Beyond the Classroom - Shoal Lake Cree Nation

Shoal Lake First Nation


The intent of the Outdoor Classroom was to bring the community together to share ideas and learn from each other in an ongoing way. Youth and elders came together to determine the program, form and placement of the classroom. Together they also established that the classroom could also be a gathering space, a performance space and a place to celebrate. The result was a building design inspired by the local landscape, customs, traditions and technology.

The community was able to overcome the lack of local financial resources by using local knowledge, skills, tools, volunteers and developing new partnerships with a nearby lumber yard, the Tribal Council and the Faculty of Architecture and Planning at Dalhousie.The project provided many opportunities for learning and developing local capacity and practical skills (like how to bend wood, or the mathematical marvel of constructing an ellipse, or what a floating foundation means in an area that may flood, or just the magic of making something happen with what you have- by working together.

.img-cover { object-fit: cover; }