The Indigenous Perspectives Society officially unveiled its freshly renovated headquarters in Langford Saturday, which came about thanks to a partnership with Victoria-based non-profit HeroWork.
What was once a dreary looking die casting business-turned office and training space is now a modern, thoughtfully decorated and designed facility tailor-made to support the society’s mission, and celebrate Indigenous culture and history.
“It’s exceeded my expectations and it is an important part of how it is we do our work,” said IPS executive director Rachelle Dallaire. “We feel very honoured. When I look at this building, this is more reflective of who we are as Indigenous peoples. Not only that, it is significantly upgraded as well. All of the things we just lived with as Indigenous organizations and people when we should have proper ventilation and soundproofing so that we can have a great learning environment.”
IPS – a non-profit that provides training, professional development and consultation services to non-Indigenous groups working with Indigenous communities – will now be able to host larger or even multiple groups in their own space rather than having to rent out off-site spaces, as well as incorporating important elements such as smudging ceremonies thanks to a specially designed ventilation system.
The renovations include newly arranged office space designed to enhance the working environment, modernized and fully accessible washrooms, a much larger main training space as well as several smaller meeting rooms which can also be used for training, and a dedicated medicine room. Throughout the building, raw cedar wood accents and Indigenous artwork adorn the walls and ceilings.
“The cedar reminds me of having my feet on the ground, it reminds me of the land, which is an important part of our medicine, and we have it incorporated all over our walls.”
Dallaire added her organization would never have been able to do such a renovation without the support of HeroWork. Trevor Botkin, executive director for HeroWork Victoria, said the entire project was valued at more than $625,000, with more than half of it being paid for by HeroWork and their fundraising partners.
“These projects are just unachievable for most of the charities we work with without our intervention and support,” said Botkin. “Our designers sat down with the IPS team and really worked to design a space that is culturally significant to them and reflected the work they do here. I think it’s mission accomplished.”
Renovation work began in October 2021, but discussions around the two non-profits partnering together started two years ago. Botkin said HeroWork was thrilled to get involved as they had been hoping to find an Indigenous partner for a project for some time and for their first partner based on the West Shore.