In 2017, a landmark agreement between Anishinabek First Nations in Ontario and the Government of Canada was passed recognizing the right of the First Nations to govern education on-reserve. The agreement – the largest of its kind in Canada – laid the foundation for the development of the Anishinabek Education System, and subsequently, a new school board named the Kinoomaadziwin Education Body, responsible for administering the new education system and it’s culturally-relevant, community-based education programs to 23 First Nations.
Hoping to become the home for the new school board, Nipissing First Nation engaged Mitchell Jensen Architects to assist in developing a proposal to construct a new purpose-built facility for the Kinoomaadziwin Education Body and were ultimately successful in this pursuit.
The new facility, designed around the specific needs of the KEB, features extensive use of heavy-timber construction, wood, and natural stone cladding, and includes a unique eagle feather motif at the entrance canopy and reception desk, drawing inspiration from the KEB logo and First Nation culture.
In addition to providing a home for the KEB headquarters, the building also houses five Indigenous business incubator suites totalling approximately 5,000 square feet, providing much-needed commercial space on Nipissing First Nation that benefits from the high-profile frontage along Highway 17 between North Bay and Sturgeon Falls. Mitchell Jensen Architects is currently assisting the future tenants of these incubators with the design of custom interiors to suit their needs.