Sky Spirit Studio + Consulting is a Coast Salish family-operated consulting company that focuses on Indigenous design, community engagement and research methodologies located in Skwxwú7mesh Úxwumixw territory. Sky Spirit Consulting works both locally and internationally advising on reconciliatory pathways forward. We use solutions-based thoughtful practice and design thinking rooted in Indigenous Ways of Knowing.
Sky Spirit Studio + Consulting
Sky Spirit Studio + Consulting is committed to meaningful consultation, reconciliation, and sustainable business practices. We are determined to help companies working with indigenous communities to expand opportunities for reconciliation and to ameliorate both community and business.
Based in ancestral governance, indigenous law, and respectful protocols Sky Spirit Consulting has the multi-disciplinary tools to ensure respectful, mindful, and productive consultation. We have multiple checks, protocols, and procedures in place to protect indigenous groups and knowledge keepers involved in sharing their knowledge and good-will to participate in reconciliation.
It is our goal to be the mediators, the listeners, and the guides to create safe, comfortable environments for meaningful consultation to produce productive, well-educated and informed pathways forward.
We will be the first to listen and the last to leave the table. We are committed to meaningful consultation, reconciliation, and sustainable business practices. We are determined to help expand opportunities for reconciliation.
Blue Cedar Bough?
When cedar boughs are burned in ceremony it burns light blue smoke and brings in the light. This is done to represent peace and healing. We are committed to transformative practices that respectfully and inclusively engage with diverse communities to elevate the conversation in meaningful consultation, design and research.
We set visionary precedents for meaningful engagement through our Indigenous design and research methodologies rooted in Coast Salish values and “Two-Eyed” seeing.
We combine primary archival research and oral history to form the basis for a respectful and appropriate narrative. This community storytelling practice informs a context that reflects authentic histories that allow community members to participate in the co-creation of each project with agency and confidence.
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Sierra Tasi Baker,
Lead Indigenous Design Consultant
| Phone: 604-537-8521
Mary Tasi, Executive Director
| Phone: 604-985-5590
With over 20 years in urban planning, community engagement and public art Mary has developed a collaborative approach that has the ability to manage and communicate divergent inputs/ideas and conflicting visions or goals. Mary is invested in transformational community engagement practices and ensuring every voice is heard.
Mary is of Hungarian ancestry. Her parents escaped Hungary during the 1956 Hungarian revolution and found themselves in Basingstoke, Hampshire, England where Mary was born. Later her family immigrated to Ottawa, Canada where she graduated with an Honours Degree in Environmental Planning from the University of Waterloo. The University of Waterloo is based on the Haldimand Tract which is the traditional territory of the Neutral, Anishnaabeg*, and Haudenosaunee** peoples. The territory is covered by the Upper Canada and Haldimand Treaties.
Mary founded her first urban planning practice in 1985 in Vanier, East Ottawa on the traditional territory of the St. Lawrence Iroquoians, Anishinabewaki ᐊᓂᔑᓈᐯᐗᑭ, Mohawk , Huron-Wendat and Omàmiwininiwak (Algonquin) peoples. Mary is also a published author & lecturer and has won countless awards.
Finding the traditional urban planning field in Ottawa to be suffocating and irrespective of indigenous rights Mary decided she needed a change of pace to think about her role as an urban planner. Mary then moved to Vancouver in June of 1993 where she later met her husband, Squamish Nation partner, Wade Baker.
Mary and Wade co-founded Sky Spirit Studio in 1995 with the intention of bringing contemporary indigenous narratives and design to Western Canada.
Starting in January 2019 Mary co-developed the consulting branch of their company with their daughter Sierra Tasi Baker. Forming an intergenerational design and engagement family practice.
Clients include the City of Vancouver, the City of Calgary, and the City of North Vancouver.
Mary can be found most weekends walking the North Shore Spirit Trail.
*Anishinaabeg/Anishinaabek/Anishnabek/Anishnaabeg – this name covers Ojibway, Odawa, Algonquin, Potawatomi, Nipissing, Mississaugas, Saulteau, etc....all the Algonkian/Ojibwa Nations.
**Haudenosaunee – This name refers to the Iroquois Confederacy comprising of these Nations: Mohawk, Oneida, Onondaga, Cayuga, Seneca and Tuscarora.
North Shore Spirit Trail | Gateway to Ancient Wisdom | Sky Spirit Studio | 2018
Sierra is the lead cultural and indigenous design consultant at Sky Spirit Consulting. Sierra is from the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw (Squamish Nation) and is also xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Kwakwaka’wakw/Musgamagw Dzawada'enuxw, Tɫingit, Xaayda (Haida) and Hungarian. Her Kwak'wala name is "Gesuqwaluck" which means "Creator or Creative one" and was given to her by her late grandmother and Grand-Matriarch Chief Emily Nelson Baker, T̓łaḵwagila̱'og̱wa.
Sierra completed her Bachelor's of Environmental Design at the School of Architecture & Landscape Architecture (SALA) at the University of British Columbia. Graduating with an award in Design Leadership and receiving a Youth Leadership Award for her work in the community from the City of North Vancouver. Sierra then flew to London, England and graduated with her Masters of Science in Sustainable Urbanism at the Bartlett School of City Planning at University College London which is one of the top ten universities in the world for the built environment. Sierra was invited to meet the Queen of England in 2017 for her academic excellence at Canada House in London, England.
Sierra focuses on furthering indigenous design and research methodologies through combining oral history, primary archival research, Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK) and Coast Salish design techniques.
Sierra has worked extensively with museums, universities, municipalities, and businesses to further reconciliation and develop meaningful consultation through design.
Sierra is also one of the choreographers for Butterflies in Spirit, a Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women's advocacy and dance group founded by #MMIW advocate Lorelei Williams.
Wade Baker, Mintledus / Halikium
Cultural Consultant & Oral Historian
| Phone: 604-985-5590
Wade is from the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw (Squamish Nation) and is also xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Kwakwaka’wakw/Musgamagw Dzawada'enuxw, Tɫingit, and Xaayda (Haida) Wade is an accomplished Master carver, oral historian, storyteller, and public artist. His Kwak’wala name ‘Mintledus’ means “Place of Plenty.” With a wealth of knowledge Wade advises on cultural protocols, Coast Salish design and indigenous ways of knowing. Wade’s Coast Salish name “Halikium” means “Person who Travels Far.” It is Wade’s goal to bring Coast Salish culture global recognition whilst bringing prosperity and healing to his people.
Wade is a sculptor, graphic designer and red cedar carver. He has been carving and creating art since he was a teenager. As a descendent of ancient Coast Salish, Kwakwaka'wakw, Tlingit and Haida nobility, Wade has inherited a rich artistic legacy. In these traditions, art is not a separate activity but is interwoven in life, language, custom and culture. Coast Salish forms are a means of spiritual expression in which a design or piece of art can encompass an entire story.
Wade is invested in placemaking through storytelling, a concept which roots "Story of Place" into the design process.
• Social Entrepreneurship Award, University of Waterloo, Ontario, 2018
• Presented to, Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II, for leadership & academic excellence, Canada Houe UK, 2017
• Design & Leadership Excellence Award for Environmental Design, School of Architecture & Landscape Architecture, UBC, 2016
• Honourable Mention for The Hidden Journals, Whistler Independent Book Awards, 2016
• Youth Recognition Leadership Award, City of North Vancouver, 2015
• Aboriginal Tourism Industry Award for Arts & Entertainment, Aboriginal Tourism BC, 2015
• Presented to the Victoria Legislature by MLA J. Thornthwaite recognizing the extensive research work on Captain Vancouver and the early explorers for "The Hidden Journals", 2014
• Award of Excellence for "Gateway to Ancient Wisdom" Public Art on the North Shore Spirit Trail, City of North Vancouver, 2013
• Selected by the Olympic Committee to run the Olympic Torch for outstanding community leadership, 2010
• Presented to Prince Charles, Prince of Wales, for excellence in Public Art, 2009
• Business Excellence Finalist for Arts & Culture, North Vancouver Chamber of Commerce, 2009
• Presented to the Victoria Legislature by MLA K. Whittred recognizing Sky Spirit Studio's Design work, 2009
• Award of Excellence for Design, National Design Exchange Awards in the Urban Design Category, City of North Vancouver, 2008
• Nominated for Innovation award, North Vancouver Chamber of Commerce, 2000
• Awarded Millenium Coin Design, Royal Canadian Mint, 2000
• Excellence in Planning Award, Township of Pittsburgh Best Community Plan, The Ontario Professional Planning Institute, 1990