Thesis

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I chose to tackle the on-going and long-term Drinking Water Advisories experienced on Indigenous reserves in Canada as my undergrad thesis focus.

I developed a cold brew brand in collaboration with Birch Bark Coffee Company & Art for Aid 

that connects consumers to Indigenous artists and culture while raising awareness about the 

Water Crisis experienced in Canada and empowering a strategic solution.  

CHECK OUT THE 2 MIN SUMMARY VID  

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Defining the Problem

An in-depth understanding of the problem allowed me to holistically approach a solution with keen consideration of social, cultural and environmental impacts.

Key areas of my research were focused on the root cause, impact felt by people I could speak with, general public awareness and solutions that were already in effect.

PRELIMINARY MINDMAP

I spent 3 months

cold-calling reserves, researching & meeting

with Indigenous people in my community to gain every insight I could.

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This processed allowed me to connect with other people who were passionate about building solutions & drove the collaborative efforts of the thesis.

The Problem:

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The powerful history of colonialism and absent reconciliation has created a disconnect and lack of collaboration between the Government, Canadians, & First Nations, Metis & Inuit communities. 

Designing a Solution

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I collaborated with Birch Bark Coffee Company & Art for Aid to develop a Cold Brew brand. Birch Bark Coffee Company who would supply us with perfectly roasted beans and the packaging art contributed by artist and founder of Art for Aid, a non-profit that brings art supplies to Indigenous communities. 

Learn more about these collaborators at birchbarkcoffeecompany.com & artforaid.ca 

The Label:

The Cold Brew showcases a beautiful watercolour piece by Colleen Gray, founder of Art for Aid. 

Collen describes 'Thunder Bird Rising' as the "Thunderbird that brings the lightning and rains to replenish the blood of our living home. His love for us is greater than the sum of all the drops of the water in the ocean.

So we too must love and honor the water as he does."  

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The Solution:

Design a product in collaboration with Indigenous folks that fund the creation of a tiered program to build long-term water infrastructure on reserves. 

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SEE THE FULL PROJECT DECK HERE

Presented at OCAD University's 103rd Annual GRAD EX

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I learned pretty quickly into my thesis that talking about the mistreatment of Indigenous peoples all over Canada isn't an open topic for conversation with the majority. Hard conversations make people feel uncomfortable.

When we are uncomfortable, we aren't ourselves, we aren't open and we aren't productive. I designed my thesis presentation space to be cosy, bright, inviting and calming to create the best possible host for a heavy topic to have a positive impact. 

 

Over 2 days I sold $500 worth of Birch Bark Coffee Company beans, had countless meaningful conversations and most importantly brought this immensely under-covered topic to the public with positive results. 

THANKS FOR STOPPING BY

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