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1st Earthship Built On First Nations Soil

"It’s just blown me away."

The longer Fran “Flower” Doxtador lived in her two-bedroom trailer over 30 years, the more uninhabitable it became.

Home is on Six Nations of the Grand River territory near Brantford, Ont. Parts of her walls gave away where you could see through to the outside. Living with mould, a rodent infestation, and a leaky roof became part of her home life.

That all changed this summer when Doxtador moved into a new earthship with her daughter and four grandchildren.

Earthships are self-sustaining homes built entirely out of recycled materials: walls, for example, are made of tires packed with dirt and aluminum cans. Doxtador’s new home is the first earthship built on a First Nations reserve in Canada.

“The systems are minimal, but the comfort of the home and the stability of the home is as good as it gets,” said Michael Reynolds, founder of Earthship Biotecture. (Watch the amazing build in the video above.)

Reynolds’ company, along with Biotecture Planet Earth, spearheaded the $70,000 project. Volunteers keen to learn about earthship construction techniques donated $1,000 toward material and labour costs for Doxtador’s new home.

Members of the Six Nations community were also involved.

The earthship took 14 days from start to finish. And it was the community of family and strangers, of indigenous and non-indigenous people working together that left Doxtador at a loss for words.

“What I’ve seen and witnessed in these last two weeks — it’s been something else. It’s just blown me away,” she said.

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