SIX NATIONS – It’s been a whirlwind for Six Nations grandmother Fran “Flower” Doxtator over the past few weeks, while around 70 volunteers help build her new, state-of the-art, self-sustaining Earthship home. By Tuesday morning, the Earthship was done and only a few stragglers were still packing up their tents and tools and getting ready
SIX NATIONS – It’s been a whirlwind for Six Nations grandmother Fran “Flower” Doxtator over the past few weeks, while around 70 volunteers help build her new, state-of the-art, self-sustaining Earthship home.
By Tuesday morning, the Earthship was done and only a few stragglers were still packing up their tents and tools and getting ready to leave. The buzz of activity was over and Fran woke up to a relatively quiet calm. The only sound was created by her daughter and grandchildren, while three or four volunteer workers were left to clean up.
Although smaller than she had hoped, Doxtator is grateful for the Earthship built for her by Biotecture Earthships of Taos, New Mexico.
Earthships creator Michael Reynolds, oversaw the construction and got his hands dirty too during the past two weeks. Doxtator’s new home is the first humanitarian build that Biotecture Earthships has built in Canada.
He brought with him 64 builders and added a few more locals once here.
“I don’t know how I feel right now,” she says. “Kinda mixed emotions.”
The sudden contrast of the bee-hive of activity to nothing will take some time to adjust too, by her own admission.
“It’s been an eye opening experience I think, just to see that if you really, really had to, you can live off the grid.”
There will be a learning curve for her to learn how to maintain an Earthship to keep its energy saving technology working properly.
Before the last of the workers leaves, Fran will get a last lesson on how to maintain an Earthship.
“Well, I know that there will be help not far away, at Biotecture’s Canadian office in Toronto if I run into trouble,” she says. “I can always call somebody.”
Part of her adjustment is going to be missing some of the people she has made friends with during the build from all over the world.
“I’m really going to miss them,” she says. “We’ve had a mini-Woodstock here for two weeks.”
Fran was taken aback at the generosity and sharing the people of Six Nations offered the guest builders during that time.
“Janie [Jamieson] and Oka [Ron Gibson] brought over a ton of fresh fish we fried up,” says Doxtator. “Others brought a truck full of watermelons, water, corn and all kinds of stuff. Some people I don’t even know brought stuff for them. It made me very proud of my community.”
It was also an opportunity to teach the volunteers, most of whom have never been on an Indian reserve before, about Six Nations’ culture and beliefs.
“They were quite surprised at how life of the rez works, and they were quite surprised and they all had good experiences and were treated well by pretty much everybody,” she says. “We may not have a lot to share but what we do have we share. They went away with good memories and good feelings about Six Nations which I am glad about.”
Doxtator plans on taking a few days just laying low and relaxing before she actually moves into her new Earthship.
Due to the small size of the new facility, Fran intends to keep the old trailer, do some renovations to it, and use it for additional living space or storage.
“It might be just a place to lay my head for a while,” she says. “We’ll see. But I am more than grateful for what I have and I thank Mr. Reynolds and everyone who helped make it happen.”