Reimagining our cities through a Coast Salish lens.

Ginger Gosnell-Myers built her career in architecture, landscape architecture, planning, design and public art. Despite nearly two-decades in spatial design, she didn’t have Indigenous mentors or role models to look up to in the field of urbanism.

Ginger is a member of the Nisga’a and Kwakwaka’wakw Nations. She partnered with fellow Indigenous planning and design professionals, Cory Douglas (Sḵwx̱wú7mesh, Xaayda, Tsm'syen) and Sierra Tasi-Baker (Sḵwx̱wú7mesh, Kwakwa̱ka̱ʼwakw, Łingít + Magyar) to take action.

“We realized our role is to become those mentors and help the next generation of Indigenous people find their place in designing cities in a way that reflects their culture and identity,” Ginger says.

They founded MST Futurism Program for xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw (Squamish Nation) and səl̓ilwətaɁɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) (MST) peoples. Program students graduate with a clear understanding of how cities are planned and designed, and more importantly, how Coast Salish knowledge can be integrated and reflected in every neighbourhood and park throughout the city.

Vancity is proud to be amongst their supporters. Vancity’s Community Partnership Program funds projects in our members’ communities, including Reconciliation initiatives that help advance financial resilience, support economic participation, and strengthen Indigenous-led economies.

Reconnecting and reimagining the landscape.

MST Futurism was created in partnership with the Black and Indigenous Design Collective (BIDC) to empower more Indigenous people to be self-determined in designing on their own territories.

“Our work is a response to the invisibility of Indigenous knowledge in the city,” says Ginger. “It’s also a continuation of our own personal missions to see more representation in leadership and throughout the planning and design world.”

MST Futurism Program connects MST members with experienced First Nation leaders working in the field of urbanism, as well as learn aspects of Coast Salish culture like ethnobotany, architecture and art forms from Knowledge Keepers. The curriculum focuses on everything from public policy and community engagement to environmental stewardship and sustainability.

“There were sacred and spiritual places around our cities that have been paved over and erased. Reconnecting with these places and reimagining them through a Coast Salish lens is incredibly healing and empowering.” – Ginger Gosnell-Myers, Co-Founder of MST Futurism.

Turning a vision into action.

It started in December 2020, when more than one thousand people attended a panel discussion that kickstarted mainstream conversations in reclaiming agency and re-envision Indigenous territories’ built form in its Host Nations values, relations and visions. The discussions held space to uplift and celebrate the voice of Host Nation matriarchs, youth and thought leaders.

Futurism is a concept directly created by Black innovators, which was shared by Krystal Paraboo, Afro-Futurist Historian to honour Afro-Futurism and what it can mean for Black + Indigenous solidarity.

Ginger is proud of the hard work behind making MST Futurism a reality and says they “couldn’t do it without the support of Vancity.”

Meaningful Reconciliation is critical to achieve Vancity's vision of a transformed economy that protects the earth and guarantees equity for all. As a credit union, Vancity develops Indigenous-focused financial solutions designed to create wealth for members and their communities.

Michelle Laviolette, Vancity’s Director of Indigenous Banking Strategy.
"Supporting MST Futurism is another example of how we act on our commitment to Reconciliation. Vancity builds genuine partnerships with and invests in community initiatives that support resilient Indigenous economies," explains Michelle Laviolette, Vancity’s Director of Indigenous Banking Strategy.

“There’s no justice in Indigenous invisibility,” says Ginger. “Vancity’s funding is helping us change that narrative, empower communities and create more inclusive cities that reflect all of us – and that’s really important.”


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