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TD Future Cities Speaker Series explores Indigenizing Cities with architect Douglas Cardinal

(TORONTO, ON – June 12, 2019) – In the age of Truth and Reconciliation, cities need to play a leading role in ensuring that Indigenous residents are part of the visioning process for the future of our cities. As part of the TD Future Cities Speaker Series, supported by TD Bank Group through its corporate citizenship platform, The Ready Commitment, Douglas Cardinal, award-winning architect and Officer of the Order of Canada, explores how we can improve our cities to be places of community, inclusivity and regeneration. The free public talk - Indigenizing Cities: Honouring the Truth and Reconciling for a Collaborative Future – takes place on Wednesday, June 26, 2019 at 6:00 p.m. at the TD Future Cities Centre, the site of the recently redeveloped kiln building at Evergreen Brick Works in Toronto.

Cities should spark feelings of belonging and create connection. But this is not always the case. As they exist now, many cities tend to treat people like consumers, often at the cost of destroying the natural environment and exploiting their inhabitants. In Indigenizing our Cities, Douglas Cardinal will speak to how we can plan our urban areas to bring people together, transforming them into places where all feel welcome and can truly belong. Douglas Cardinal’s award-winning architecture and design process draws on Indigenous philosophies of creation, respect for all living things, and maintaining balance and harmony with our environment. He believes that in order for future generations to thrive, we must plan for the future of all living beings that share the land with us.

After his keynote, Douglas Cardinal will be joined by Lindsay (Swooping Hawk) Kretschmer, Executive Director of Toronto Aboriginal Social Services Association and a recipient of the YWCA Young Woman of Distinction Awards, and Riley Yesno, writer, advocate and storyteller for conversation and reflection, tackling questions such as: What does it mean to Indigenize Canadian cities? What can be done to ensure that the Indigenous experience is part of future city planning to enhance the strength, diversity and inclusivity of cities? What is the role of architects to include an Indigenous presence in the development of cities?

This is the third presentation as part of the TD Future Cities Speaker Series. The public talks share ideas from some of the world’s leading minds in urban systems, from housing to technology to mobility. The series brings together innovators and city builders from across sectors to reimagine urban futures that are equitable, regenerative and prosperous for all.

For more information and to register for a free ticket, go to: https://futurecitiescanada.ca/events/tdspeakerseries/

About the speakers

Douglas Cardinal is an award-winning architect and Officer of the Order of Canada, whose work has become a forerunner of philosophies of sustainability, green buildings, and ecologically-designed community planning. Among his notable projects are the Museum of History in Ottawa and a remarkable list of cultural, health and educational centres across Canada. Last year, Cardinal and a team of Indigenous architects were selected by the Canada Council for the Arts to represent Canada at the 2018 Venice Architecture Biennale. His most recent project UNCEDED: Voices of the Land currently a feature exhibition at the Museum of History is a celebration of Indigenous architecture that speaks to and from landscapes of resilience, overcoming unforgiving limitations and serving as a register of hope and pride for Indigenous designers across Turtle Island.

Lindsay (Swooping Hawk) Kretschmer is the Executive Director of Toronto Aboriginal Social Services Association and a recipient of the YWCA Young Woman of Distinction Awards. Her family comes from Six Nations of the Grand River Territory. Lindsay has worked in the non-profit sector for nearly 20 years and she started her community service work as a volunteer at Council Fire Native Cultural Centre as a teenager 19 years ago. Her areas of expertise include Indigenous social justice issues and wellbeing, provincial and federal negotiations, program and training development, research and evaluation, policy and advocacy and capacity and partnership building.

Lindsay is passionate about Indigenous community wellbeing and she has a strong commitment to developing sustainable and measurable solutions for social change and lasting impact. Lindsay holds a Women’s Studies certificate from York University, an Advanced Diploma in Advertising, an Executive-Level Conflict Management and ADR certificate from University of Windsor Law School, and a Diversity Leadership certificate from the Schulich School of Business at York University.

Riley Yesno is a writer, advocate and storyteller. She is an Anishinaabe woman from Eabametoong First Nation who grew up in Thunder Bay, ON and is currently attending the University of Toronto studying Indigenous Studies and Political Science. She has worked with Indigenous leaders across the country on a First Nation’s Self-Determination advisory board, and has spent the past two summers working with Nishnawbe Aski Nation under their executive council. Riley also works closely with grassroots organizations such as Neechee Studios in Thunder Bay, offering free art programming to Indigenous youth. 

Riley has participated in over 100 panels, workshops, and conferences; including a young women’s panel at the UN Conference on Climate Change’s 24th Conference of the Parties in Katowice, Poland, the Institute on Governance’s Nation-to-Nation Dialogue Series, and the Rotary Club’s International Conference. She has given a keynote address in Stockholm, Sweden, at the World Forum on Gender Equality, and has delivered a TEDx talk on Canadian identity. Riley is a part-time writer and has contributed to major Canadian media outlets including Maclean’s and the Toronto Star, where she primarily covers youth, and Indigenous issues.

Past speakers:

The TD Future Cities Speaker Series was launched in November 2018 with Alicia Glen, former Deputy Mayor for Housing and Economic Development, New York City, who spoke on Mega Trends for Mega Cities) (Watch the video). In May 2019, Anthony Townsend, author of Smart Cities: Big Data, Civic Hackers and the Quest for a New Utoopia, explored the Future of Mobility (Watch the video). 

For the latest information on this series, sign up to the Future Cities Canada newsletter and follow @FutureCitiesCA.

About the TD Future Cities Centre

The site of the recently redeveloped historic kiln building, the revived space at Evergreen Brick Works in Toronto has been transformed into a dynamic year-round innovation and training centre where urban thought leaders and resident city builders from across sectors can gather to co-create, test and prototype solutions for building inclusive low carbon cities.

For media information, please contact: 

Renee Tratch | Sr. Manager, Public Relations| Evergreen | 416-596-1495 X 273 

Evergreen Brick Works, 550 Bayview Avenue, Suite 300, Toronto, Ontario, M4W 3X8

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Future Cities Canada is a national cross-sector initiative with the mission to accelerate innovation to transform cities for the benefit of all. Drawing on the expertise of its founding organizations - The McConnell Foundation, TD Bank Group, Evergreen, Maison de l’innovation sociale and Community Foundations of Canada - and together with a diverse and growing network of partners, Future Cities Canada collectively strives to address the challenges facing cities and city-dwellers to reimagine cities that are equitable, regenerative and prosperous. www.futurecitiescanada.ca

Evergreen is dedicated to making cities flourish. Since 1991, the national not-for-profit has been hard at work transforming spaces into great places so that communities can thrive. We believe that by connecting people, natural and built worlds, we can enable Canadians to do great things that will shape our cities for the better. www.evergreen.ca

About TD Global Corporate Citizenship 

TD has a long-standing commitment to enriching the lives of its customers, colleagues and communities. As part of its corporate citizenship platform, The Ready Commitment, TD is targeting CDN $1 billion (US $775 million) in total by 2030 towards community giving in four areas critical to opening doors for a more inclusive and sustainable tomorrow – Financial Security, Vibrant Planet, Connected Communities and Better Health. Through The Ready Commitment, TD aspires to link its business, philanthropy and human capital to help people feel more confident - not just about their finances, but also in their ability to achieve their personal goals in a changing world. For further information, visit td.com/thereadycommitment.


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