The Skwachàys Story
Skwachàys (pronounced skwatch-eyes) Lodge and Residence at 31 West Pender Street in Vancouver is a unique enterprise created by social housing organization, Vancouver Native Housing Society. The building houses a fair trade Indigenous art gallery, boutique hotel, and an urban Indigenous artist residence.
Owned and operated by Vancouver Native Housing Society (VNHS), the facility provides 24 shelter rate apartments for Indigenous people at risk of homelessness, and two social enterprises that support the Society’s mission and financial sustainability.
The top three floors contain 18 boutique hotel units for socially responsible travelers and Indigenous patients travelling to Vancouver from remote areas to receive medical treatment. The hotel units have recently been transformed with the assistance of a team of artists, designers, and suppliers.
At street level, the Urban Aboriginal Fair Trade Gallery showcases Indigenous artistic and cultural work. Other distinguishing features of the building include a rooftop sweat lodge and smudge room used for spiritual cleansing, studio/workshop production space, and a commercial kitchen.