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Image: view from across the street from Skwatchays Lodge

How a Vancouver Hotel Is Supporting First Nations Artists

Can you get more from a hotel stay than a good night’s rest? When every room is filled with unique art and the price of your stay helps support a whole community, you bet you can! Now, here’s a window into our possible futures: when finding a “win” for everyone at every angle is just how we do business! At Skwachàys Lodge, they’ve found a genius way that not only celebrates the cultures who once lived there, but supports those to come.

Unlike the hotels you’re probably used to, every room at Skwachàys Lodge tells a different tale. Each room is assigned to and designed by a different Indigenous artist in the area. Every time someone rests their head at the Skwachàys for the night, another artist finds support in their artist-in-residence program, continuing the cycle of giving back.

Image: view from across the street from Skwachàys Lodge
Courtesy of Skwachàys Lodge

A Way of Business That Redefines Success!

Before the colonists sailed to North America in 1607—before the ideology that led them here was even formed—there were thriving cultures of First Nations that called this land home. Now, hundreds of years after the colonization of the Americas, Skwachàys Lodge is helping us all discover ways to give back to those people and celebrate the cultures that once prospered here.

A Place That Gives Us That Opportunity

Located in Vancouver in British Columbia, Canada, Skwachàys Lodge provides an opportunity not only for people to immerse themselves in Indigenous culture but to wholeheartedly support Aboriginal creators with both an art gallery and an artist-in-residence program.

They’ve mastered the concept of social enterprise, a revolutionary business model that puts as much into a community or social issue as it does into revenue. 1 The Lodge uses their business to uplift the Indigenous community of Vancouver, embracing their heritage and providing Native artists with a host of amazing opportunities!

David Eddy, the CEO of the Vancouver Native Housing Society and Skwachàys Lodge did a beautiful interview with True Calling detailing the Lodge, its programs, and the opportunities they create for the city, for business, and for the future.

Via: True Calling 2

True Calling is a fantastic place to get lost if you’re looking for a diverse range of inspiring success stories. It’s hard to leave one of their films without feeling encouraged to follow your dreams! Check out their YouTube library to see what you discover.

What a stunning, elevating place to stay!

An Indigenous artist played an essential role in the design of each of the Lodge’s breathtaking rooms! You can see some of them over on the Skwachàys Lodge website. But if you’re headed to Vancouver and want to see the rooms and support the Lodge yourself, you can book your stay, here. It’s clear that truly remarkable work goes into making such a wonderful place to stay the night. It’s incredible what businesses can achieve when they put real people before money.

A Model of “Humanity First”

A portion of the Lodge’s revenue is used to subsidize an artist-in-residence program! The program gives Indigenous artists space to live and work, all the while providing them with access to programs to aid them in their growth as people and professionals. Skwachàys Lodge’s gallery also allows guests to purchase art made by residents and local Indigenous artists.

Skwachàys Lodge is a perfect example of how putting humanity first is changing our times! Organizations around the world are waking up to the needs of the environment and people on a global scale. Contributing to a more positive, inclusive, and equal world initiative is slowly (and deservedly) becoming mainstream!

If you’re curious to see how other businesses are taking this under their wing, check out these articles next!

Alaffia: Proof that Traditions are a Global Resource We Can All Enjoy!

Does economic prosperity always have to come at the cost of tradition? Or can tradition help us create an even better business model? Let us introduce you to Alaffia, a company that has found a way to harness centuries of knowledge to empower a new generation of skilled craftswomen.

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From Fish to Fashion: When A Fishing Net Becomes A Hat!

What if we looked at the life cycle of every item we purchased and thought “Where did this come from? What will happen when I’m done with it?” This company has figured out how to solve a problem for a community of fishermen and save wildlife by giving some of the ocean’s most harmful pollution a new, more fashionable, life.

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Is Tradition the Secret Ingredient to Great Food?

If you want to have a really, really good tortilla, you’re going to need the best corn. Masienda is a company not only supporting Mexico’s small heirloom corn farmers but bringing the practices that enhance the nutritional powers of the grain back into the market.

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Putting the Future of Food in New Hands: Training Farmworkers to Become Farm Owners

Creating a new life for ourselves is always possible, and nonprofit ALBA is making that possible for countless people. They’re giving immigrant farmworkers the tools and the knowledge to improve their lives by helping them have organic farms of their own!

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What can your business contribute to your community? Consider the impact even small-scale efforts could have in bringing real change to a cause of your choice! Even small changes can ripple into great waves. I challenge you to see what you can offer to your community!

Explore new horizons, and stay healthy!

  • Owen

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Notes:

  1. “Social Impact – Skwachays.Com.” Skwachays.Com, 19 Dec. 2018, skwachays.com/social_impact/. Accessed 1 Sept. 2020.
  2. True Calling. “Skwachàys Lodge: Tourism Supporting Indigenous Artists.” YouTube, 21 Aug. 2019, www.youtube.com/watch?v=nyHl_SLJ8S8. Accessed 1 Sept. 2020.
Published: September 11, 2020

Image: Owen Biniecki

Intern

Owen has been an intern with the Goodness Exchange team since 2019. He is currently attending college at the University of Vermont and is due to graduate in the Class of 2025.

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