Launched in 2019, the Government of Canada’s Indigenous Homes Innovation Initiative aimed to support Indigenous-led housing ideas. One of the 24 projects selected for support was Michif Manor, a place for Métis families from outside of Winnipeg to stay while they or a family member seeks medical treatment in the city.
The design for Michif Manor is being led by Métis architect Rachelle Lemieux and Inuk designer Nicole Luke, who work with Verne Reimer Architecture. For both, intergenerational ideas of community caring and sharing were key to the design. A central atrium creates a visual connection to the sky and natural elements outside, welcoming sunlight during Winnipeg’s long winter and forming the warm heart of the building. “We try to think of what a grandmother’s house feels like, because this is a home away from home,” says Lemieux.