Fort McMurray 468 First Nation


Fort McMurray First Nation, Alberta, Canada

TAWAW role

Architectural Design

architect of record

Tawaw Architecture Collective Inc.



Community Building

A multi-purpose space focusing on local Indigenous narrative and culture. The space is intended to house multiple functions to support the community: concerts, dancing, drumming, picnic area, craft market, outdoor workshops (beading, basketmaking, language), weddings, etc.


Identity and Representation

    The design is influenced by the traditional star blanket creating a patterning system with a central fire. Illuminated benches are organized around the fire creating an intimate storytelling area that is nested within a wood structure influenced by the form of a tipi. Integrated into the patterning are planters for medicinal and traditional plants, along with picnic tables that are located on pads with trees that provide shade and wind barriers.


number of community engagements


Language Integration

The pavilion connects the local context of the adjacent buildings and parking area. Across the street is signage designed in the similar form of the wood tipi inspired structure with the nation’s name and Cree syllabics. The project is aimed at being eco-friendly by using recycled materials.


Honorary Fellow

The Royal Architectural Institute of Canada is proud to announce that Wanda Dalla Costa, a prominent Indigenous voice and practitioner in North American architecture, has been awarded honorary fellowship for 2022. Wanda Dalla Costa is a member of the Saddle Lake Cree Nation and was the first First Nation woman to become an architect in Canada. Her firm, Tawaw Architecture Collective, is based in Phoenix, Arizona. She is the director and founder of Arizona State University’s Indigenous Design Collaborative, a community-driven design and construction program that brings together tribal community members, industry and multidisciplinary teams of university students and faculty to co-design and co-develop solutions for tribal communities. Dalla Costa is a prominent Indigenous female voice within the architectural profession–specifically within the academic sphere in North America.

YBCA's 100 Honorees: Wanda Dalla Costa

Indigenous Design Collaborative's founder and design director Wanda Dalla Costa was recognized as YBCA 100 list of change makers and cultural activists working at the intersection of art, social change and civic life.

Trailblazer Award: Wanda Dalla Costa

Presented this year as part of NZ20, the world's largest net zero conference and expo, the Trailblazer Awards celebrate leaders who are building a net zero future through their work in the carbon, energy, water, waste, transit and/or policy sectors.

St. Lawrence Center Competition Award 2023


Jeff Harnar Award
Unbuilt Architecture 2021