exp l a i ned that "the intake is 150 me te r s into the lake and 18 i n ches f rom the bottom of the lake. It wou l d have to be a lot of s e w a g e to affect the water supp ly . T h e s e w e r is not in tended to break. W e c a n bui ld in p recau t i ons su ch a s inc reas ing the p ipe d iameter . D o e s it m a k e s e n s e to bu i ld infrastructure that wou l d s t and a round for a long t ime? W e n e e d f e edba c k and a prior it izat ion of e lements . " In short, the band n e e d e d to identify whe r e there w a s w i l l i ngness to adjust s t anda rds to meet the budget. The ch ie f a d d r e s s e d INAC aga in . "Our b a c k s a re up aga ins t a wa l l . W e don't have e n o u g h fund ing. W h y do w e have a commun i t y p lan w h e n w e do not have fund ing? W e shou ld h a v e fund ing in p l ace before w e c a n app rove the p lan . W e wil l not fo l low the p lan a n y w a y b e c a u s e w e have to m a k e full u s e of the fund ing [before the commun i t y is built]. P i e c e s wil l be m i s s i ng . Tha t wil l not c - 3 -Preferred plan development The "development" of Option A was a trimming down of functions. All secondary roads are eliminated including the road to the existing cemetery. The lagoon is too close to the community, according to band members. A band office and maintenance building remain where the main road intersects with a projected road to the "lodge" running north. My sketch after UMA's plan drawing. 154 be fo l lowing the commun i ty p lan. W e will get just p i e ces a l though w e are pay ing for this who l e thing [the planning]." The firm's planner: "This p rocess g ives you a document to get funding. It g ives you a documen t with wh ich to set priorities." Chief Andrew Colomb: "Funding shou ld be in p lace before we start bui lding." Tribal Council engineer (to the Ch ie f with sa r casm): "We have to go through the p rocess . Then w e can go back to INAC and a sk for more money . Y o u can't start a project un less you have the proper f unds? C o m e on!" Capital Services officer: Th is [the plan] g ives you the data you need . Y o u will c o m e to a point whe re you run out of money . Y o u a s the polit ical leader will have to go after funding.. . ." T h e Cap i ta l Se rv i ces off icer sugges ted that the band submit a proposa l for tree cutting and c lear ing to start the project, and the firm cont inued with their presentat ion of the f inal p lan. Eventua l ly the meet ing was ad journed with a prayer. I t e l ephoned the firm eng ineer a few days later and a s k e d why the sugges t ed des ign c h a n g e s to opt ion A were not made . The lift station p l acement and the water treatment facility in relat ion to the s ewe r line were problemat ic . A s e w a g e break wou ld leak eff luent to the pump locat ion. T h e band w a s a lso unhappy with the lagoon p lacement . I a lso a s ked why more opt ions we re not gene ra ted , cons ider ing that one w a s submerged . The eng ineer exp la ined that the des ign r ema ined un changed "because commenta ry w a s min imal and deta i led des ign is to be done at another s tage. Locat ions are not f inal ized." W h e n I sugges ted that these were not detai ls, he a s k e d sarcast i ca l ly "Then where wou ld you put it [the lift stat ion]?" I reminded him that the infrastructure des i gn w a s the firm's job and asked that the refusa l to m a k e the des ign changes be formal ly reco rded . T h e eng ineer re fused, stating that "the Marce l C o l o m b band is my cl ient not y o u . I never knew what your exact role was . " He finally admit ted rece iv ing my contract with the band and ag reed to shift the e lements in quest ion, conc lud ing: "I don't have a prob lem with that" a s though mak ing s o m e con ce s s i on s to me. The p lann ing s e s s i on s were heated negot iat ions. Sel f- interests fueled helter-skelter d i s cu s s i on s and an a tmosphere of confrontat ion that did not subs ide . A c on s en su s of ba s i c goa l s w a s not r eached , but the p rocess sped ahead , its momen tum der ived f rom a number of fac tors . The band wa s anx ious to be on-reserve to re lease program and operat ing dol lars, currently ext rac ted from the capita l a l located to bui ld the new reserve . H e a d m a n J o h n C o l o m b even conver ted an old trapper 's cab in at Hughes Lake to a band office, in efforts to c h a n g e the 155 "official locat ion" of the band . Escor t ing the Ass i s tant Reg iona l Director to v iew the new add ress , however , d id not c hange the depar tment 's pol icy. A lengthy communi ty-p lann ing p r o c e s s w a s a threat to real iz ing the commun i ty that it w a s intended to create, under l in ing the prob lems o f INAC ' s po l i c ies for bands deve lop ing new reserves . T h e eros ion of bui lding capital with the need for operat ing f u n d i n g 1 8 4 d i sab les deve lopment , pun i shes off-reserve bands for being rese rve l ess , and c rea tes p re s su res to estab l ish "automat ic communi t ies . " Ironically, bands most in need of operat ing fund ing, those in the early s t ages of deve lopment , are den ied it b e c au se their deve l opmen t is not mo re a d v a n c e d . Has te a l so c ame f rom some under ly ing assumpt i ons . The chief exp la ined that fund ing r isked be ing "sent back" if not spent. Other First Nat ions we re standing in line, and the poss ib i l i t ies of a gove rnmen t c hange of mind intensif ied the threat. "If there is an emergency with s o m e other First Nat ion it [funding] may be pul led for that, a nd the band will have to wait aga in," he stated. Cap i ta l w a s e lus ive . Consequent ly , immed ia te needs and the fear of jeopard iz ing the project r e du ced the force o f the band ' s cr i t ic isms o f the p ro ce s s a n d en cou r aged qu ick so lu t ions . A n y sugges t i on that the project wou ld be put on hold if the band did not approve a r e commenda t i on t ended to secu re that approva l . The band 's des i re to be on-reserve legi t imized both the consul tant 's and government ' s s p e e d . "The band is in favor of a re locat ion and w e don't want to be the old Indian Agen t and tell t h em what to do. W e have to respect autonomy", c i ted one INAC official a s a de fense for the rapid p r o ce s s . Gove r nmen t whee l s we r e turning, and au tonomy s u ch a s it was , d id not s l ow its cou rse , but ma in ta ined its myop i c direct ion and uncompromis ing speed . 1 8 4 Operating funding includes administration costs to operate a band such as chief and council salaries, travel expenditures, and band office costs. Being on-reserve also provides access to a host of programs and services unavailable to off-reserve First Nations such as postsecondary education support, housing, youth employment strategies, and the Aboriginal Diabetes Initiative to name a few. 156 The consu l tants added more p ressure for speed . The i r interests we re ref lected in the meet ing 's a g e n d a a s attempts were constant ly m a d e to move ahead , to mainta in a tight s chedu l e and to comp le te the document , all whi le keep ing a predatory v iew on the next round of contracts -the a c c e s s road construct ion project. T h e p lann ing method and ou t come w a s des igned and governed by INAC to ensu re c omp l i an ce with the government ' s procedure. In the words of R o n Payne , Pub l i c W o r k s Reg i ona l Director, "If Pub l i c Wo rk s is invo lved they [bands] must fo l low our p r o c e s s . " 1 8 5 If they don't do this they won't get that. A n d INAC ' s role in the p rocess w a s to secu re approva l s . M a n y s ignatures we re requ i red for the project to p roceed . The band approva l w a s neces sa ry to mainta in a ppea r an c e s . T h e var ious s t ages of the p lan p a s s ed a long an a s semb l y l ine of peop le beg inn ing with the eng ineer ing consul tant, who submit ted it to the Tr iba l Counc i l project manager , who submi t ted it to the Pub l i c W o r k s Techn i ca l Se r v i c e s officer, who submitted it to INAC ' s Cap i ta l Se r v i c e s off icer. F i ve to s ix peop l e approved the plan s tages and d i s cuss i ons eme rged around approva l s . W h o s i gned off, w h o didn't, and what wou ld be required to obtain the neces sa ry s ignatures, b e c a m e the st imulant for the next step. P l ann ing w a s not a creat ive p rocess but w a s rather a matter of "going through the mot ions." Its character is t ic l inearity w a s summar i z ed by INAC ' s Cap i ta l Se rv i ces officer: "It's a commi tment f rom the Minister. S ome t imes logic has nothing to do with it, and the reg ion 's hands are t ied. W h e n the Min ister s p e a k s all opt ions are over with. W h e n you are g iven a direct ive f rom the Minster 's off ice, the d i s cuss i on is f in ished. T h e Commun i t y P l an must be done to re lease capi ta l do l lars . O n c e the p lann ing is done , dol lars cou ld beg in to f l ow . " 1 8 6 One m e m b e r of a loca l project m a n a g e m e n t firm agreed: "The process is so bureaucrat i c that the actua l commun i ty p lann ing is not t aken ser ious ly. S o m e bands just fo l low through with the communi ty p lan pha se so that they c a n p ro ceed with their capital projects. T hey just want to get it done so that they c an get their in f ras t ruc ture . " 1 8 7 The mach inat ions of government fo l lowed f rom a direct ive handed down f rom the Min ister . T h e p rocess of sign-offs forged ahead to comple t ion be cause it had been started. 1 8 5 Ron Payne, (Public Works Regional Director for INAC projects in Manitoba) Winnipeg, interview with author, February 2003. 1 8 6 Robert Kimball (INAC's Capital Services Officer), Lynn Lake, Black Sturgeon planning session, July 19, 2000. 1 8 7 Planning consultant, Winnipeg, telephone interview with author, January 22, 2002. 158 The commun i ty des i gn and its operat ions were not a topic of d i s cuss ion . Instead the meet ings f o cu sed on funding, and p lann ing w a s reduced to spend ing . P lann ing w a s a ques t ion of wha t cou ld be bought for how m u c h money . T h e budget a l so def ined the extent of p lann ing a n d ind icated that "community des i gn " wa s complete when dol lars were spent. The p lann ing method co inc i ded with INAC ' s regional budget rather than with the needs of the communi ty . H e n c e the pr imary role of INAC ' s Cap i ta l Se rv i ces off icer in meet ings between a First Nat ion and its consul tant . Ma r c e l Co l omb ' s s ta tus a s one band a m o n g sixty-two cont inual ly re focused the project whi le add ing p ressu re . A department representat ive reminded the band that "there is only thirty-two mil l ion to be d iv ided between 62 bands . The money will have to c o m e from s o m e other First Nat ion." Ano the r exp la ined, "This is more than what other bands have been a l located. S o m e bands have been wai t ing for a s choo l or water and sewer for d e c a d e s . " 1 8 8 Re f e r ences to other First Nat ions awai t ing essent ia l se rv i ces created a context within wh i ch the funding s e e m e d a part icular ly g ood dea l , and the p resence of a wait ing list on wh ich Marce l C o l o m b wou ld a l so soon find itself further encou raged agreement . The dep lorab le condi t ions of Abor ig ina l commun i t i e s wo rked to the government ' s advantage . T h e B lack Sturgeon project cou ld be not iso lated and part icu lar ized, and ins tead w a s cont inual ly repos i t ioned relative to those of other bands . A n d mainta in ing department prac t i ces w a s cruc ia l b e c a u s e every reserve project is a precedent for others. INAC ' s re luctance to grant band operat ing and p rogram dol lars, for examp le , s t emmed from this pos i t ion. A c lear differentiation w a s m a d e be tween capita l funding (which the band rece ived) and operat ing funding (which it did not) e v e n though operat ing do l lars were extracted f rom the capita l fund ing. Th i s differentiat ion is signif icant. Gran t ing operat ing and program dol lars to an off-reserve band wou ld open the funding doors for others. Wha teve r the ou t come at B lack S tu rgeon , s ixty-one other bands were watch ing . The p lann ing group represented many divergent pos i t ions. The department 's des i re to transfer f i sca l responsibi l i ty to the prov ince and to Man i toba Hydro under la id the meet ings , a s d id the f i rm's interest in c ommenc i ng construct ion. The band w a s quest ion ing a n d hesi tant about the logic of the p rocess , yet fearful of jeopard iz ing its opportunity for a new communi ty . The possibi l i ty that the depar tment would c hange its mind hung like a c loud. The Tr iba l Counc i l a dhe r ed to the INAC official, Winnipeg, telephone interview with author, February 22, 2002. 159 s chedu l e and pushed the p rocess forward. A l l s ides encou raged band approva l of the p lan. T h e p ro ce s s revea led a p i e cemea l and reluctant government app roach to the project, wh i ch cou ld not be camou f l aged a s a wel l - intended f iscal strategy, a nd official exp lanat ions imp loded . W h e n a s ked how the government p lanned to bui ld a communi ty f rom the a l located capi ta l , an upper ranking INAC official exp la ined, "18.2 mil l ion w a s not intended to cove r the cos t s of the ent ire communi ty . The project wa s s uppo sed to be one of cost shar ing between Hydro , the P rov ince and ourse lves " (a premise apparent ly unknown to the planning group). Yet , when ques t i oned a s to why the P rov ince cou ld not cover the entire cost of a provinc ia l road, he stated that "the P rov i n ce ha s no obl igat ion to contr ibute b e cau se it d o e s not have a stake in the project. It ga ins nothing f rom building a reserve communi ty . The re are no rules for su ch cost-shar ing." In fact, the f irm w a s instructed to inc lude an est imate for the entire cost of the provinc ia l road. T h e INAC representat ive e xp r e s s ed surpr ise at the Prov ince ' s eventua l 4 0 percent contr ibut ion, stat ing, "I 189 thought they (the Prov ince) we r e quite generous. ' Evident ly, e ven the depar tment wa s uncerta in about this "cost-shar ing p lan" that l ikely emerged in the p ro ce s s of de fend ing a l imited budget rather than in a strategy for bui ld ing a communi ty . The government inst igated a new and genera l i zed concept . The $18.2 mil l ion w a s now referred to a s start-up funding, a term the project t e am gradual ly adopted . It sank in that more capi ta l wou ld be needed . The many subsequen t meet ings be tween the band and INAC predictably c ompr i s ed negot iat ions for more funding to build the bare necess i t i es of a communi ty . A future of begg ing w a s p l anned INAC official, Winnipeg, interview with author, January 2003. 160 "Experts" and Information: The p lann ing group wa s an a s semb l y of experts: eng ineers , p lanners, env i ronmenta l off icers, p rogram p lanners a nd capital p lanners. T h e exper ts hired experts who se reports a l so f o rmed part of the f inal document . The group's pr imary focus and end result wa s the product ion of a 300-page document entit led the Marcel Colomb Community Plan and 5-Year Capital Plan conta in ing charts , graphs, mathemat i ca l ca lcu lat ions and other information, a tangib le record o f data . T h e document ' s contents and format were def ined by INAC ' s T e r m s of Re fe rence sent out to f i rms at the beg inn ing of the project. Throughout the p ro ce s s INAC control led what the group p roduced or omitted. The depar tment def ined what charac te r i zed community planning by its contro l o f the product ion of information and the transformat ion of da ta into a phys i ca l plan for a communi ty . T h e ma in "planning work" a ch i eved by the project t e am w a s roadway and infrastructure eng ineer ing a long with projected construct ion cos t s and twenty-year life cyc le cos t s for three different sett lement options. T h e plan a l so conta ins data pertaining to environment, populat ion stat ist ics and demograph i c s . The rema inder of the hefty document w a s generated by a p rocess of "bulk ing up." Inc luded are two des ign opt ions e l iminated in the s e cond des ign meet ing, a l ong with their deta i led cost b reakdowns and the ana lys i s of all three s c h e m e s u sed to se lect the preferred o p t i o n . 1 9 0 Information that fo rms parts of manua ls , and is not usua l ly pu r chased by cl ients, is a l so inc luded, su ch a s zon ing for future bui ld ings a nd other fill ma te r i a l . 1 9 1 The l anguage of the document is unnecessar i l y prescr ipt ive, provid ing, for examp le , zon ing gu ide l ines without exp lanat ion . S tanda rd lot type deve lopments are enforced, without indicat ing how the gu ide l ines c an be adjusted to fit part icular c i r cumstances . Information in the report is prel iminary, amount ing to a rough est imate of infrastructure and bui ld ing cos ts . C rude cos t es t imates resulted from the lack of test ho les to determine so i l condi t ions. Subsu r f a c e condi t ions were genera l i zed through air photo interpretation and site vis i ts. 1 9 0 Clients are often presented with options, then a process of elimination develops a preferred option. The end product is a refinement of one option. The discarded options and the process whereby the elimination process takes place is not what is being commissioned and so is usually extracted. 1 9 1 The report is also filled with excessive title pages, large diagrams (a wind rose requires a page of its own and a title page), and permits for the consultants, Land Titles information, a fruitless Manitoba Conservation search, a letter stating that Conservation has no information on First Nation Crown lands, a generic description of forestry regions for all of Canada and hydrology calculation diagrams and charts for the access road - a different contract. 161 Bui ld ing cos ts we re est imated from squa re footage cos ts for different construct ion types - e.g. w o o d f rame or concrete block - found in des ign manua l s . The "env i ronmenta l a s s e s smen t " is a genera l site descr ip t ion genera ted f rom a v isua l walk-through inspect ion and an interview with the coord inator and one band member . The plan's many sec t ions conta in few f indings and r e c o m m e n d more invest igat ion. Fo r examp le , the impact of Lynn Lake - only forty k i lometers away - is a s igni f icant cons iderat ion for migrat ing wildl ife on which many band membe r s depend , but Lynn Lake ' s con taminants are not ment ioned . The archaeo log i ca l report rel ies on an interview with an e lde r a n d a s i te visit l imited by h igh wa te r leve ls . It, too, r e c o m m e n d s more invest igat ion. A heavy re l iance is p l a ced on guidel ines and manua l s to create a noncus tom i zed end product. The document ' s speci f ic i ty c a m e from its site descr ipt ion a c comp l i shed through a i r photo interpretat ion, v i sua l inspect ion and interviews. Cus tomiza t i on is der ived through terrain ana lys i s , enab l ing the des i gn to fit micro site condit ions. T h e s e phys i ca l e l ements suggest , by their limits, spec i f i c , e conom i ca l a r rangements for infrastructure. The information band membe r s he lped to generate w a s t rans formed into "data" that were m a p p e d . H e a d m a n J ohn C o l o m b ind icated wildlife patterns on the reserve, wh i ch w a s m a p p e d . He identi f ied high, dry locat ions that were bui ldable, d ra inage patterns, poss ib le lagoon locat ions, and s i tes that shou ld rema in reserves . Th is too w a s mapped . T h e eng ineers e ngaged an archaeo log is t to de termine the p resence of a r chaeo log i ca l s i tes. E lde rs prov ided historical information through storytel l ing and ac ted as gu ides to identify signif icant locat ions, wh ich we re mapped . H e a d m a n J ohn C o l o m b and others prov ided an intimate knowledge of the land der ived from long-term use that lent subs t ance and specif ic ity to the report. Wha t the band he lped to generate, however , it cou ld not read . The i r knowledge of the land w a s t rans formed into obscure and unfamil iar da ta in a l anguage des t ined for depar tmenta l read ings. Port ions rema in indec ipherab le except to mun ic ipa l eng inee rs . Wh i l e s o m e band m e m b e r s read the land with ease , mos t a re i l l iterate. T h e documen t w a s not for their consumpt ion . The p lann ing p rocess favored measurab le , eas i ly retr ievable information su ch a s the phys i ca l propert ies of the site. E v e n des ign pre ferences turned into measu rab l e data in chart-matr ix form. Other types of information rema ined outs ide the p lanning p rocess , particularly the speci f ic i ty of the l ives of the Marce l C o l o m b peop le . S u c h information w a s less measurab le , l ess retr ievable, and mos t importantly, was beyond the s c ope of what INAC commi s s i oned . The band in formed the p lan main ly a s numbers . A n unbr idgeab le gap ex is ted be tween the project t e am and the peop le for 162 w h o m they we r e intended to work, one that cou ld not be ove r come by a lone coord inator t a sked with co l lect ing peop le-spec i f i c data. E v e n the chief s poke of commun i ca t i on and informat ion diff icult ies. "I have to go through the Tr ibal Counc i l and INAC to get to the consultant, a nd the consu l tant has to go through INAC to get to me . W h e n it [the plan] gets back to me it's d i f ferent . " 1 9 2 S u c h w a s the nature of the information ex change between a smal l unorgan i zed band and a large corporate-sty le eng ineer ing firm tasked to des ign a communi ty that su i ted their needs . Chief Andrew Colomb, Lynn Lake, conversation with author, October 2 2000. 163 T h e R e s e r v e P l a n Hughe s Lake w a s a cho ice locat ion for the B l a ck S turgeon R e s e r v e b e cau se of prev ious occupa t i on . S tor ies by band members and Math ias C o l o m b e lders f rom Puka tawagan tell of the con t inuous use of the Hughe s L a k e site s ince the late 1800s. T h e archaeo log is t ' s m