The longer Fran â€śFlowerâ€ť Doxtador lived in her two-bedroom trailer over 30 years, the more uninhabitable it became.
Home is on Six Nations of the Grand River territory near Brantford, Ont. Parts of her walls gave away where you could see through to the outside. Living with mould, a rodent infestation, and a leaky roof became part of her home life.
That all changed this summer when Doxtador moved into a new earthship with her daughter and four grandchildren.
Fran 'Flower' Doxtador (far right) stands with her daughter and four grandchildren outside their trailer. (Credit: Biotecture Planet Earth)
Earthships are self-sustaining homes built entirely out of recycled materials: walls, for example, are made of tires packed with dirt and aluminum cans. Doxtadorâ€™s new home is the first earthship built on a First Nations reserve in Canada.
â€śThe systems are minimal, but the comfort of the home and the stability of the home is as good as it gets,â€ť said Michael Reynolds, founder of Earthship Biotecture. (Watch the amazing build in the video above.)
Reynoldsâ€™ company, along with Biotecture Planet Earth, spearheaded the $70,000 project. Volunteers keen to learn about earthship construction techniques donated $1,000 toward material and labour costs for Doxtadorâ€™s new home.
Members of the Six Nations community were also involved.
The earthship took 14 days from start to finish. And it was the community of family and strangers, of indigenous and non-indigenous people working together that left Doxtador at a loss for words.
â€śWhat Iâ€™ve seen and witnessed in these last two weeks â€” itâ€™s been something else. Itâ€™s just blown me away,â€ť she said.