the healing wheel

The Healing Wheel
2020

(model for proposed structure)

Being of mixed Native and European heritage myself, I fully respect the desire to reconcile the history of these two peoples. Unfortunately, the past cannot be undone and we can only move forward. To do so properly, we must honor the spirit of those who first walked these lands.

In acknowledgment of the Wichita and Caddo peoples who originally inhabited the region now occupied by the University of North Texas, I propose a pavilion where Native and non-Native people alike may rest, relax and reflect on the ways in which we may mend our relationships with one another.

This structure, when viewed from the side, forms the silhouette of the thatched huts in which Wichita and Caddo people lived. When seen from above, the overall shape is that of a circle with four curved walls spiraling inward. These walls represent the four sections of the medicine wheel and how they each interact with each other. Each wall will be inlaid with a colored acrylic window in its respective color of the wheel.

As a representation of healing and cleansing, and to enhance the calming, reverent sensation, water will flow down inset paths on the edge of the walls and through small cutouts along the ridge, allowing a sheet of water to flow over it and down into grates set into the foundation.

A center bed of native plant life in a raised garden will be included to represent harmony between the four sections of the wheel and growth of a new harmonious relationship the between all who enter the enclosure.