UBC Graduate Research

Water Walk : A Research-Driven Guide to Clean Water in Indigenous Communities Hock, James


Canada’s Indigenous communities are at a disproportionately higher risk of living with deficiencies in their water systems. Federal government-led programs have failed to address the fundamental, historical issues found in these communities, and year after year have left many Indigenous communities without safe or reliable access to clean drinking water. To achieve sustainable results requires a holistic understanding of these communities, combined with site and community-specific interventions. Architects have the research capabilities and representational tools at their disposal to present a clearer picture of the water crisis. By using these tools to properly understand the issues contributing to the crisis, this thesis posits that architecture has the agency to propose informed, site-specific design strategies that truly work towards the goal of providing Indigenous communities with sustainable access to clean drinking water. From this work emerged three schematic designs, ideas of how in-depth research and architectural representation can inform more appropriate strategies for these communities. Given the need for site-specific design strategies, this thesis proposes a framework of engagement with Indigenous communities to work towards solving this long-standing issue and ensure all Canadians have access to clean drinking water.

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