Premiering for National Indigenous Peoples Day, Monday, June 21, 2021 at 9:00 pm ET, TVO Original From Earth To Sky offers a unique and inspiring story of a proud, accomplished collective of Indigenous architects, driving a movement as climate change threatens the planet. They are world leaders in aesthetics, form, sustainability and ultimately, in protecting mother earth. Their stories have never been more important, and this film articulates the power of Indigenous architecture and its relevance in today’s world.
Audiences are invited to follow these seven diverse North American artists as they bring to life the vitality of Indigenous architecture, from design to construction: Tammy Eagle Bull the first woman architect in the United States (Oglala Lakota Nation, South Dakota), Wanda Dalla Costa (Saddle Lake First Nation, Alberta), Alfred Waugh (Chipewyan of the Fond Du Lac Band, Denesuline Nation, Saskatchewan), Brian Porter (Oneida Nation, Six Nations of the Grand River, Ontario), Daniel Glenn (Crow Tribe), Patrick Stewart (Killerwhale House of Daaxan, Nisga Nation, British Columbia), and Douglas Cardinal the first Indigenous architect in North America (Siksika, Blackfoot, Calgary).
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“Indigenous architects have been creating important buildings that affirm a sense of belonging and connection to the land,” said John Ferri, VP of Programming and Content at TVO. "Viewers of this powerful TVO Original documentary will be inspired by the vision and personal stories of each of these extraordinary creators."
Each architect defines his/her individuality through artistry, and yet they bond in their philosophy of how to protect the planet. Diverse in gender, age and artistic approach, they find common ground in their Indigenous identity. Having lived harrowing experiences of dysfunction, poverty, violence and assimilation, they all overcame adversity to become the top in their field.
“Meeting iconic architect Douglas Cardinal in the fall of 2017, along with 18 other Indigenous architects from Turtle Island who collaborated on an installation for the Venice Biennale, was an inspiring experience,” said director Ron Chapman. “Diverse and unique, the conversations I had with these talented architects sparked the fire for a film to document their illustrious contributions. And it has been an honour to observe, listen and lens seven of these extraordinary professionals and feature their experiences in From Earth to Sky. The celebrated landmark buildings they have created for their community, as well as national and international audiences, are a testament to their commitment to embrace mother earth.”
While an international movement ignited when they visited New Zealand to collaborate with Maori and Indigenous architects and designers from around the world, the film culminates as they travel to the Venice Biennale of Architecture to present, for the first time, Indigenous Architecture from North America in a spectacular installation. It is an event of unprecedented importance to be honoured on the world stage of architecture. Together these Indigenous architects are changing the world, influencing humanity to consider the built environment as having an impact on our planet, and guiding us to the possibility of a sustainable future.