Skwachàys (pronounced skwatch-eyes) Lodge and Residence at 31 West Pender Street in Vancouverhouses a fair trade gallery, boutique hotel and an urban Aboriginal artist residence.
Owned and operated by the Vancouver Native Housing Society (VNHS), the facility provides 24 shelter rate apartments for Aboriginal people at risk of homelessness, and two social enterprises that support the Society’s mission and financial sustainability.
The top three floors contain 18 boutique hotel units for socially responsible travelers and Aboriginal patients travelling to Vancouver from remote areas to receive medical treatment. The hotel units have recently been transformed with the assistance of a team of artists, designers, and suppliers.
At street level, the Urban Aboriginal Fair Trade Gallery showcases Aboriginal artistic and cultural work. Other distinguishing features of the building include a rooftop sweat lodge and smudge room used for spiritual cleansing, studio/workshop production space, and a commercial kitchen.
“This project represents the type of community impact investing that Vancity wants to support,” says Stewart Anderson, Vancity manager, community investment. “Skwachàys is a significant asset for the community.” (More…)