Swan River First Nation –
Cultural Centre


The Swan River First Nation is a Woodland Cree community located on the south-central shore of Lesser Slave Lake in Alberta. This Nation has an on-reserve population of approximately 400 people, with an additional 1000 members living off-reserve. Critical to the community’s future and well-being, the center is intended to focus on cultural teachings, and will include a central gathering space for community members that will support arts, heritage, cultural creation and celebration. The proposed new cultural building will offer a permanent place for youth, Elders, artisans, and Nation members to engage, gather, create, and showcase their art, culture, and ceremony. As a means to address reconciliation and healing, the Swan River First Nation aims to create a hub for community members and non-Nation members to experience the Woodland Cree history and culture; a space to share their traditional ceremony and art. The center will host cultural activities inside and outside, including Tipi making, beading, moccasin making, traditional dance, regalia making, drumming, singing, dry meat making, and much more. 

The program includes cultural exhibits, a restaurant, a gift shop, teaching rooms, elders tea, healing/ language rooms, commercial space and outdoor activity areas. The cultural design associations for the center are the circle, the turtle, sun paths (solstice, equinox, four directions) and the Woodland Cree tipi. The central courtyard is reserved for activities, including a protective play area for children and a central meeting space for the community.



Stage of Completion

Feasibility Study (OCT 2020-2021)


Swan River First Nation, Alberta, Canada


26, 431 sq.ft. 2,455 m2


Swan River First Nation

Design Leads

Wanda Dalla Costa Architect

Design Team

Tierra Miller, Architectural Designer
Kyron Hardy, Architectural Designer
Peng Peng, Architectural Designer

Click To See Full Size