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Proposed American Indian Center


AUGUST 2014: A Native American architect who has been instrumental in the advancement of an American Indian center at UW is one of ten recipients of the National Humanities Medal, awarded by President Obama in July.

Johnpaul Jones is a founding partner of Jones & Jones, an architectural firm in Seattle.  In 2012, Jones, whose tribal affiliations are Cherokee and Choctaw, worked with the American Indian Studies Program to develop a project profile for an American Indian center at UW. The proposed American Indian center is currently under consideration by the UW administration.

Jones visited Wyoming twice during the spring 2012 semester, meeting with project stakeholders at UW and on the Wind River Indian Reservation to gather information in order to develop a plan for the center. The resulting plan is tailored to meet the specific needs of Native communities and the surrounding environment, is sustainable, and incorporates elements such as welcoming and gathering places, a teaching area, and indoor and outdoor cooking spaces.

A press release from the National Endowment for the Humanities emphasizes Jones’ bonds with the natural world and indigenous traditions in architecture. It said Jones “has fostered awareness through design and created spaces worthy of the cultures they reflect, the communities they serve, and the environments they inhabit.”

A pdf of the completed project profile is available here.

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