Storytelling is a staple in the indigenous world. UNCEDED: voices of the land expresses the beauty and the creativity in building and natural space embraced by Indigenous architects to inspire a new world view. This vision tells the story of peaceful healing...and, finally, to the strength of Indigenous cultures. Our world is better for their vision.

After successful runs in Venice and Ottawa, internationally renowned architect Douglas Cardinal and a team of 18 Indigenous architects from around the World will bring the Unceded: voices of the land exhibition to Edmonton.

Bringing UNCEDED to Edmonton will enable visitors to learn of the methodologies and worldview of contemporary Indigenous peoples that enable a more holistic approach to sustainability. First Nations communities benefit by the empowerment they may feel from witnessing the relevance of their traditions and worldview in today’s most pressing global concerns. This includes areas such as climate change, financial security, connected communities, and healthy living environments.

The UNCEDED immersive audio-visual experience showcases the innovative and entrepreneurial methods, tools, and worldview that allow these incredible architects to shape our built environment in ways that foster loving and caring for the Earth and all the people. UNCEDED is the very first time that the world is seeing the combination of Indigenous teachings, cutting-edge technology, and the paradigm-shifting self-sufficient architecture of contemporary Indigenous people.

UNCEDED: voices of the land is a storytelling experience that will become the gathering place from which they can explore and experience the indigenous culture in Edmonton, Canada and Turtle Island.

UNCEDED brings together the past, present, and future of Indigenous experience as seen through the eyes and minds of Indigenous architects on Turtle Island (North America). An immersive audio-visual experience that uses screens as surfaces for telling the indigenous story through four thematic metaphors:

Amiskwaciy Waskahikan (Beaver Hills House), also known as Edmonton, is home to many breathtaking Indigenous landmarks and spaces. This was the first-place Indigenous people visited and settled after a North-South ice-free corridor opened in the Canadian ice sheet revealing the great plains at the head of Turtle Island and continues to be a gathering and waiting place ever since. Edmonton has been a great gathering place for over 10,000 years and the spirit of gathering to trade, do ceremony, and celebrate continues to be at the spiritual core and nature of what the City of Edmonton is and has become.

While in Edmonton UNCEDED will be hosted at the Pendennis Building, a redevelopment of the 1911-built Edwardian Pendennis Hotel, located at 9660 Jasper Avenue. The interior layout is unique, having been designed to house a museum with a central open atrium, while retaining a great deal of the original brick walls. This will allow the exhibition to be surrounded by local ceremony, dance, art, fashion, lectures, workshops, and indigenous culinary delights.

Located on the east-end of Jasper Avenue in Edmonton's vibrant downtown, the Pendennis Building is surrounded by restaurants, bars, bakeries, coffee shops and more. This desirable riverside location offers excellent access to the Edmonton Transit System (ETS) and nearby LRT (commuter-train) stations, you'll fall in love with this central location.

We are people on a spiritual journey to the stars. Our quest … is to look within, to know who we are, to see that we are connected to all things, and that there is no separation, only in the mind.

Black Elk, Lakota holy man

There is a duty to listen to the voices of those who lived on this land for thousands of years.

Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada


Welcome Douglas J. Cardinal renowned architect, philosopher, human rights activist, Officer of the Order of Canada, and World Master of Contemporary Architecture and his team of 18 Indigenous architects to Edmonton. Be part of this remarkable moment in Canada’s history, as a key supporter of UNCEDED: voices of the land.

When the doors of UNCEDED open in Edmonton on 20 March 2022, the approximately 4500 sq. ft. immersive audio-visual experience. will carry with it a stream of ceremony, dance, lectures, and workshops enlivening our city with fresh inspiration toward a fairer, more inclusive, and more innovative society.

UNCEDED: voices of the land is the first Indigenous-led contemporary architecture exhibit ever presented on the world-stage. Created for the 2018 Venice Architecture Biennale by famed Indigenous architect, Douglas Cardinal, the exhibit gives voice to 18 indigenous architects while using the most cutting-edge technologies to create a one-of-a-kind life-size immersive experience that will leave an impactful legacy.

Douglas Cardinal

Douglas Cardinal’s architecture springs from his observation of nature. Architect and visionary, Cardinal has received 21 honourary doctorates (including the U of A), gold medals in architecture in Canada and Russia, and a UNESCO award for best sustainable village. He was titled an Officer of the order of Canada and World Master of Contemporary Architecture by the International Association of Architects.

Selected local projects

Selected National and International Projects

Message from Douglas Cardinal

I have spent a great deal of time, since returning from Venice, consulting with members of my profession, my elders, my community, and the clients in communities that I am serving. I see UNCEDED as a great opportunity for the nations of the world to see the tremendous contribution our indigenous people can make to the world family.

It is the indigenous architects and planners, with their roots in the natural rhythms of the lands and waters, their symbiotic relationship with nature, combined with their knowledge and wisdom of all the latest technology and tools available, that will allow them to make a great contribution to mankind in the future by sharing this knowledge in order to take a more responsible role in living in harmony with our host, this amazing blue planet, the Earth, for all life should be held sacred and protected.

I see the exhibition as providing an insight to the international community of how we evolved on our land for thousands of years, based on our symbiotic relationship with the land itself, following our basic principles. The seven basic teachings of the Anishinaabe people are Love, Respect, Courage, Honesty, Wisdom, Humility, and Truth.

Our language, culture, and ceremonies are all considered by the people to be based on natural law, in communion with creation. Our mothers on this earth were deeply connected to Mother Earth and the cycles of the moon and the sun. They devoted their lives to teaching the children, the next generations, that the soft power of love is greater than the hard power of force. In doing so, the men were brought up with a reverence for the women, and a reverence and connection for all life around them. Given the circumstances of today, these teachings are even more relevant to the future of our people and the future of humanity in general.

The tremendous hardship and destruction of our land, resources, language, culture, families, communities, and nations, and how we have survived through our strength and resiliency, are great teachings that reinforce our own basic beliefs, and make us even more determined to govern ourselves and our resources in a good way, following the teachings of our ancestors.

Indigenous people have never surrendered themselves, their children, their future, their language, their culture, nor their land. They remain UNCEDED people on UNCEDED land, offering to share their teachings with their brothers and sisters of all nations.

It is here in Edmonton that we can create an image of our indigenous people as a Phoenix rising from the ashes, as the eagle soaring into the future. We can present our work to show how our architecture is a reflection of the spiritual values of our culture, which we can share with the human family. The planning of our communities is sustainable, respecting our mother, the Earth, so that we can continue our role as stewards of the land and set a good example in the interest of our future seven generations.

Douglas Cardinal