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Douglas Cardinal was born in 1934, in Calgary, Alberta and is of Métis, Blackfoot and German descent. He began his architectural studies at the University of British Columbia and continued at the University of Texas, Austin. Influenced by his Aboriginal heritage, Cardinal's designs are organic and are meant to be in tandem with nature. Combined with his interest in human rights and sustainability, Cardinal's architectural contributions have transcended Canadian borders and have received international recognition. Douglas Cardinal has received numerous awards and honours, including being appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada, gold medals in architecture from the Royal Architectural Institute in Canada and the Union of Architects in Russia, and the Outstanding Professional Achievement Award, American Society of Landscape Architects, to name a few. He has also been awarded fourteen honourary doctorates from universities across Canada and the United States. Files containing many of Douglas Cardinal's most well-known projects are housed at the Carleton University Archives and Research Collections. These include files from the Saskatchewan Indian Federated College (SIFC), now called the First Nations University of Canada. This is the first and only First Nations university in Canada. Other projects include the York Administrative Centre, the Turning Stone Casino Hotel, Oneida Nation, located in Verona, New York, the Canadian Museum of Civilization and the National Museum of the American Indian. Douglas Cardinal applied his signature style of organic architecture to all these buildings, which are well-known architectural works on the international stage.