Solidarity with Attawapiskat
January 26, 2012
OPSEU is proud to be a part of Design Points North, a new
organization made up of a diverse group of individuals, representing business,
labour and the Chiefs of Ontario. It is a multi-faceted attempt to improve
conditions in Attawapiskat through sustainable and community-oriented projects
and initiatives. Attawapiskat Chief Theresa Spence has welcomed the Design
Points North initiative into the community.
The northern First Nations community of Attawapiskat currently faces a housing
and funding crisis. These issues are exacerbated by remoteness, which creates
challenges for rapid relief and for constructing suitable housing that can
withstand sub-arctic temperatures and conditions.
Tim Gilbert, Chair of the Design Exchange and principal partner of Gilbert’s
LLP, says: “The plan is to begin by demonstrating the feasibility and
desirability of custom solutions. We want to design and build these solutions by
working with the people of Attawapiskat, with the ultimate goal of developing
sustainable northern industries owned and operated by the First Nations”
Among the members of the Design Points North is architect Andy Thomson, who will
lead an exploratory workshop and demonstration in design solutions for northern
communities in Attawapiskat in February.
Warren (Smokey) Thomas, OPSEU President, says Canadians must come together and
support our First Nations. “We are looking to be part of a solution,” says
Thomas. “It is up to the community to decide what is right for them.”
The group will be providing Attawapiskat with a new community art centre, a
Mongolian Yurt, which will contain children’s activities, art supplies and
The Design Points North is sponsored by the Chiefs of Ontario, the Design
Exchange, architect Andy Thomson, Groovy Yurts, OPSEU, Gilbert’s LLP, The
Harbord Room, Jam3, Linda Lundström Wörks and Bay Dermatology Centre.
For further information contact:
Tim Gilbert, Gilbert’s LLP 416-703-1100 or cell 416-727-5041
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