Indigenous-inspired room unveiled in Calgary Ikea showroom

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Indigenous-inspired room unveiled in IKEA showroom
WATCH: A one-of-a-kind room is being highlighted in one of the world's most popular home décor stores. For the first time in IKEA's history, designers visited the home of an Indigenous homeowner and collaborated to create showroom in a Calgary store. As Jill Croteau reports, reconciliation is central to the concept – Jan 12, 2023

A store that normally provides inspiration for home decor will be providing a different sort of expression: a room inspired by Indigenous lives in an Ikea showroom.

Lana Manyfingers designed the room to incorporate her family’s history which covers the Treaty 4, 7 & 8 areas.

“My home is a sacred space. I want to feel comfortable in my space,” Manyfingers said.

Born and raised in Calgary, Lana is a proud Blackfoot/Cree woman who wants to show people how she lives as an urban Indigenous person.

“It’s connection to my family, connection to my culture, my neighborhood, to my community, to the land we call Mohkinstsis — it’s all about connection,” Manyfingers said.

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Within the walls of the room is an illustration of Indigenous culture with special attention to the details. Manyfingers wanted to showcase ceremony and tradition.

Actual pieces and memories are from her home.

“Many of the designs and patterns are inspired by Blackfoot culture and by my grandparents as well,” Manyfingers said.

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“I implement the medicine wheel and the teachings.”

Lo McNabb also collaborated on the room and has the opportunity to showcase her artistic beadwork.

“It feels humbling,” McNabb said. “There’s not a lot of authentic true forms of Indigenous representation, and I am happy big companies like Ikea have taken time to put themselves out there and work hand in hand, and listen and understand us.”

Ikea manager Isabelle Brigliadori said this concept also symbolizes value of reconciliation.

“When we looked at where our building sits, it’s on Treaty land. We need to understand and educate ourselves, because we weren’t as educated as we needed to be,” Brigliadori said.

“We need to understand our communities around us. That’s why we are intentionally making a choice to look at who is in our communities and partner with them.”

She said inclusivity is key.

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“We realized we haven’t been touching our whole community. We have done Chinese New Year’s and Ramadan, and we have a collection that showcases these cultures, but we have a real commitment to change.”

The display will be officially opened to the shopping public on Saturday.

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