Skwachàys Lodge

Community Building through the Transformative Power of Art

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Authentic Indigenous recognizes Skwachàys Lodge Aboriginal Hotel and Gallery for its sustainable approach to Indigenous housing, culture, and community building through the transformative power of art and public education.

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Skwachàys Lodge

The first Indigenous boutique art hotel in Canada was opened by Vancouver Native Housing Society (VNHS) in June 2012.  The socially responsible accommodation and gallery showcase Indigenous art and culture. The business sustains a supportive housing program with studio space for Indigenous artists.  The hotel and gallery create a space for learning and relationship building between Indigenous and non-Indigenous cultures through art and hospitality.

CULTURE 

Skwachàys contributes directly to thriving Indigenous cultures by creating sustainable and affordable housing for Indigenous artists.

The suites pay tribute to diverse Indigenous cultures and the natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest Coast.  Twenty-four unique rooms feature original artwork, furniture, and accessories created in collaboration by Indigenous artists and local designers.

The rooftop Smudge Room and Longhouse Patio support cultural practice and create a space for Indigenous artists and staff to share ceremony and culture with hotel guests. Cultural experiences are offered weekly by the Indigenous artists in residence, including beading, drum making, rattle making, carving, spoken word, and discussion.

COMMUNITY 

The artists-in-residence opportunity at Skwachàys Lodge is a unique and life-changing housing program for practicing Indigenous artists. One hundred percent of profits from this social enterprise is used to fund the 24-unit Indigenous artist-in-residence program.

The program includes subsidized housing in unfurnished bachelor suites and access to a shared workshop where Indigenous artists convene, build community, and share ideas. The opportunity also provides programming for personal and professional development to help artists develop their craft and advance their careers.

The shared space and social responsibility between Indigenous artists and hotel guests create conversations and relationships that support thriving Indigenous art, culture, and community.

 

SUSTAINABILITY 

Skwachàys Lodge is a new, sustainable model for supportive housing, owned and operated by VNHS, a registered charitable organization. Skwachàys is committed to sourcing environmentally friendly products for the business, as well as supplies from Indigenous-owned companies.

Purchase of authentic Indigenous art at the Fair Trade Gallery ensures Indigenous artists receive fair payment; close relationships with artists celebrate and honour their connections to diverse Indigenous cultures and communities. The profits from the hotel and gallery fund the residency.

The success of Skwachàys  Lodge Aboriginal Hotel and Gallery allows Vancouver Native Housing society to meet its original and ongoing mandate: to provide affordable housing for Indigenous people.

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