Gathering Space

The Kayachtn Room

Indigenous culture rests on a communal social structure, one that values living in harmony with one another, as well as with the natural world. Kayachtn (pronounced Kay-ach-tin) is the Salishan word for “welcome”.

The Welcome Room is a space where the Skwachàys Lodge community can come together to connect, create memories and share a meal.

To establish this sense of community, the Porada Design team focused the design of the space on the local artist Eric Parnell’s hand-crafted communal totem table. The façade of the table greets guests with the image of the Three Watchmen standing atop the Beaver House.

These three human figures typically top Haida Gwaii totem poles stationed at village entrances to guard the community and offer a safe refuge for passing travellers, much like Skwachàys Lodge does today.

The Beaver House exemplifies a harmonious relationship with the surrounding environment. The Beaver builds a mighty dam, which both safeguards his prosperity and also enhances the ecosystem around it. As such, the Beaver House is the symbol of Vancouver Native Housing Society. The society, which owns Skwachàys Lodge, provides safe, secure, and affordable housing for urban Indigenous peoples, thereby enhancing their quality of living and positively influencing the surrounding community – in the same way, the Beaver House does in nature.

To honour the history of the building, the tables, fireplace surround, and ceiling have all been hand-crafted from Douglas fir planks salvaged from the original 1906 building structure.

The Kayachtn Room is a gathering place for guests to partake in the community atmosphere of Skwachàys Lodge. This unique space can also be reserved on a limited basis for meetings, film shoots and social functions.