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Rice Lake Elder Village

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White Earth Nation






White Earth Nation


15,700 SF


Affordable Housing


Urban Ecosystems
Green Your Bottom Line
EI Consultants




Structural Insulated Panels (SIPS)
Community Engagement
Energy-efficient Solutions
Water Management Strategies

In the heart of White Earth Nation, a sanctuary took shape — Rice Lake Elder Village, a testament to the values cherished by the White Earth Nation and crafted in collaboration with Urban Ecosystems, Green Your Bottom Line, and EI Consultants. This visionary project was a pledge to nurture the lives of elders facing housing fragility, offering them a haven where they could age with dignity.

Elders, often the pillars of wisdom within a community, find themselves in precarious housing situations. Some share spaces with friends or family, while others dwell in compromised living conditions. The Rice Lake Elder Village stepped forward as an empathetic response, addressing these challenges head-on. It was a promise to provide more than just shelter — it was about creating spaces where independence was not just valued but celebrated.

At its core, this 12-dwelling unit complex provides more than just residences; these were homes designed for aging in place. Each home is a safe, dignified space for the next chapter in the resident’s story, a space where memories are woven into the very fabric of the walls. The design carefully considered the unique needs of its residents, ensuring not just comfort but an environment that fostered a sense of belonging.

Beyond the confines of individual dwellings, the Rice Lake Elder Village would become a community hub. Spaces for community engagement, gardening, and socialization were integral to the design. Here, every corner was an invitation to connect — to share stories, tend to gardens, cook meals, and create bonds that transcended the physical structures. The design became a reflection of the vibrant social tapestry the elders brought to life.

From the project’s onset, the design team and Tribal leadership committed to sustainable practices, integrating energy-efficient systems, stormwater management, and on-site energy production at Rice Lake Elder Village. This holistic approach underscores the project’s dedication to both resident well-being and environmental harmony.

The Rice Lake Elder Village project became a testament to the values of the White Earth Nation — a commitment to the elders, to the community, and to a sustainable future.

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