White Earth Tribal Community Center
White Earth Reservation is located in Becker, Clearwater, and Mahnomen counties in north-central Minnesota. Created in 1867 by a treaty between the United States and the Mississippi Band of Chippewa Indians, it is one of seven Chippewa reservations in Minnesota. Although the White Earth Chippewa no longer live as their ancestors did, they have kept alive their tribal heritage. Almost every aspect of their present-day life has been strongly influenced by the past.
Location: Mahnomen, MN
Architect: Hunter-Grobe Architects
Installing Contractor: White Earth Builders
Distributor: Golden Valley Supply Company
At the White Earth Tribal Community Center, a central feature of the new Wadiswan Innovation, Technology and Entrepreneurship Center is a large, circular room that created concerns about reflected sound. The solution was provided when Golden Valley Supply introduced the technique of printing custom images on Tectum acoustical panels. For this project, the acoustical panels became much more than utilitarian. They became the focal point and honorably preserve the community’s tribal heritage.
Nearly 1,000 square feet of custom-printed Tectum panels were used to provide balanced acoustics and aesthetics.
Pictures of an aspen wood forest printed on acoustical panels created a multi-dimensional effect when floor to ceiling wood trunks were installed. The project honors the natural world in a space that is respectful of the people it serves.